For many of our readers here, it may be surprising to find that I am a veteran. It's not really something I bring up often, and typically when others do, I try to change the subject. I do have a post planned for the near future that addresses some of this, however. I enlisted when I was seventeen primarily because I knew that otherwise, I would have little chance of attending college. In hind sight, I may have been able to complete my degree with loans and the such, but the money I received from the Army helped significantly (and by money, I actually mean the $30k I had saved up during a year-long deployment in the current war, though the actual GI Bill portion was a nicer kicker every month).
Ever since the point in my life in which I seriously began to consider issues of liberty and reached my libertarian awakening, I have sometimes grappled with the fact that my education was funded with immorally extracted money. The only real way I've come to terms with it is in the knowledge that the money the government has given me will be extracted back in around three to four years of taxes alone. My working life will be significantly longer than that, so I'm still on the losing end of this deal.
However, with the recent market implosion, and with me still renting, the opportunities to buy a house seem greater than ever. As a veteran, I am eligible for a loan through the Office of Veteran Affairs. I will admit, I don't know the details very well as of yet, and before I start to look into it, I need one very important questioned answered for me.
Is it immoral for me to utilize this government faculty, though the general populace cannot? Does my argument above - that the government will make me pay many times over what I extract from them - still apply? Or is my above argument even valid in the first place?
I will say that my first instinct is that any interaction with the government is agreeing to it's validity. That is, by taking money from them, I am either willing to accept dirty money or agree that it was gotten morally. But my secondary instinct is that since the government is willing to extract my property from me at the end of a gun, I should pounce on any opportunity to take it back. What is your instinct?
Your thoughts are quite welcome.