Perhaps you’ve seen the video of Elizabeth Warren, hoping to be elected to the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts, in which she declaims that since roads and police and fire protection are funded through taxes, people have no real claim to their income or wealth against a government that wants to take it. After all, she says, without use of the roads or protection by the policy, people couldn’t earn income or hold onto their wealth. (By the way, I’m looking forward to part two where she explains the consequences for religious freedom entailed by the fact that church-goers drive to church on tax-funded roads.)
Some people like her way of thinking (see the comments here). But obviously her presentation will grate on the nerves of folks that believe governments are instituted to secure and protect rights rather than the wellspring of those rights in the first place.
There are a number of thoughtful (and probably many more less thoughtful) criticisms of Warren’s little speech. Perhaps the best considered response I’ve seen so far comes from Will Wilkinson at The Moral Sciences Club, “Tax and Justice: It is your money.”