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That is how problems always look at first


Image: The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle

When four men seized the miller's sack of meal, the miller shouted, "Do me no harm. . .ye are upon Robin Hood's ground, and should he find you seeking to rob an honest craftsman, he will clip your ears to your heads and scourge you even to the walls of Nottingham."

Some people are trying to equate a government that takes money from you and gives it to someone else to Robin Hood. Not so. Robin Hood stole from the Sheriff of Nottingham and from rich clergy - the tax men - to return their money to those who had earned it. His target was rapacious government.

It's hard to keep track of all the taxes today - income taxes, sales taxes, VATs, council taxes, property taxes, gas taxes, phone taxes. . . And the invisible, unseen tax.

The invisible tax makes entrepreneurs reluctant to start or expand businesses and makes jobs harder to find. The invisible tax is the overall combination of taxes and regulations. It hurts families and attacks the dignity of men and women trying and failing to find work. This invisible tax makes everything you buy more expensive. It can become so terrible that you need more and more money to buy less as the government goes into the business of printing money to fund spending it cannot pay for.

Just as King John and the Sheriff of Nottingham lied to the people, so does modern government, which told working people that their retirement and health care would be covered by their taxes. Understandably, people believed them, and they have a right to see this implicit contract kept.

What they were not told was that the government would take their money and spend it on something else. What they were not told was that the costs of retirement and medical spending would grow so huge there would be no way to pay for the promised services even if they had not already spent the money on someone and something else. What they were not told was that their grandkids would be forced to pay heavy taxes for their grandparents, with little hope that they in turn would receive promised services.

I doubt that tax and rate payers think I am too hard on the government, since they have seen that in Britain and America the government gave big, failing businesses hand-outs at our expense.

This was wrong in Robin Hood's time, and it's wrong today, and the problem has grown so huge it seems impossible to remedy. But that is how problems always look at first.

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