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Ann Coulter: Anarcho-Capitalist?

July 31st, 2006 · 3 Comments

I just skimmed a BeliefNet interview with La Coulter in which she discusses her newest screed about how the anti-American heathens are something something something. It is, as you might expect, roughly equal parts puerile jokes and total batshit craziness, but I did raise an eyebrow at this bit:

Is it possible to be a good Christian and sincerely believe, as Jim Wallis does, that a bigger welfare state and higher taxes to fund it is the best way in a complex modern society for us to fulfill our Gospel obligation to help the poor?

It’s possible, but not likely. Confiscatory taxation enforced by threat of imprisonment is “stealing,” a practice strongly frowned upon by our Creator.

Now, libertarians sometimes like to say things like “taxation is theft” as a way of reminding people that proposing that government enact some Good Idea entails extracting resources from people on pain of punishment, and that probably very few things, however nice they might be in principle, ought to actually be funded in this way. But only anarchists can literally mean it categorically: If you think it’s legitimate for a state to exist, however limited, you’re pretty much committed to the proposition that it can legitimately demand the resources necessary to carry out its authentic functions. All of which raises the question: If the MoDoCon thinks coercive taxation (forgive the pleonasm) is a sin, does that mean she’s an anarcho-capitalist deep down?

Addendum: I suppose I should note that strictly speaking, the qualifier “confiscatory,” read as “uncompensated,” would exclude taxation purporting to finance some reciprocal service to the taxpayer. My ordinary sense of the obligation of interpretive charity is a little attenuated in this case. But if aid programs are going to count as “confiscatory,” you’ve got to exclude loosey-goosey talk of compensation in terms of benefit to “the community’ and such, which still leaves you with a damn narrow range of permissible activities. That uncharitable part of me suspects Coulter’s views on the scope of the benefit required to render taxation compensated wobble a touch when the benificiary class is, say, affluent fundies (who represent us all, really) as opposed to poor people.

Tags: Libertarian Theory



3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Barry // Aug 1, 2006 at 9:46 am

    Two things – first, the Bible, and most sects’ interpretation of it (and tradition) does not have a problem with taxation. I’d guess that it’s the very rare sect which does. This isn’t a minor thing; when somebody talks about taxes being evil and unchristian (as an absolute, not ruinously high taxes), then they’re either part of an odd sect, or lying.

    Second, the striking characteristic of the ‘Christian Right’ is their embrace of Nero. They *love* state power, as long as they wield it. It looks like their only objection to state power was that heathens might yield it. This is in opposition to the Bible and the teachings of Jesus (and the apostles), who lived and taught in a world where the secular powers were not only non-christian, but frequently anti-christian.

  • 2 Geoff // Aug 1, 2006 at 12:18 pm

    Whatever happened to “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s”? If Jesus didn’t have trouble with national taxation, I have a hard time figuring out why Ms. Coulter does.

  • 3 Barry // Aug 2, 2006 at 4:42 pm

    Geoff, Coulter doesn’t have anything to do with Christianity. The closest she comes is ‘christianity’, as practiced by the Klan.