Should U.S. taxpayers still pay taxes amid government shutdown?

The United States government is experiencing its second shutdown in about five years. Of course, it isn’t really a shutdown, but the politicians and the media in the swamp want you to think it is.

That said, if the government isn’t providing services, should taxpayers still be footing the bill?

Donald J. Boudreaux, Professor of Economics and Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center, asks this question to the likes of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

He writes:

Congressional Leaders:

The theory (one to which you undoubtedly subscribe) is that the United States government bestows real and vital benefits upon us Americans in exchange for the taxes that we pay; that is, that taxes are the prices we citizens pay for services rendered by our government.  If this theory is correct, the current closure of much of the U.S. government denies to us many of these services and their accompanying benefits.

Will you, therefore, reduce our tax bills accordingly?  After all, why should we pay for services and goods that we do not receive?  I’m not obliged to pay my physician for services that she withholds from me.  Likewise, I’m not obliged to pay for a restaurant meal that is never served to me.  Ditto for services not rendered to me by my dry cleaner, not rendered to me by my appliance repairman, not rendered to me by my auto mechanic, and not rendered to me by any of the many other individuals and firms who refuse, for whatever reason, to serve me in exchange for what I would otherwise pay them.  Furthermore, if any of these merchants nevertheless attempted to forcibly extract from me payment for services not rendered, he or she would be rightly regarded as a common criminal and imprisoned.

Especially because you are, as they say, “public servants,” you of all people don’t wish to behave as common criminals.  I therefore request – actually, demand – that you adjust my and every other taxpayer’s tax bill downward so that we are not charged for services not rendered.

In the end, let’s just keep the government shut down for good!

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  1. Great point but for the same reason we can park close to the door at Walmart and those who work for government get the choice spots. We are seen as servants not to be served. Few talk of why we have the shut down in the 1st place. We don’t even have a budget and are running on CR’s.

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