PolicyBlog has moved!

Thank you for visiting, PolicyBlog has a new address.

Our new location is http://www.commonwealthfoundation.org/policyblog

Please adjust your bookmarks. Archived posts will remain here for now.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

More on Taxes, Taxes, Taxes

The Tax Foundation has released a recent poll on voters' attitudes toward taxes.   Not surprisingly, 56% say that taxes are "too high" (vs. 2% saying they are too low).  More overwhelmingly, 85% say the federal tax code is too complex (how could anyone disagree with that, given that the Treasury Secretary and half of Obama's cabinet nominees can't figure it out?), and 82% thinks the system needs to be overhauled.

As for the question "What is the maximum percentage of a person's income that should go to taxes?"  The average response was 15.6%.

Click here for the top line results, and here for a special report on the findings.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"As for the question "What is the maximum percentage of a person's income that should go to taxes?" The average response was 15.6%."That statement is very telling. The American people are so steeped in the income tax, they apparently cannot think outside the box. What if income is not the proper basis upon which to inflict a tax? Was the question(s) framed in such a way as to exclude other bases of taxation? If so, the results are worthless.

The proper percentage of INCOME based tax is ZERO PERCENT.

Alexander Hamilton, writing under the pen name "Publius" said:

"...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 them.Impositions of this kind usually fall under the denomination of indirect taxes, and must for a long time constitute the chief part of the revenue raised in this country.

[NOTE Well] Those of the direct kind, which principally relate to land and buildings, may admit of a rule of apportionment. Either the value of land, or the number of the people, may serve as a standard. The state of agriculture and the populousness of a country have been considered as nearly connected with each other. And, as a rule, for the purpose intended, numbers, in the view of simplicity and certainty, are entitled to a preference. In every country it is a herculean task to obtain a valuation of the land; in a country imperfectly settled and progressive in improvement, the difficulties are increased almost to impracticability. The expense of an accurate valuation is, in all situations, a formidable objection. In a branch of taxation where no limits to the discretion of the government are to be found in the nature of things, the establishment of a fixed rule, not incompatible with the end, may be attended with fewer inconveniences than to leave that discretion altogether at large." --Federalist No. 21

The Founders never envisioned a day when the federal goverment would be permitted to impose an unapportioned, direct tax on the people. Income based systems of taxation are immoral, used to incite class envy, divide the citizenry, and empower the government. We must thow off the yoke of unapportioned, direct, income based taxation.