Where does the author think the funding comes from in the normal situation? It's confiscated from the populace just the same. What is this elusive property of the government that makes it not a self-funding gang which is not present in any part of the government (e.g. police in this case) but present in the whole?
Obviously the latter is much more dangerous, because there's a self-reinforcing cycle where the police spend their entire time stealing, instead of doing their government-defined jobs.
Indirection is important. It allows someone to give you goals that are productive, otherwise you would just steal from your employer instead of working for them (so they would give you money).
That's completely different from have arbitrary amounts of cash confiscated from you at arbitrary times.
Does it mean the lawmakers and higher-ups in the executive branch are not sane people?
(Seriously, what kind of response are you expecting? There are so many assumptions built in to your question that you're basically asking for a summary of political philosophy).
Most people don't regard taxation as a violation of property rights.
Except that's...not happening, in one of the largest, and without doubt the most powerful, "democracies" in the world. Police do take away your property willy-nilly in the USA without trial.
Does this mean we get to stop paying taxes?
Because these people are not egotistical, anti-social assholes, but contribute their share to society instead.
Beyond that, categorizing anything as "inherently legitimate" is fraught with peril. One could perhaps surmise that all things are legitimate within a democracy, but so long as the favors of the majority come at the expense of the minority, that claim is disputable.
Beyond that, I don't really know that Rousseau's contract would invalidate a North Korean government as it exists, and North Korean citizenship precludes the option of defection.
The biggest flaw I see with the assertion that "if you want to live here, you agree to pay taxes" is that there's no opt-out policy in America as it is. If you object to the taxation, and wish to opt out, your only path is expatriation, with its associated expatriation taxes.
And yes "inherently legitimate" was a poor phrase to choose.
And I believe many founders leaned heavily on Rousseau's work. Hamilton and Madison particularly in the Federalist Papers.
And which is inherently fallacious, even going against Rousseau. Slavery as an institution was systemically agreed upon by the institution. There is no inherent legitimacy in violating the liberties of others, and while I agree that any such comparison is flawed, agreeing on slavery as an institution is no more or less legitimate due to populist demand than the insistence of taking some people's money and giving it to others.
Are there benefits? Undoubtedly; but even something mathematically proven as "good" (as if we could do such a thing) is not necessarily legitimate, however well founded the idea or the intent. That said, this is all philosophical, to be sure, but since we're waxing, may as well get fully waxed. (Don't ask me what that means, cause I have no idea.)
> And I believe many founders leaned heavily on Rousseau's work
No argument there.
Constitution, Article 1, Section 2, and Section 3, in their first paragraphs clearly define the legislative branch as a representative democracy.
But humans are notorious for allowing emotional concerns, religious beliefs, and simple self-interest override logic.
Maybe they just don't like the reverse-lottery aspect of funding the government. Rather than a lucky person getting a windfall from the government, an unlucky person loses everything to it. You can avoid the lottery by not buying tickets, but the only way to avoid the anti-lottery is by not having anything to steal. For most people, that would be a pretty miserable existence.
People want to believe that their government exists to serve their interests. They may be more upset that the government is spoiling the illusion of fairness--that the government is doing all this publicly--than the fact that the government is doing it at all. Because as bad as they might have it now, if there is a rebellion, the new boss might, in fact, be worse than the old boss.
So now, instead of being able to drive 60 mph in a 55 mph zone without being molested, they swap out the signs for 45 mph, you get pulled over for driving 46 mph, the officer "smells marijuana" when you open your window, and you lose your car. You get the ticket thrown out because the limit was still 55, despite the change of signage, but the judge rules that the cops still have reasonable cause to stop you, search your car, and seize it, because you were still driving faster than what the signs said.
Of course, the same could happen if you vote to increase funding.
The police are servants of the legislature, not the citizenry. You can't fire or demote someone who doesn't work for you.
I suppose one problem with confiscation vs. taxation involves incentives. Taxation incentivizes governments to create healthy economies to increase revenue whereas confiscation incentivizes police forces to violate property rights arbitrarily.
Another problem at present is there is much less oversight of confiscation than of taxation and maybe confiscation is less predictable than taxation.
Thats... quite a fundamental difference.
In practice, the average person has no say over who is ruling them.