“When men get in the habit of helping themselves to the property of others, they cannot be easily cured of it.” Who said it? The New York Times, in 1909, when the 16th Amendment (which authorized the federal income tax) was being debated.
Here’s another one: “. . . a vicious, inequitable, unpopular, impolitic, and socialistic act. . . . the most unreasoning and un-American movement in the politics of the last quarter-century.” The New York Times said that in 1894, when Congress first tried to impose an income tax. That effort was shot down when the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional, leading to the adoption of the 16th Amendment.
I found these quotes in a post on the Freeman blog on the web site of The Foundation for Economic Education.
A final quotation from that FEE blog post (which points out that the first income tax rates, in 1913, ranged from 1% to 7%), by Chief Justice of the United States John Marshall, in 1819: “The power to tax involves the power to destroy.” You’ll also find on the FEE web site an interesting article on the application of that axiom. The article was written in 1976, but is still relevant (maybe even more relevant) today.
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