Monday, June 8, 2009

Do taxpayers own tax revenue?

Do taxpayers own the revenue from taxation
By Paddy Hackett

We are constantly bombarded with the sound byte -- "taxpayers money". This
contains the assumption that the revenue collected by the capitalist state
in the form of taxation is the money of taxpayers. This obviously implies
that the taxpayer in some way owns this money. In the first place the
taxpayer is a category that can include all classes since each of the social
classes pays taxes. This constitutes an attempt to suggest that there
obtains a deep unity between the classes. Assuming that this basis exists
then there is only a short way to go towards politically creating an all
class alliance.

But the point is that state revenue in the form of taxation is just
that --state revenue. It is revenue owned and controllled by the state. It
is not the revenue of the taxpayers. This is why the expression "taxpayers
money" is so misleading in the struggle against capitalism. It misrepresents
the class interests of the working class and seeks to subordinate those
interests to that of the capitalist class in an all class alliance. The
point is that taxation is extracted from the working class by the force of
the state. The working class have no choice in the matter within the context
of capitalism. The working class has only choice with the context of an
alternative --the alternative between capitalism and communism. This means
that the workers, to challenge this imposition of tax on it, must mount an
attack on the political state as part of an integral programme to attack and
detroy capitalism.

Paddy Hackett