By Ken Matesz
Ken’s election website is at www.MateszForOhio.com.
When I decided to run for Governor of Ohio, some people close to me asked about my thoughts on the State income tax. I immediately answered that, if I had my way, I would do away with the income tax altogether. The suggestion my friends gave was that I choose a less “radical” position on the topic because, “Most people think of that stance as very unrealistic” and therefore may not take my candidacy seriously. In other words, these new advisors to my candidacy were already asking me to compromise my position for political expediency. I will not do it. Ever.
I cannot tell a lie. Now, I don’t know whether George Washington ever really did say that, but I just did. When it comes to my candidacy for governor, I will not lie for political position. What George Washington did say is that, “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” Mr. Washington, more than two centuries ago understood why I cannot support income taxes. A tax on the fruits of labor of individuals is theft – the forceful taking of what is not rightly owned.
Any person in the State of Ohio or anywhere else in these united States of America who took the earnings of another under threat of punishment would be arrested, convicted and thrown in jail. If a bully in the school yard tells another kid that he must relinquish his lunch money or face a beating after school, the bully is viewed as a fearful tyrant, a threat, perhaps even a terrorist. Yet the common person in America today is expected to relinquish anywhere from 7-35% of his earnings to IRS belligerence.
The argument, from those who think abolishing income taxes is wishful thinking, is that if we don’t have the income tax, we will not be able to “get” the various “services” that the State of Ohio provides. Those who wage this argument have forgotten that there was no individual State income tax in Ohio as recently as 1971. That’s right; the Ohio income tax is less than forty years old. All of my peers and their parents actually lived during a period when there was no State income tax in Ohio.