I have made it a point to start doing some research in gospel teachings with respect to proper governance and taxation. My studies have shown much more can be found in the scriptures regarding this issue than I would have realized. The information is not always told in direct spiritual principle but expressed through certain events, activities and sentiments of the scriptural writers of the time.
Using the New Testament as context, a commentary was made by Howard W. Hunter with respect to publicans or tax collectors, and how people viewed taxes of the day. This article states, "Publicans were tax collectors and were looked down upon with contempt. Ordinary taxes, such as land taxes, were collected by the Roman officials; but toll taxes for transporting goods were usually collected by Jews under contract with the Romans. These collectors, or publicans, made a profit on the transactions. Their fellow countrymen had no higher regard for them than for thieves and robbers. The trade lent itself to graft and extortion, and the publicans had the reputation of having some of the tax money stick to their own fingers. The Jews were smarting under Roman occupation and domination, and they considered the payment of taxes as a tribute to Caesar."
It seems congruent to conclude that the individuals at this time in the New Testament were not fans of taxes. In one light the people viewed taxation as stealing from the people. Are today's politicians like the publicans of old? Are they making personal benefit off the taxes that we all pay? Are they not worse because rather than simply collect them, the enact and determine them? ABSOLUTELY! Without a doubt, the lobby's of today are a "legal" facilitator for our politician publicans. These acts would have been considered contemptible acts to the New Testament writers.
What of the last line of the above quote where taxes were viewed as a tribute to Caesar? Perhaps this places better in context the statement of the Savior in Matt 22:21 "Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s." Christ's staement, knowing well that all things belong to God, could be interpreted on one level as teaching the law of consecration. On another level this speaks to separation of church and state. Another interpretation could be rendered that Jesus is implying the existence of individual agency to choose whom their master is and to then demonstrate that choice through tithes to God or paying taxes to Caesar.
This concept of tributes made me wonder if this is why so many people are willing to support national health care and higher taxes as tributary worship towards Barack Obama? Do the citizens and politicians that support Barack Obama feel that higher taxes represent a high adulation of the man whom they seem to praise without fault?
Perhaps the people of today are much less conscious of such a tribute. But upon my observations of MSNBC, the Daily Show and others media outlets, along with the Obama posters and stickers praising this man before he even had a chance to be president, represents a shift from a government FOR the people, to a government FOR the president. To one interpretation, taxable programs are a tribute to the man they call Obama; quite possibly the Julius Caesar of the United States.