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Topic: Taxes, Matches 17 quotes.



But everybody seems still to pin faith to economic and technological reconstructions. We hear much about elevating the standard of living of peoples. But almost exclusively those improvements seem to be conceived of as providing more things—greater physical satisfactions, greater ease, more leisure, less work, more guarantees of physical security. Long ago Jesus taught that “life consisteth not in the abundance of the things one possesseth” and that “life is more than meat and the body more than raiment.” Principles are pushed aside in the interest of immediate gain. When the American colonies were having their disputes with the mother country, the latter fixed it so that they could buy their tea and pay the tax cheaper than they could smuggle the tea in without tax. It was thought this would beguile them into yielding and paying the inconsequential tax. But the colonists were standing for a principle. If they could be subjected to a small tax, they could, when the custom was firmly established, be subjected to a larger tax. They resisted and took the consequences. That is the essence of spiritual supremacy. What is needed today in Christendom is a revived faith in the spiritual basis upon which it was built rather than more machines and things. Devotion to principle rather than victims of the bribery of easy satisfaction through immediate gain!

The war is not the cause of the world’s trouble; it is only the outward manifestation of an inner decay. When the war is over, the trouble will not be over, which is the reason for the great concern about the postwar world. The world will still have the spiritual sickness, which is the real cause of the war, to deal with. The moods and notions which have permeated the minds of men cannot be shot with bullets. They will still be rampant when the fighting is over. We may not flatter ourselves that they are confined to the aggressor countries. In one degree or another they have penetrated into all lands. They are doing their work of corroding, corrupting, undermining, destroying.

You can’t pick up peace and put it on people; it is a state of the spirit. You can’t hand over liberty or freedom as a gift to people who are not spiritually prepared to receive it. Disputes about means of accomplishing ends agreed upon are of little consequence, but when the ends themselves are in dispute you have a difference that goes right into the heart and spirit of things.

And the disputes which divide the peoples of the world today are disputes about ends, about the whole spirit that governs in human relationships. Nothing but spiritual unity will work the cure.

And that spiritual essence must rest in a power standing above all to command their allegiance. It must rest in God.

Source: Elder Albert E. Bowen
General Conference, April 1945

Topics: America, History; Christianity; Morality; Taxes



The Function of Protectionism

The main function of tariffs and other protectionist devices today is to disguise the real effects of interventionist policies designed to raise the standard of living of the masses. Economic nationalism is the necessary complement of these popular policies which pretend to improve the wage earners’ material well-being while they are in fact impairing it.

Source: Ludwig von Mises
Human Action

Topics: Taxes



Taxing Our Children

The voters of one period should not tax those of a later period. Those of the later period are not represented in the instant taxing body, and hence today’s taxation of the citizens of tomorrow distinctly violates the principle of taxation by representation of those who pay the taxes. This means that to increase its expenditures government should not incur debt, because the burden of its redemption is thereby imposed on future taxpayers.

Source: Bradford B. Smith

Topics: Taxes



Perverted Law Causes Conflict

As long as it is admitted that the law may be diverted from its true purpose—that it may violate property instead of protecting it—then everyone will want to participate in making the law, either to protect himself against plunder or to use it for plunder. Political questions will always be prejudicial, dominant, and all-absorbing. There will be fighting at the door of the Legislative Palace, and the struggle within will be no less furious. To know this, it is hardly necessary to examine what transpires in the French and English legislatures; merely to understand the issue is to know the answer.

Is there any need to offer proof that this odious perversion of the law is a perpetual source of hatred and discord; that it tends to destroy society itself? If such proof is needed, look at the United States [in 1850]. There is no country in the world where the law is kept more within its proper domain: the protection of every person’s liberty and property. As a consequence of this, there appears to be no country in the world where the social order rests on a firmer foundation. But even in the United States, there are two issues—and only two—that have always endangered the public peace.

Slavery and Tariffs Are Plunder

What are these two issues? They are slavery and tariffs. These are the only two issues where, contrary to the general spirit of the republic of the United States, law has assumed the character of plunder.

Slavery is a violation, by law, of liberty. The protective tariff is a violation, by law, of property.

Its is a most remarkable fact that this double legal crime—a sorrowful inheritance of the Old World—should be the only issue which can, and perhaps will, lead to the ruin of the Union. It is indeed impossible to imagine, at the very heart of a society, a more astounding fact than this: The law has come to be an instrument of injustice. And if this fact brings terrible consequences to the United States—where only in the instance of slavery and tariffs—what must be the consequences in Europe, where the perversion of law is a principle; a system?

The Law Defends Plunder

But it does not always do this. Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Thus the beneficiaries are spared the shame, danger, and scruple which their acts would otherwise involve. Sometimes the law places the whole apparatus of judges, police, prisons, and gendarmes at the service of the plunderers, and treats the victim—when he defends himself—as a criminal. In short, there is a legal plunder.

Source: Frederic Bastiat
The Law

Topics: Law; Legal Plunder; Taxes



Unrestrained Government

History books most often say the war was fought to free the slaves. But that idea is brought into serious question by Abraham Lincoln’s repeated disclaimer: “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.” The real causes had more to do with problems similar to those the nation faces today—a federal government that has escaped the limits of the Constitution.

John C. Calhoun expressed that concern in his famous Fort Hill Address of July 26, 1831, when he was Andrew Jackson’s vice president. Calhoun, who later became a senator from South Carolina, said, “Stripped of all its covering, the naked question is, whether ours is a federal or consolidated government; a constitutional or absolute one; a government resting solidly on the basis of the sovereignty of the States, or on the unrestrained will of a majority; a form of government, as in all other unlimited ones, in which injustice, violence, and force must ultimately prevail.”

Calhoun, like Jefferson, feared Washington, D.C.‘s usurpation of powers constitutionally held by the people and the states (“consolidation”). For example, of the tariffs enacted to protect Northern manufacturers, Calhoun said that “an undue proportion of the burden of taxation has been imposed on the South, and an undue proportion of its proceeds appropriated to the North.”

Import duties extracted far more from the South than from the North, and Southerners complained of having to pay either high prices for northern-made goods or high tariffs on foreign-made goods. They also complained about federal laws not dissimilar to the Navigation Acts that helped bring on the War for Independence.

Source: Walter E. Williams
The Freeman, January 1999, pp. 63-64

Topics: Civil War; Government, Loss of Freedom; Slavery; Taxes



Capital levies, inheritance and estate taxes, and income taxes are . . . self-defeating if carried to extremes.

It is one of the characteristic features of the market economy that the government does not interfere with the market phenomena and that its technical apparatus is so small that its maintenance absorbs only a modest fraction of the total sum of the individual citizens’ income. Then taxes are an appropriate vehicle for providing the funds needed by the government. They are appropriate because they are low and do not perceptibly disarrange production and consumption. If taxes grow beyond a moderate limit, they cease to be taxes and turn into devices for the destruction of the market economy....

[T]he true crux of the taxation issue is to be seen in the paradox that the more taxes increase, the more they undermine the market economy and concomitantly the system of taxation itself. Thus, the fact becomes manifest that ultimately the preservation of private property and confiscatory measures are incompatible: Every specific tax, as well as a nation’s whole tax system, becomes self-defeating above a certain height of the rates.

Source: Ludwig von Mises
Human Action, pp. 740-741

Topics: Government, Limited; Taxes



People are beginning to realize that the apparatus of government is costly. But what they do not know is that the burden falls inevitably on them.

Source: Frederic Bastiat

Topics: Government, Spending; Taxes



Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages.

Source: H. L. Mencken

Topics: Taxes



All the taxes paid over a lifetime by the average American are spent by the government in less than a second.

Source: Jim Fiebig

Topics: Taxes

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