Freeman

BOOK REVIEW

Tax Free 2000: The Rebirth of American Liberty

Government Spending Creates a Perpetual Civil War for the Spoils of Taxation

OCTOBER 01, 1995 by ROBERT W. MCGEE

Filed Under : Government Spending

If you hate taxes, then you’ll love Murray Sabrin’s Tax Free 2000. Dr. Sabrin traces the history and evolution of taxes from ancient times through the Middle Ages and up until the ratification of the 16th Amendment, which gave the federal government the legal authority to impose an income tax. He also analyzes the impact of taxation on the economy and concludes that taxes distort production by transferring resources from the peaceful and productive sector—the free market—to the “coercive” sector of society—the government.

If after reading chapters one through four you are not convinced the government is not your friend, then Sabrin’s discussion of the government’s monetary policies should convince you that the U.S. dollar could be headed for the trash can if sound money is not restored.

So how do we get out of this statist mess? Sabrin demonstrates how a taxless society would function. He systematically analyzes all levels of government spending and concludes that they do not pass the test of either efficiency or justice.

Without a foundation of freedom to guide social relations, the hallmark of a laissez-faire economy, government spending by definition creates conflict among the citizenry by creating a perpetual civil war for the spoils of taxation. Sabrin thus takes the Jeffersonian doctrine of limited government to its logical conclusion—extreme noninterference.

At the federal level, government must provide a national defense to protect the territorial integrity of the United States, but not the “democracy” of Haiti, the safety of South Korea, or the stability of the Balkans. States, counties, and municipalities also must downsize because they too deliver services by using massive coercion.

According to Sabrin, we can phase out all taxes by the year 2000 and eliminate virtually all government spending by the early years of the next century. By the next millennium Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, foreign aid, farm subsidies, welfare, education, and all the other spending programs that have become the components of the American welfare state or mixed economy should be abolished. Sabrin asserts that both the profit and non-profit sectors would deliver the services the American people desire, not what the special interests want. This would be in keeping with the principles of 1776 that, he claims, were overturned in the quiet revolution of 1913, the year the income tax amendment was added to the Constitution and the Federal Reserve Act was signed into law by President Wilson.

You don’t have to be a radical rightist or a libertarian to appreciate Tax Free 2000. If America is going to once again become a truly free country, then the income tax, sales tax, property tax, estate tax, inheritance tax, and the myriad of government depredations of the people must end. And the sooner the better.

Sabrin has offered a bold prescription for America’s future. If we want to achieve both freedom and sustainable prosperity, then Tax Free 2000 is the book we need. []

Dr. McGee teaches at Seton Hall University.

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October 1995

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Unfortunately, educating people about phenomena that are counterintuitive, not-so-easy to remember, and suggest our individual lack of human control (for starters) can seem like an uphill battle in the war of ideas. So we sally forth into a kind of wilderness, an economic fairyland. We are myth busters in a world where people crave myths more than reality. Why do they so readily embrace untruth? Primarily because the immediate costs of doing so are so low and the psychic benefits are so high.
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