Richard W. Rahn notes on Cato.org (also published in the Washington Times on April 9th, 2012):
Americans, now 236 years removed from the Declaration of Independence, have acquiesced to far more tax tyranny — and I do not use that word lightly — than the British tax tyranny that ignited our revolt.
Modern-day apologists for the progressive income tax argue that it is just — because it is imposed by the “consent of the governed” — and that is merely their first lie. America was established as a constitutional republic to protect despised minorities from the tyranny of the democratically elected majority. Democracy and consent of the governed are distinctly different concepts. Once it becomes acceptable to divide a population into classes, majorities can easily take the right of consent from a minority. Did black Americans, despite living in a democratic country, consent to being forced to ride in the back of the bus before the civil rights movement? Democratic countries have been known to place higher taxes on religious minorities — without their consent. Racial, religious and ethnic discrimination may be out of fashion, but discrimination based on occupation and income is quite in fashion — and equally despicable.
The United States has the most progressive (i.e., unequal) tax system in the world. The bottom 50 percent of income earners, on average, receives more in tax benefits than they pay in taxes — while the highest earners pay a wildly disproportionate amount of their income in taxes — despite the myth that Warren Buffett has a lower tax rate than his secretary. A progressive income tax only meets the test of “consent of the governed” when a majority of each class of taxpayers consents to its tax rate. Otherwise, it is tax tyranny of a low-tax-rate majority against a vote-poor, high-tax-rate minority. The apologists for the progressive income tax claim it is only “fair,” ignoring the fact there is nothing at all “fair” about taxing at a higher tax rate those who work longer and harder and/or spend more time acquiring an education and work skills. It is destructive and tyrannical for a society to tax the most productive, innovative and job-creating people at a higher rate than others.
Chris Future of Freedom Bunker expressed similar ideas:
One of the reasons I moved to the US was to escape from the ridiculous tax burden we had up there in Canada – the moment I came across the border, my tax rate cut in half for a comparable salary. Back in Canada, both my wife at the time and I had to work in order to barely make ends meet, could barely cover the mortgage, only had one car, and after all of the income and sales taxes, both visible and hidden, we had no savings left.
He goes on to state that since then, his rates have gone up to the point that he’s back to where he started.
We live in an era where the rhetoric is “the rich don’t pay enough.” The reality is, nearly half of American’s don’t pay an income tax. Yet everybody is screaming about the 1% don’t pay their “fair share.” If you want to get technical, there is nothing fair about half the country not paying anything.
So, what then is fair? Well, the Fair Tax is a start. But ultimately, I would like to see an end to the personal income tax.
What say you?