In a speech outlining his administration’s approach to deficit reduction, U.S. President Obama hit four substantive points amidst the vast amount of rhetoric:
- Go with the spending cuts they’ve already been forced to agree to in Congressional budget negotiations.
- Order a review of military spending that might recommend some cuts to that which the administration might act on.
- Defend Obamacare on the grounds that it allegedly reduces health care costs.
- Raise taxes and call it “reduce spending in the tax code”.
What can be said about this from an anarchist perspective?
First, since anarchists advocate the abolition of the state, the financial sustainability of the state is not something we’re especially interested in. However, the harms the state may inflict in attempts to sustain itself are. Such harms may include both the revenue the state forcibly extracts and the vulnerability to privation endured by those who have been lured or herded into a status of dependency on the state. The correct approach for us to take, as anarchists, is to point to these harms and explain why they make the abolition of the state that much more of an urgent concern.
Second, the wars of the state (any state), are mass murder — so military spending is not only wasteful in its entirety but absolutely destructive. For a good overview of how legitimate defense services could be provided in the free market that would result from abolishing the state, see the second essay, “Private Defense”, from Robert Murphy’s “Chaos Theory: Two Essays on Market Anarchy” [PDF].
Third, if reducing health care costs is what you want, you need anarchy.
- Issue Brief # 001, Health Care, by Ross Kenyon
- Health Care: An Anarchist Approach, by Gary Chartier
- The Healthcare Crisis: A Crisis of Artificial Scarcity, By Kevin Carson
Fourth, taxation is theft.