The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Taxation is theft

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Debate Round Forfeited
Mharman has forfeited round #3.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/2/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 708 times Debate No: 102346
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (0)




First round is acceptance.

Terms of debate:

I am arguing that taxation in its modern form (mandatory and backed up by government force) is no different from theft. Good luck!


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


The definition of theft, according to the Merriam Webster dictionary, is as follows: "the act of stealing; specifically : the felonious taking and removing of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it"

The definition of taxes, according to the Merriam Webster dictionary, is as follows: "a compulsory contribution to state revenue, levied by the government on workers' income and business profits or added to the cost of some goods, services, and transactions"

According to, compulsory is synonymous with force.

If a person or organization uses force "especially backed up with potentially lethal force" to remove someone's personal property, it is theft. If the mob comes to your home or place of business and tells you to pay a certain portion of your money to them and in return they will protect you or insure you, this is theft. Even if the mob is recognized by many people to be legitimate, it is still theft.

Therefore, since taxes which are mandatory and only paid under threat of force, are theft. Even if you or I consider taxes to be beneficial to society, it doesn't change the fact that it is in fact theft. One might say that the difference is that a government might give back to its tax payers in the form of roads, military, police, education, justice system, etc. but that assumes that as long as a thief gives something back to his victim, it's not theft. The other primary argument is that people voluntarily pay taxes, since they fill out the forms and comply with the payment and use the products of government. The first part of this argument, that people fill out the forms and comply with the payment, is easily refuted by considering the drop in revenue the state would see if they were to remove the threat of force from taxation (tax evaders would not be punished). The second part of this argument, that people use the products of government, does not mean they are consenting since to do otherwise would be foolish (if you've already been taxed, there's no reason to turn down the practical benefits).

I hope my opponent can refute at least one of these arguments to make this debate interesting, but I doubt it can be done.


Taxation is not 100% percent forced. By being a US citizen, you are already giving a small bit of consent to the government. This is the trade that occurs when one becomes a citizen to any country. Specifically in the US, we give a tiny bit of freedom in exchange for a huge amount of security. They can tax you, as a result. If you feel that you need to live 100% tax free, then you can emigrate out of the country if you wish.

Taxes are also not only paid with the threat of force. The government uses taxes to give back to the American people. The government builds roads, bridges and more; they provide healthcare to those with mental illnesses, and they pay teachers so that schools can keep running. By refusing to pay taxes, you are harming other citizens, such as teachers, the mentally ill, and those who got jobs working on these road and bridge projects.
Debate Round No. 2


>Taxation is not 100% forced. By being a US citizen, you are already giving a small bit of consent to the government.

This argument only stands for those who immigrate to the US, whereas natural born citizens didn't apply for citizenship and therefore did not necessarily consent to taxation. You cannot sign a contract without, you know, signing the contract.

>You can emigrate out of the country [to live tax-free].

This argument rests on the premise that the government owns all land in its territory, which would void any claim to private property, which would in turn imply we live under a feudal system/communist system. In short, that's an invalid argument. I have a right to live on my property which I paid for, and do so peacefully without having to uproot and flee the mob (or the "government").

>Taxes are not only paid with the threat of force.

This is blatantly false. Not only is it a fact that tax evaders go to prison (this requires force), it is also very plausible that the government's revenue would drop by over 90% if all threat of force were removed (most people do not enjoy paying taxes, and only do so because the system forces them to).

The rest of my opponents argument demonstrates the practical purposes of taxes. I clarified in my previous argument, though, that this debate isn't about whether or not taxes are practical, it's about whether it is theft. It might also be very practical to loot a Wal-Mart, but that doesn't mean it's not theft.
This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by themightyindividual 3 years ago
So I won, right?
Posted by GoodOlDerk 3 years ago
Taxation is extortion, there is a difference. Lul
Posted by FanboyMctroll 3 years ago
I totally agree, taxation is theft

Time to start a revolution, what if everyone refused to pay their taxes, what would the government do then? They couldn't arrest the whole nation of people?
Posted by The-Voice-of-Truth 3 years ago
T A X A T I O N l S T H E F T
Posted by Mharman 3 years ago
Challenge accepted.
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