Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Clarifications on Expropriationism...

Matt Powell posted a comment on my Expropriationism post below. Here is an excerpt of his comment:
My problem with the chain of reasoning in 1-5 is that the reasoning only works if there is no qualitative difference between a robber and a government agent.
It is a subtle difference, but the issue I was pointing out dealt with the fact that the government was taking our money for purposes beyond its proper scope. J. Budziszewski points out that many Christians miss the point because they think that expropriationism is wrong simply because the wrong groups want the money for the wrong reasons. In essence, they think that if the causes are good then the taking of our money by the government is justified. But J. B. disagrees, and that is the reason for the 1-5 progression he describes. Here is additional text from J. Budziszewski:
But how, one may ask, can government steal? We live in a republic; aren't we therefore just taking from ourselves? No, not even in a republic are the rulers identical with the ruled; nor for that matter are the ruled identical with each other. If we were just taking from ourselves, there would be no need for the taking to be enforced. Then is it wrong for government to tax at all? No, government may certainly collect taxes for the support of its proper work; that work, however, is not the support of all good causes, but merely punishing wrongdoers and commending rightdoers (1 Pet. 2:13-14). This establishes a strong presumption against all the other things into which government likes to stick its fingers; under no circumstances may they be considered part of its appointed task. (italic emphasis original; bold emphasis added)

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