It’s amazing to me that we need to spend so much of our time dealing with arguments that have no factual or rational basis. These distractions lessen the time available for developing any positive agenda (trying to reduce human suffering, preserve the planet, systematically explore nature, including human animals).
At Daylight Atheism, Ebonmuse spend some time attacking an idea commonly expressed at the FOX sponsored teabagger parties: that taxation is essentially the government stealing your money. As usual, Ebonmuse clearly sets out the argument, then demolishes it. Here’s an excerpt, but I highly recommend visiting his site and reading the whole thing:
Libertarians say that taxation is like theft because it takes property from the unwilling. What they ignore, time and time again, is the crucial role of democratic consent. Taxes are not arbitrary impositions decreed by a faceless government. Rather, taxes are the dues we pay in exchange for membership in a society and access to all the services it offers.
The situation can be compared to a private club that charges a membership fee in exchange for providing benefits and amenities to its members. Obviously, the club is within its rights to charge whatever price it believes fair in exchange for this. If you believe the price is too high, you’re free to renounce your membership and leave the club. What you’re not free to do is to refuse to pay, but demand that you still be allowed to sit in the club and use its facilities.