Gary North on current economic affairs and investment marketsGary North -- Specific Answers
HomeContact MeTell a FriendText SizeSearchMember Area
Gain immediate access to all of our current articles, the question-and-answer forums, dozens of free books, and article archives. Click here for details on how to join.

About This Site
Academic Gaps
Capitalism and the Bible
Christian Economics
Clichés of Protectionism
College Finances
Debt Management
Ellen Brown: Critique
Federal Reserve Charts
Gary North's Free Books
Get Published Here!
Gold Price & My Report
Keynes Project
One Lesson
Price Index (U.S.A.)
Questions for Jim Wallis
Remnant Review
Social Security/Medicare
Sustained Revival
Tea Party Economist
U.S. Debt Clock
Yield Curve
Your YouTube Channel
Gary North's Miscellany
Budgeting for Wealth
Business Start-Up
Career Advancement
Digital Tools
Education That Works
Evernote: Free Notes
Federal Reserve Policy
Fireproof Your Job
Goal-Setting for Success
Great Default
Inheritance Strategies
International Investing
Investment Basics
Job and Calling
Keynesian Economics
Marketing Case Studies
Precious Metals
Real Estate
Safe Places
State of the Economy
Stocks and Bonds
Study Habits
Video Channel Profits
Members' Free Manuals
Our Products
Contact Me
Tell a Friend
Text Size
Your Account
My 100% Guarantee
Privacy Policy
Terms of Use

This site powered by MemberGate

Taxation in the Bible

Gary North
Printer-Friendly Format

There is no discussion in the Bible of the proper limits of taxation. Taxation should therefore be discussed in terms of achieving other biblical goals and enforcing other biblical principles.

The supreme biblical goal of taxation is to finance a civil government that is incapable of doing more than the Bible says it should. If it is capable of doing more, it will. This is basic to fallen man: to be as God (Gen. 3:5). The state should be limited in a way analogous to the limits placed on the king in Deuteronomy 17. So, the biblical goal of modern politics is to shrink the state -- all branches -- to levels consistent with the biblical concept of civil government: negative sanctions only. The welfare state must be de-funded.

Taxation therefore should be discussed, above all, in terms of limiting the expansion of the state, especially the central government.

R. J. Rushdoony argued that Exodus 30 -- a man's payment of half a shekel upon reaching age 20 -- was a head tax. He was incorrect. The payment went to the priests, not to a civil magistrate ("captain"). The tip-off was that it was calculated as a shekel of the sanctuary, which was a separate, ecclesiastical coin. This was blood money. It was paid on a man's entry into God's holy army, which was both priestly and civil. I discuss this in Chapter 32 of Tools of Dominion: The Case Laws of Exodus (1990).

What about the income tax? Is it biblical? The principle that civil government should tax income was honored by Egypt under the Pharaoh (20% -- a tyranny: Gen. 47) and Israel's kings (10% -- a tyranny: I Sam. 8:14, 17). There is no other mention of the income tax in the Bible. Conclusion: tyrannical governments prefer to tax income.


One supposed limitation on the central government is the structure of federalism: maintaining local political sovereignties. It has not worked, because federalism has been undermined.

In the United States, it was undermined by not placing enough limits on the Supreme Court. For example, the other branches of the national government should have a veto over the Court: the signature of the the President and a three-quarters vote of each branch of Congress.

Federalism was also undermined by the results of the Civil War: political and judicial centralization.

Finally, it was undermined by its claim (false) that the voters had ratified the 16th amendment to the Constitution in 1913, authorizing a Federal income tax. In Great Britain, this came in 1911. World War I (1914-17) solidified taxation at levels far more oppressive than the Pharaoh of Egypt collected.

The Articles of Confederation (1781) had the correct approach: no taxation of individuals by the national government. It was this that Alexander Hamilton correctly saw had to be overturned in order to establish an American empire, which he wanted to achieve. He argued explicitly that the central government needed far more money. He argued in Federalist 12 in favor of import taxes and taxes on liquor because they would be easier to collect than taxes on farmers. He argued, therefore, not for a principle of limiting national revenues, but rather for the central government's greater ease of tax collection in order to increase its revenue. From that day until this, most American politicians have adopted this principle of taxation: ease of collection.

The Constitutional Convention of 1787 was a conspiracy against the concept of a limited central government. In justifying the proposed Constitution against constitutionally decentralized political power (the Articles), Federalist 30 through 36, all written by Hamilton, promoted the concept of the central government's concurrent taxation of the people, along with the states. This was what the Articles prohibited in order to make difficult the creation of a centralized empire. This had to be overturned in order to create a new empire, which Hamilton favored. It was, and it did.

So, a practical application of biblical civil government is this principle: no concurrent taxation. Each level of civil government above the local must tax only that level of government beneath it. Tax increases above the local level of civil government must come at the expense of intermediate civil governments -- politicians and bureaucrats -- and not at the expense of the people.

The first and most important goal of taxation is to see to it that only a local government taxes people and businesses directly. This keeps higher levels of government out of the pocketbooks of residents. If a business does business inside a local jurisdiction, it pays a tax locally. This is why a sales tax is ideal. A business collects the sales tax from local residents and sends the money to that jurisdiction.

Biblical principle of taxation: Every higher level of civil government must tax only the next lower level. No tax should be paid directly by residents to any level of civil government above the city or county, whichever local voters have chosen as the originating tax jurisdiction under which they live. All higher levels must tax only the next lower level. The Federal government taxes the states; the states tax the counties; the counties tax cities or county residents.

Implementation: A flat rate income tax at this level is not prohibited biblically, just so long as it does not reach the 10% level (I Sam. 8:14, 17). However, it is unlikely politically to remain biblically restrained. Voters will seek to tax higher-income residents at a higher rate: a denial of the rule of law (Ex. 12:49). A sales tax is much better for both personal privacy and judicial equity: an inherently flat tax. Everyone pays the same. A sales tax also does not tax capital and profits, which in turn spurs investment and economic growth.

Printer-Friendly Format

 Tip of the Week
Sign up for my free
Tip of the Week
Verification Characters:    Type     E  9  U  G  F     here   

Tip of the week archives
On what this icon
means, and how it
can help you,
click here
 Q & A Forums
General Q&A Forum
Advertising and Resumés
American History Topics
Backyard Food Gardening
Banking and Politics
Blog Sites and Web Sites
Books Worth Reading
Bumper Sticker Slogans
Business Forum
Buying Smart
Christian Service Forum
College -- The Cheap Way
Education Alternatives
Food Storage
For Women Only
GNC Benefits
GNC Testimonials
Gold and Silver
Great Default Forum
Health and Diet
Health Insurance
Investments Forum
Iran War
Job, Calling, and Career
Leadership Development
Legacy Building
Less Dependent Living
Local Political Action
Non-Retirement Forum
One Good Idea
Police State
Public Speaking
Real Estate Forum
Remnant Review Forum
Safe Places Forum
Taxation Policy
Typographical Errors
Video Production Basics

Reality Check
 Discussion Forum
Search Discussion

Recent Forum Posts
• Negative interest rates
• Looking for educational material
• Safe currencies to hold
• Benjamin Graham?
• A Motif masochist investor asks
• "Asset Based Long Term Care" annuities
• Buying pipelines at the next crash
• RE:Concierge Doctor
• Discover Bank 0.9% APR?
• getting out of the euro
• Amazing Dollar Strength
• Stuck in 401K. Help!
• Currency Wars
• Need Any Adjustments?
• What is the third question?
• Developing a mobile home park
• Word press plug in
• Rent controls in mass inflation:where to go?
• How to calculate ROI for a rental property?
• How should I sell a house?
• location Vs. amenities
• DFW Real Estate - Bubble Economy
• Rental houses: cash flow
• RentoMeter site
• Renting individual Rooms vs. Whole house
• Are real estate agents driving this phenomenon?
• Intro to Real Estate
• best-and-worst-m arkets-for-rent al-returns
• Establishing a rental farm away from where I live
• 9 out 10 Most Expensive Cities are in California
• US Pop update: 78% pop decline by 2025 !
• Price Book- End of America
• Time to leave America while you still can ?
• Impact Fees for New Florida Residents
• New Hampshire and Florida
• Ecuador and PR
• Survivor library
• Missle Silo converted to Condos
• Does the South suck?
• Moving TO the US?
• No City for Old People
• Will you die getting to your bug out location?
• teaching English overseas - some questions
• The state with the most Liberty
• Switzerland and Firearms
• Kurzweil on Financial Times
• Why is this fantasy world stuff?
• One change could help saving for retirement
• Forced retirement - lump sum - legal work
• Moving Retirement Funds
• Sudden Wealth Advice
• Sudden Wealth Advice
• Question on Traditional Pensions
• advice on how do I interact with my older parents?
• Do You Sincerely Want to Be Rich? Why?
• Req. For No 401(k)/Other Pensions via Relocatio
• Cashing out 401K to pay student debt?
• SS @ 62 and still working
• Desolation or Prosperity?
• I take it Retirement Armageddon is not available
• How to get rid of comments on YouTube
• Is this the apocalypse? ask locals.
• Negative bank interest in US -Booming stock market
• Psychological Principle.
• My local plumber and yellow page advertising
• Turing Test for Financial Advisor
• Jade Helm 15
• Broken Window Minimum Wage Churchill Discussion
• I'm at a Checkpoint
• What's Holding Homeschooling Back?
• Buying Rental Properties
• Wikipedia: Dr North has missed the point
• marketing question
• The Industry in Which Costs and Revenues....
• How to Overcome Fear
• A Low-Cost Weekend Business to Retire Into
• Questions for small business owners
• Leasing Question
• New Motor Technbology
• MBA programs that get you where you want to go
• a different marketing - using academia
• Video Interview Equipment
• Beginner Business Structure
• Apply 80/20
• Good Recruiting wins Championships = $$$
• Meeting with the State
• Family earns $1 Million from YouTube vids
• Customer Service and Ethics Still Rule?
• Business Loans Question
• The life value of a customer ?