A collection of quotes about taxes and taxation.
“Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions,
his person, his faculties or his possessions.”
“That is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has in his
personal safety and personal liberty, is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the
service of the rest.”
-- James Madison
Westbrook Pegler: New York Journal American, January 25th and 26th, 1951, under the titles: Upholds
Republic of U.S. Against Phony Democracy, Democracy in the U.S. Branded Meaningless
"A Democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of Government. It can only exist until the voters
discover they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. From that moment on the majority
always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that
Democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy, always to be followed by a Dictatorship."
-- Professor Alexander Fraser Tytler
"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the
arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be
curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public
-- Cicero (55 BC)
“Our federal tax system is, in short, utterly impossible, utterly unjust and completely
counterproductive...[it] reeks with injustice and is fundamentally un-American... it has earned a rebellion
and it’s time we rebelled.”
—- Ronald Reagan, May 1983
“Our Income Tax system is a disgrace to the human race.”
-— Jimmy Carter, 1976
“I believe that the current tax code is an abomination that cries out for vast simplification and reform.”
—- Paul O’Neill, Treasury Secretary, 2002
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The current tax code is a 60,000-page catalog of favors for special interests and a chamber of horrors for
the rest of America. ScraptheCode.org is dedicated to educating America about the broken tax code and
the need for reform.
The U.S. Tax Code has:
* 17,000 PAGES of tax regulations
* 5.5 MILLION words, many inconsistent with each other
* 569 DIFFERENT income tax forms requirements
* BILLIONS of dollars spent on tax lawyers and accountants to understand tax regulations
* The presumption of GUILT until innocence is proven
* GROWN like mad. Federal income tax code and regulations grew over eight-fold from 744,000
words in 1955 to 6,929,000 by 2000.
Our Broken Tax Code
Our current income tax system is broken. It is complex, it is unfair, it inhibits saving, investment and job
creation, it imposes a heavy burden on families, and it undermines the integrity of the democratic process.
America wastes millions of hours simply filling out tax forms. The cost is staggering. The non-partisan
Tax Foundation estimates that tax code compliance costs will amount to $368.4 billion in 2010! In other
words, for every dollar of revenue that goes to fund government spending, taxpayers pay a compliance
surcharge of 15 cents just to help the government collect taxes.
That’s an extraordinary amount of waste. Instead of slaving to satisfy the whims of Congress and the
I.R.S. bureaucracy this cost is time we could actually spend working or enjoying our friends and families.
The code is so complex because of the proliferation of deductions, credits, and other special preferences
in the tax law. Because of these loopholes, taxpayers with similar incomes can pay vastly different
amounts in taxes. This uneven treatment of taxpayers is fundamentally unfair and is at odds with the
American value of equality under the law.
The current tax code does more than complicate people’s lives during tax season and reduce living
standards. It also pollutes Washington’s political culture. As special-interest provisions have been added
to the tax code, Washington’s lobbying industry has flourished.
It reduces incomes through punitive taxes on saving, work, and entrepreneurship. It places multiple layers
of taxation on saving, thus reducing investments in new machines and technology that make American
workers more efficient and competitive. High marginal tax rates (that is, the tax rate on the last dollar
earned) discourage work, saving, and entrepreneurial activity, which leads to a smaller and less
productive economy. By favoring certain economic activities over others, the tax code distorts financial
decisions and reduces economic efficiency.
Other countries must think we’re crazy, too. By global standards, the United States has one of the most
complex tax codes in the world. The current tax code obviously undermines our competitiveness, as
American businesses tangle with an ever-growing sprawl of red tax tape.
The tax code is beyond repair. This is why want to Scrap the Code! and replace it with one that is simple,
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flat, fair, and honest.
The Federalist Papers (No. 21)
It is a signal advantage of taxes on articles of consumption that they contain in their own nature a
security against excess. They prescribe their own limit, which cannot be exceeded without defeating the
end proposed—that is, an extension of the revenue. When applied to this object, the saying is as just as it
is witty that, "in political arithmetic, two and two do not always make four." If duties are too high, they
lessen the consumption; the collection is eluded; and the product to the treasury is not so great as when
they are confined within proper and moderate bounds. This forms a complete barrier against any material
oppression of the citizens by taxes of this class, and is itself a natural limitation of the power of imposing
-- Alexander Hamilton
It does not take a majority to prevail ... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of
freedom in the minds of men.
-- Samuel Adams
A Cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as a base as itself.
-- Joseph Pulitzer
If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government,
our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.
-- Samuel Adams
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