I feel more and more as if I understand Ayn Rand’s objectivism. I feel increasingly compelled to join with John Gault.

 I need to vent.

Since my retirement from the Army I have striven to focus on positive things.  I fully realize I am blessed. To be precise, I do not mean the blehssed in the sense of some prosperity doctrine.  My pastor this past Sunday pointed out that potential error.  I mean simply I have much to be happy about and thankful for. However, this past weekend we completed our initial draft of our tax returns and the results are staggering on the face of it.

Basically, we provide more than enough in taxes, just to the federal government, to comfortably sustain an entire other family for a year.  This got me to thinking about all that I provide to others that they never earned.

I will not count my children in this equation.  They are my responsibility and I have provided for them happily. But let’s look at the others and how government and society have the entirely wrong idea about personal responsibility and individual property rights.

The Ex-wife.

Realizing the scope of my federal tax burden invariably took my mind to this woman and how much she took form me she never earned.   Once recently, in a moment of honesty, she admitted that I did not have to give her all I did.  She will never admit that regularly or out loud often.

At the very end of our marriage, I desperately needed out and away for my health, sanity and happiness.

In order to get out as smoothly and peacefully as possible, I gave her everything.  I paid all the credit card bills, a large portion of which was acquired funding her hobby business.  I paid for her car note.  I paid the mortgage and gave her the house.  I provided cell phones, cars, health insurance car insurance and tuition for both kids through college.   Also, because she erroneously believed she was automatically entitled to my retirement, I gave her a small percentage just to make her go away. I kept my old truck, my clothes, guns and camper.

Basically, she escaped the marriage free of any financial cost brought on by her own actions and I was stuck losing my property that I earned through my own work and efforts.  Fair? Just?  Right?  No.

I allowed this for two reasons.  (and no, one of those is not that I was all in the wrong, quite the contrary actually)

First, her false belief that she was entitled to a portion of my retirement was real in her mind.  No matter the math or facts to the contrary, society has enshrined this notion into law and burdened retired military members with a load unheard of in the civilian world.  I could have fought that in court, and I would have won, but I wanted it over and her gone.

Second, I had to give her the house, I was worried for my children.  Without the house, I knew she was incapable of providing them with a decent place to live.  I did not want my children finishing high school in a trailer.

I did not realize at the time she would move a guy into the house.  My view of honor and manly behavior might be a bit archaic but my pride and sense of right action would never allow me to live in a house another man pays for – but perhaps not everyone has such high standards.  But let’s just go ahead and add him to the list of charges I have taken care of.

So, as I tally all the people the fruits of my labor support these two individuals are at the top of the list.  Starting their live-in arrangement together debt-free, rent-free and with a monthly stipend is a pretty good deal I suppose if you have no honor or pride.  

It would be comical if it were not MY money.

The Federal Tax-Man

As disgusting as the two freeloaders above are the federal tax-man and his beneficiaries are worse.   This nefarious fellow has an army of agents to sniff through every transaction and the tenuous power of the state to kick in my door and do violence in my home if I refuse to comply with his demands.  I agree that some level of revenue generation for the government is necessary but a damnable hand tugging directly on my paycheck and bank account and taking so much is immoral.

I was disturbed to learn while completing the tax forms that I cannot even claim my IRA contributions this year, because our income bracket is too large.   How does such a racket masquerading as progressive policy make any sense?  I am penalized for making more.  That is a disincentive.           

As I mentioned above an entire family of four could live comfortably on the amount of money the federal government took from me this year. 

Let that all sink in…

We can discuss politics and what the government should and should not do and how the poor should and should not be helped.  There is a simple first principle at work here – the right of the individual to their property, particularly the fruits of their hands, minds and labors.

I earned this money.   It is my property.  I consent to some level of financial support to the government but at the level they have taxed me this year it is nothing more than theft.  If I were to simply refuse they would eventually come to my home some morning at 5 am dressed up like amateur ninjas with guns.  I would kill some of them defending my home and they would murder me.   If the mob claimed I owed a debt and they came to my home in such a manner we would call that action murder, when the government does it, we call it something else.

The bottom line is my wife and I provide support to at least six people at this point – and I am done.

Since retiring last year, I worked a lot, started a business, did some government contacting and held a couple of full-time jobs.   Going forward my objectives are very different.  Life is entirely too short, it is not long enough to bust one’s hump to make more so the government can take more.   My new objective is to reduce my tax burden as low as possible.  I will never support 6 freeloaders again.  I will make enough over and above my retirement to buy what I want but I will do it through my business and ensure income is offset with legitimate expenses.  

In a very real sense, I am Gaulting.

“I swear—by my life and my love of it—that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”