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Christmas

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"He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money."
—Benjamin Franklin

04-Jul-03


I'll Tax Your Feet

A news headline this week reads, "7 States Begin Fiscal Year With No Budget." An example in the article tells of one state governor agreeing to a plan that "raises taxes on everything from casinos to billboards." Continued whining and increased taxation by leaders and lawmakers brings back memories of the Beatles' hit, "Tax Man." One line stands out, "If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet." Here are the revealing words to the song:


Let me tell you how it will be
There's one for you, nineteen for me
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman

Should five per cent appear too small
Be thankful I don't take it all
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah I'm the taxman

If you drive a car, I'll tax the street,
If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat.
If you get too cold, I'll tax the heat,
If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet.

Don't ask me what I want it for
If you don't want to pay some more
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman

Now my advice for those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman
And you're working for no one but me.

Why do leaders and lawmakers abuse taxation? Americans have resisted taxation from the nation's inception, as British taxation without representation was a major cause of the Revolutionary War. One incitement for the Civil War was Southern resistance to heavy taxation on foreign goods shipped into southern ports legislated by powerful northern lawmakers. Only later was abolition of slavery added to provide a moral cause for the unpopular war.

But the days of fighting taxation are gone, as most people weakly accept taxes and fees. Since the average citizen cannot balance his own checkbook, how can we expect leaders and lawmakers to be able to balance the budgets of city, county, state, and federal governments? Are they not from the same mold as the rest of society? They epitomize the product of a spoiled, affluent society.

A quick look at the practices of members of Congress exposes a lack of character and integrity when it comes to handling money. More than a handful have been arrested for fraud; close to a score have been accused of writing bad checks; well over a hundred have played a part in bankrupting at least two businesses; and upwards of seventy cannot get a credit card due to bad credit. Is it any wonder that the financial condition of our economy is appalling? To these unscrupulous politicians, the solution to this gross overspending is easy: "Tax everything." Why not tax your feet?

But, why do we have unfair taxation where some people pay nothing and others pay heavy taxes? How did it get so out of control? The answer lies not within taxation itself, but in the attitude of people toward what we owe God!

Through the prophet Samuel, God told ancient Israel just what to expect if He gave them the king they demanded:

This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots. He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants. And he will take your menservants and your maidservants and your finest young men and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the LORD will not hear you in that day. (I Samuel 8:11-18)

In a nutshell, human leaders will take as much as they can get away with. In the U.S., almost six months of wages are turned over to the government in the form of income tax. Even this heavy taxation is not as exorbitant as what citizens in many other countries endure. There are also property, retail, and other excise taxes by city, county, and state governments. Perverted and ineffective public "servants" believe that dumping money on problems is better than personal responsibility. Jesus Christ, however, disagrees:

One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous [physical] wealth, who will entrust to you the true [spiritual] riches? (Luke 16:10-11, English Standard Version)

We must not allow ourselves to fall into the same financial trap as our secular leaders. Not only do they cheat their neighbors through taxation, more seriously, they steal from God by not returning to Him His tithes (Malachi 3:8). When a society robs God, the leaders also rob the people because the same greedy attitude drives both. The time will come when all will have to pay the price for greedily mismanaging finances.

We certainly do not want to share in the penalty of the sin of not tithing. If we are faithful in tithing, God will eventually entrust to us immeasurable wealth and abundance.

- Martin G. Collins


 


 
 

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