Friday, July 22, 2011

Rothbard and Mises on Tax Credits, Deductions and Loopholes

Lew Rockwell points out that Politico is calling "opposition to tax credits and deductions as free-market 'purism'! "

I have seen this in some of the comments here at EPJ when I have posted relative to tax credits. Here's a couple of guys that seem to spend a lot of time thinking about free markets, with their view on tax credits, loopholes and deductions:

Here's Ludwig von Mises on loopholes:
Many people object [to tax loopholes]. They stress the fact that most of the laws which aim at planning or at expropriation by means of progressive taxation have left some loopholes which offer to private enterprise a margin within which it can go on. That such loopholes still exist and that thanks to them this country is still a free country is certainly true. But this loopholes capitalism is not a lasting system. It is a respite. Powerful forces are at work to close these loopholes. From day to day the field in which private enterprise is free to operate is narrowed down.

Here's Murray Rothbard on tax exemptions:
Many writers denounce tax exemptions and levy their fire at the tax-exempt, particularly those instrumental in obtaining the exemptions for themselves. These writers include those advocates of the free market who treat a tax exemption as a special privilege and attack it as equivalent to a subsidy and therefore inconsistent with the free market. Yet an exemption from taxation or any other burden is notequivalent to a subsidy. There is a key difference. In the latter case a man is receiving a special grant of privilege wrested from his fellow men; in the former he is escaping a burden imposed on other men. Whereas the one is done at the expense of his fellow men, the other is not. For in the former case, the grantee is participating in the acquisition of loot; in the latter, he escapes payment of tribute to the looters. To blame him for escaping is equivalent to blaming the slave for fleeing his master....
It is clear that if a certain burden is unjust, blame should be levied, not on the man who escapes the burden, but on the man or men who impose it in the first place. If a tax is in fact unjust, and some are exempt from it, the hue and cry should not be to extend the tax to everyone, but on the contrary to extend the exemption to everyone.
Now that's free market puritism!


  1. "To blame him for escaping is equivalent to blaming the slave for fleeing his master...."

    Wow! It's ROTHBARD who's the master!

    n.b. Present tense 'cause Murray's immortal.

  2. Terrorist Abe Lincoln didn't free the slaves - It enslaved us all. Even Malcolm X figured that out.

  3. Tax law with loopholes is like the Berlin wall with doors and windows... then they close them.

  4. Nice analogy anonymous(5:18)