Chapter 6. The Capitalist Take on Taxes: Keep Taxes Low and Equal

A rashly idealistic man named Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. said that “taxes are what we pay for a civilized society.” That was before the United States had an income tax, but the Internal Revenue Service liked that line so much it chiseled the words in stone on its headquarters in Washington, D.C., where the words shame resentful taxpayers to this day. The price is a good deal higher than Holmes could have imagined in 1904, and society has become much less civilized than it was back then.

One third of national income is taken in taxes. A research and lobbying group called the Tax Foundation converts this ratio into what it calls a national emancipation day, known as Tax Freedom Day. ...

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