I do not find it to be fact that tax-payers fund government spending, which obviously includes welfare and grants, nor do tax-payers fund anything else other than investing in their ability to make more money.
The reason for this is because the normal or economic question of where ‘funds’ come from usually assumes that everything starts with ‘money’ and before this there was nothing.
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Let’s change this to, which came first, money or taxes? If taxes came first, what was taxed? If money came first, then where did it come from if not from taxes?
Whilst it may be that some may argue that our money system comes from a metals (gold, silver, copper etc) based system, and hence, it was the metal money which was taxed first in order for government to be able to spend it back into the economy, this does not address what gave this metal money value to begin with or even where this metal money came from.
Many economists and historians rely on a theory that before money, as a medium of exchange, there was barter. Even if this were true, what they fail to highlight is that in order to barter in a fashion which would suggest bartering was a precursor to money, then people who bartered must have ‘owned’ that which they were bartering.
There is no point suggesting that bartering (if it was a precursor to money as a medium of exchange) was based on a gift economy only to then say that money replaced it, because money can not be based on a gift economy – this means, bartering to function, if it did ever exist as a precursor to money, must have relied on a legal system in order to protect the ownership rights of those who bartered and their products.
In order for this legal system to have existed there must have been a government with courts, police, regulators, law makers etc – and all of this requires payment. Now, the question to those who rely on such a theory is, what funded this legal system if it was not money?
Whatever the reality is regarding bartering and metal based money, none of this could have functioned without a legal system, and whatever it was that the government received in taxes in order to pay for this legal system, it only had value because of the fact that the government accepted it in taxes.
Whatever form of government it is, it must have existed before money, because it is only a government which can create and regulate a legal system, and no form of ‘legal exchange’ system based on ownership can exist without a legal system.
Therefore, Gold, seashells, paper, widgets, tally sticks, whatever it is you want to think of, can only be money if first it is capable of ownership, which requires a legal system and a government, and if that same government accepts it in payment of taxes, and it is only going to accept it as taxes because it does so by fiat and it regulates, or attempts to regulate, its value, and as a result, money must come first before taxes. Therefore, taxes do not and can not fund government spending except in a superficial way.
This brings me to my next point. Whilst at some stage in history it was possible people were born into a time where land ownership did not exist, and the means by which to find food did not require licenses, permission etc to hunt, forage, and even grow food, this simply does not exist anymore in most civilized parts of the world.
This means, you as an individual born into a civilized world have absolutely no means of access to any resource whatsoever in order to sustain yourself other than through relations with other people and legal entities. The problem with this is that you are legally and morally obligated to provide for yourself, yet, land ownership has made that impossible for you unless you form legal relations and subject yourself to conditions which require you to exchange, and thus sell, your time and energy for money.
According to the World Bank, in 2014, there was .195 hectares, which is 1/2 an acre, of arable land per person in the world. Further, the amount of agricultural land and forestry land is almost 7 times this amount.
The point here is that per person alone, there is 3 1/2 acres of land which can sustain life to some extent. As most people do not live alone, we can extend that to a family or small group and say that for a family of 10 (3 generations worth) there is 35 acres of life sustaining land. Does a group of 10 need 35 acres for purposes outside of commerce? The answer it most certainly no.
Therefore, because all land is now owned, and that because we as humans are legally and morally obligated to provide for ourselves, and because there is no access to resources to fulfill this obligation except by forming legal relations, selling our time and exchanging it for money, and thus burdening government, and finally, because land is useless without labour, and labour is useless without land, I find, it is all those who do not have access to land are the ones who have funded all those who own land.
Many will argue that land owners own and are entitled to their land because they have paid for it. But this payment is a fiction because money only comes from convincing others they need to buy your product or service, and no one would need to go to all that trouble of convincing others they need to buy their products or services if they had access to resources to sustain their lives to begin with.
Add to this the fact that most of what we produce now as part of an ‘economy’ is not stuff we need but stuff we want. Meaning, a persons ability to provide for themselves outside of forming legal relations is even more restricted because much of our resources are now tied up in creating luxuries and wants instead of needs.
Who funds who? I find that it is those who demand less in the way of legal rights (including wealth, relations, etc) are the ones who fund those who enjoy more in the way of legal rights; and as tax-payers are the very definition of an entity who enjoys legal rights, they do not fund anything, except from a superficial perspective, and it is those who enjoy less (relatively speaking) who fund the tax-payers.
So with this said, there can be no factual grounds upon which to suggest that this model which I am suggesting comes at the expense of the tax-payer – it is not possible.