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No taxpayers = No government


Several months ago, I wrote a series of articles about the indispensability and essentiality of the taxpayers in our political system.  I even boldly advocated for a Fiscal Coup to be launched solely for the purpose of cleansing or purging the public bureaucracy of all kinds of grafters, corrupters, thieves, plunderers, swindlers, and other fiscal felons. I coined the term fiscal sovereignty which in my point of view is invisibly but potentially greater than political, legislative, and judicial sovereignties. This is so because without fiscal sovereignty, the three other sovereignties cannot exist unless the political system is tax-free and a self-sustaining governmental machinery. Fiscal sovereignty as I had explained before emanates directly and generically from the taxpaying citizenry.

Although fiscal sovereignty at this stage of its evolution and usage, is still understandably incomprehensible to the large majority of our people, this may assume greater perceptibility, cognition, and relevance if we relate it to the political concept of “people,“ one of the four elements of a state from which sovereignty is generally accepted and upheld to  emanate doctrinally in a democracy. In our tri-partite political system in which the affairs of government are run by three co- equal branches, the essential and indispensable source of its functional or operative existence is unfortunately not underscored but only taken as a non-essential component of one elemental concept of statehood, “people.” If we analyze meticulously all the four component elements of a state, three of these are interrelated, co-existent, and inseparable. These are “people, sovereignty, and government.” The element that is distinctly separate but fundamentally necessary for the three other elements to exist is “territory.”

The other fundamental element of the state is “people.” Sovereignty and government are just secondary elements in the sense that without people there can be no sovereignty or government to talk about. People and territory are the natural and physical elements of the state. Sovereignty and government are the political and philosophical components which spring from its mother physical element known in our political system as “people.”  Factually and originally, the concepts of “sovereignty” and “government” are intellectual creations of people as necessary instrument of security, defense, diplomacy, and independence from other politically organized nations of the world. These ideological elements evolved over a long period of time along the path of human existence and civilization. Along the path of human existence, is also the history of all known forms and structures of government from the simplest to the most complex, from the reign of one man to the rule of the people, from the law of the jungle to the rule of law.

The four elements cited above would have been complete and sufficient for the recognition and conferment of the statehood status on any nation if within these integral components exists also the operational and perpetuating inherent capacity to perform its multifarious  day-to-day functions, duties, and obligations which was originally and historically provided by working class who produced the fiscal and logistical requirements out of the raw materials drawn from its territory in a communistic or totalitarian form of government. But in a democracy where the people is held to be the ultimate source of sovereignty and the government itself, not all  contribute fiscally to sustain the entire political system which is constitutionally composed of the three co-equal branches , the Legislative, Executive and Judicial. While it may be argued that legislative branch has been empowered by the people through its elected legislators to pass laws to collect all kinds of taxes from goods, services, and businesses, the final approving authority is just the President or the Chief Executive of any government unit. While consultations are conducted before these pieces of tax legislations are signed into laws, the greater majority of the people hardly have any idea about what these statutory matters are and for what purposes they were crafted, passed, and approved

In our constitutional democracy, the legislative branch created consciously or unconsciously another element of the state which is exclusively the indispensable and fundamental source of the entire existence of our political system- the Taxpayers. I do not know whether, as a collegial body, Congress had realized that creating this invisible essential fiscal resource, they had also created an invisible and informal supreme power capable of instantaneous dissolution or extinction of the entire political infrastructure of the Republic of the Philippines. Of course, the external and kinetic manifestation of this sovereignty has not yet been exercised in our political history. The “people power” phenomenon which successfully deposed a dictator was a general uprising involving all segments and generations of society. The uprising or revolt against a generally tyrannical and corrupt government exclusively and collectively staged by the taxpayers could entirely be different.

While the judicial branch exercises punitive functions for the non-payment of tax, dishonest disclosure of tax-due, and tax evasion, the government has no reserved moral power to prevent or quell a general uprising of taxpayers on account of the systemic or widespread graft and corruption of their collective fiscal wealth. In other words, the government is rendered powerless and incapacitated instantaneously or gradually, if the entire body of tax-paying inhabitants of this country will solidly declare not to pay their taxes because of the massive and unbridled graft and corruption prevalent in all the echelons and branches of government. And this may even happen without taking to the streets or any other forms of mass movements or actions. The revolt takes the form of complete stoppage of taxes, period. The whole machinery of government will be likened to an engine which has suddenly run out of fuel. When the boiling, kindling, tipping, saturation, and triggering points will come, only the circumstances and prevailing political realities will tell.

When the ideological existence of democracy is threatened, the TAXPAYERS are its ultimate life support system. The life-sustaining equation in our democracy is: NO TAXPAYERS=NO GOVERNMENT! Ultimately, the only sovereignty to reckon with for the survival of our political system is fiscal sovereignty collectively lodged informally and invisibly in the taxpayers of this country.

So Public Officials, beware of the taxpayers! Remember your official umbilical cords are delicately attached to them. Collectively they serve as the “goose that lays the golden eggs” and the “milking cow” of the Philippine political system. They are your real employers and feeding bottles in public offices.

By Clem M. Bascar

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