Some Thoughts On Taxes
Adam Smith, in discussing taxes on property, wrote:
“While property remains in the possession of the same person, whatever permanent taxes may have been imposed upon it, they have never been intended to diminish or take away any part of its capital value, but only some part of the revenue arising from it . . .”
The original idea of the income tax was not to deprive citizens of their savings nor to diminish their possessions but to raise revenue for the use of government. The new taxes imposed by the inequitably taxed President are actually reducing the possibility of savings and therefore of coming into possession of property. The present taxes involve not only a redistribution of earned wealth but a confiscation of earnings.
KARL MARX AIMED to abolish love of country so that the world revolution would come more quickly. Whereas in the United States the theory of life was that there would be a constant improvement, so that workers would own their own homes, buy their own insurance policies, even go into business for themselves. Karl Marx really hoped for increased poverty so that the proletariat would be more numerous.
In America, the aim was to increase the middle class; Marx sought to abolish the middle class.
Harold Laski put these ideas in this language:
“. . . If Communists are charged with seeking to abolish love of country, the Manifesto answers that workers can have no country until they are emancipated from bourgeois domination; with their acquisition of political power, the hostility between nations will disappear. So also, it will change traditional ideas in religion and philosophy. Since it puts experience on a new basis, it will change the ideas which are their expression.”
In a word, Communists seek, in every respect, to abolish our world as we have known it for at least 5,000 years.
AMONG THE MEASURES WHICH MARX advocated for the accomplishment of the revolution were these (the numbers are his; there were altogether 10):
“1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
“2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
“3. Abolition of all right of inheritance.
“5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.
“6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of state.”
(It will be noted that since 1848, when this list was published, many so-called Capitalist countries have accepted Marx’s program.)
The income tax is high on the list. The graduated income tax can reduce the individual to a constantly lowering standard of living. It can prevent savings by leaving nothing over after living expenses. The tax guarantees poverty.
When to the income tax is added a complex system of excises and hidden taxes, it is possible for government to arrange for an economy which permits the appearance of high wages and even high prices while all the time the standard of life is being depreciated and the middle class is being squeezed out of existence.
IN THIS COUNTRY, we are now observing precisely this process, particularly as it affects the white collar and professional classes. For them, very little hope of self-improvement is left. Their doom is to find rated jobs in government, jobs which pay little, permit of no initiative, require featherbedding to survive and end in a low standard retirement pension. If that is pie in the sky, it certainly is not of the American dream.
If we complain that too many Americans are on the government payroll, we are in error. For if we permit our white collar and cultural classes to be taxed out of opportunity for self-improvement, they must take government jobs as no others are available to them. In the past, such Americans made their own opportunities out of their ingenuity, their ability to save or to borrow from their neighbors. They were not inhibited by government through taxes.
IN A WORD, THE REVOLUTION which the New Deal under Harry Hopkins introduced and the Fair Deal under Leon Keyserling seeks to complete is being accomplished with even greater skill than Lenin exhibited in Russia. The Bolsheviks employed terror and murder and confiscation as weapons.
The American revolution is being accomplished by means of taxes, principally the income tax, by premeditated wasteful expenditure of the people’s money, and by depreciating the currency. And the revolutionists can truthfully say that it is done with our consent. We authorized the revolution by our votes.
(c 1951, King Features Syndicate, Inc.)
Tucson Daily Citizen (Tucson, Arizona) Nov 8, 1951