Time for me to come out of the closet as it were: I am a tax hypocrite.
Not to get too deeply into it, but one of the advantages of government-sanctioned marriage is the tax benefits, or at least the fact we get to only have to pay the accountant for one form. Since I think the government should probably get out of the marriage sanctioning business entirely but I take advantage of the offer, I am a hypocrite!
I don’t think that the government should ladle out tax credits for behavior it likes, such as buying the right air conditioner, buying a house, or buying the correct clothes washing machine, but I sometimes take those tax credits (although I missed out on the washing machine stimulus payola I mentioned due to laziness and, frankly, lack of enthusiasm for the project). Ergo, I am a hypocrite!
On the other hand, I have argued passionately against the government taking tax money to redistribute to individuals for individual benefit even above the lofty arguments that every individual having more (of others’ property) makes a better, more egalitarian nation. However, I still pay my FICA and social security taxes. Because I don’t practice what I preach!
I think there are a lot of Federal government programs that are not just a bad idea, such as the Department of Education or Department of Energy, but some are damn immoral (funding abortions around the world). However, I don’t deduct that percentage from my quarterly taxes because I am a damned hypocrite!
Now that we have my admission out of the way, can we separate the tax code and its thousands of pages of rulings and regulations from a reasoned discussion of principles?
No, of course not. Many of the people I discuss issues with proudly lack principles, and all they have going for them is ad homenims, tu quoques, and day-old bon mots.