Well, here it is, the definitive Ritchie statement that your income actually belongs to the State:
The truth is that governments spend first and then reclaims the tax spent from the economy in sufficient amount to make sure that there is sustainable growth without inflation and that goals in addressing inequality and market failure are simultaneously achieved. Viewed like that there is no logic to balancing the government’s books if to do so would result in less economic activity, more inequality, more market failure or a less sustainable future.
But as yet only some economists and central bankers are beginning to get their heads around the reality of money, and many fewer still have got their heads around the reality that tax reclaims money the government has created by spending it into the economy. What this true perspective on tax means is that tax is not a process of the government claiming money others have made, not least because (quite literally) most of us do not have the power to make money. It is instead a process of the government claiming back that which is already its own because government created that part of our income through its spending into the economy. That point also makes clear that (as I have long argued) we have no right to our gross incomes, but only to our net earnings after tax, because the tax element of our supposed earnings always belongs to the government, who literally made it by spending it into the economy in the first place.
Note the detail:
“less economic activity, more inequality, more market failure or a less sustainable future.”
The government, righteously, has an unlimited claim upon our incomes and wealth in pursuit of economic activity (presumably thus it can tax us all so much that the income effect predominates and we all work longer hours), equality (make up any tax rate of the rich you like), market failure (Ritchie hsa a very expansive view of what failure is here) and sustainability (somewhat undefined and thus rather scary).
That’s not really a world view which leaves us with all that much liberty or freedom, is it?
Oh, and do note, he’s actually got the Positive Money ideas wrong. Tax is to extract from the economy the inflation that the government spending puts into it. Under Ritchie’s formulation we can have inflation out the wazoo as long as we are pursuing inequality for example. Hello Venezuela!