Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Ben Carson and Tithes

During and interview, presidential candidate Ben Carson was asked about tax reform. Carson's reply was that if a tithes were good enough for the church, then tithes are good enough for government.

Searching for the answers for modern problems in an ancient text is typical of conservative thought. The problem with this approach is that it often leads to misapplied solutions.

As you see, the government is not a church and the logic that applies to a church does not necessarily apply to government.

Interestingly, the New Testament has a few comments on taxation. In Matthew 22:21, Jesus is asked about paying taxes to Caesar. Jesus looks at a coin and notes that it bears Caesar's image. Jesus stated something akin to ""Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's" ((Wikipedia).

This Biblical reference touches on an important point: Taxation is part of the money supply. Taxation and money were the creation of man. They are not the creation of God.

As money and taxes are things created by man, it is up to us to figure out how to use these financial tools.

Our money supply is controlled by a quasi-government entity called "The Federal Reserve." The Federal Reserve creates money by lending a fiat currency to member banks.

The Federal Reserve is an inherently regressive mechanism for creating money. Since taxes are part of the money supply, I see nothing inherently wrong with trying to compensate for the regressive nature of the Federal Reserve with a progressive tax.

As for what I am doing: My tax reform proposal is to create a computer program to work as an alternative to the current tax withholding system.

Computers are not in The Bible. If we start with the premise that tax reform proposals must be in the Bible; then we necessarily eliminate any tax reform proposal built on information technology.

For that matter, the science of economics did not exist, per se, in Biblical times. If we are to take Ben Carson's suggestion to base taxation on Biblical principles, then we must necessarily ignore any insights gleened from the science of economics.

Anyway, Ben Carson was my favorite GOP candidate up to the moment that he declared an intention to replace the income tax with a tithe.