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Penn Jillette on Taxation and Charity

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penn jillette on taxation and charity


Taxation and charity are one of the major differences between libertarians and the Democrats and Republicans. They want to use government to take people’s incomes and then redistribute that money to other people in the name of charity. The problem is, that act of violence eliminates any moral superiority they were claiming to have. It’s now just theft, no matter the original intentions.

The ends do not justify the means, although the statists would love to think so. The other problem is, after they steal it, they aren’t very good at distributing it. Medicaid coverage has often been described as worse than having no coverage at all. Social Security is bankrupt, and a majority of the younger workforce will never see benefits. Food stamps and welfare benefits are frequently used to purchase alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. But the government’s only answer is to spend more money.

Libertarian’s disagree with taxation for charity because of the inherent problems with government management, and their abysmal track record. We’d rather have responsible, successful, private charities do the same work more efficiently, but the statists say we just don’t care. That couldn’t be farther from the truth, libertarians care more. That’s where this quote from Penn Jillette comes in.

Libertarians like Penn Jillette know that force and violence eliminate the morality from wanting to provide for the needy. As Penn Jillette eloquently put, it’s just being self-righteous and bullying other people to do what you won’t. If the statists actually cared about helping people they would do it themselves, or donate their own money as libertarians like Penn Jillette do. He’s an active donor to dozens of causes, one of his favorites being the Opportunity Village which provides employment for the disadvantaged.

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