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  Quotations - Tax  
[Quote No.33180] Need Area: Money > Tax
"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy... [Therefore restrained taxation and spending policies are vital to any rational government truly concerned about the long-term welbeing of its citizens]." - Alexander Fraser Tytler
Scottish lawyer and writer, 1770.
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[Quote No.33252] Need Area: Money > Tax
"He who has his thumb on the purse has the power." - Otto von Bismarck
Statesman, known as the iron chancellor, who created the modern Germany.
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[Quote No.33253] Need Area: Money > Tax
"[It is a person, with very little knowledge of history, who does not think that very responsible financial management of taxing and fiscal spending by governments is critical to the stability of countries - just as living within their means and minimising debt and risk is to companies, banks, individuals and families.] It is worth remembering that upheavals in Europe triggered the economic malaise that made the Great Depression 'Great'. Although 1929 is etched into history as being synonymous with the Great Depression, the real tragedy did not get underway until 1931. The Austrian bank Boden-Kredit-Anstalt was rendered insolvent in the aftermath of the late 1920s credit boom. It was 'saved' in October 1929 by merging with the stronger Oesterreichische-Credit-Anstalt. An international syndicate headed by the Rothschild's of Vienna, and including J.P Morgan and Company, injected new capital into the merged entity. The Austrian Government guaranteed the bad debts of the old bank and the merged entity spent 1930 'muddling through'. But then in May 1931, the Credit-Anstalt bank collapsed. Some blamed the political climate at the time, with the economic union between Germany and Austria (Zollverein) spooking France. Others simply stated that Austria had 'consumed its capital', with the result that a banking collapse was inevitable. Whatever the reason, the collapse of Credit-Anstalt triggered a run on German banks by French and US creditors, leading to the forced closure of the German banking system. London financiers were heavily exposed to German banks and industry, and were caught out by the banking sector shutdown, which effectively froze their assets. This in turn caused panic amongst London's foreign creditors and a run on sterling, at the time the world's (weakening) reserve currency, began. And so went the contagion that crippled the world economically and provided the impetus for Hitler's rise and decades of economic [social] and political turmoil." - Greg Canavan
Editor of 'Sound Money... Sound Investments', a financial letter providing wealth generation and protection opportunities in a post credit bubble-bust world.
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[Quote No.33345] Need Area: Money > Tax
"There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments [for instance by subtle and gradual increases in taxation] of those in power [government] than by violent and sudden usurpations. [i.e. This is the theory by which a live frog is less likely to fight being cooked in a pot if it is placed in cool water and then the temperature is slowly increased than if you were to just drop it into boiling water.]" - James Madison
(1751 – 1836), Fourth President of the United States of America. Quoted from his speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 16, 1788.
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[Quote No.33358] Need Area: Money > Tax
"It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in [governments] kings and ministers to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expense.... They are themselves always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in society. Let them look well after their own expense, and they may safely trust private people with theirs." - Adam Smith
Famous economic philosopher. Quoted from his book, 'An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations', published 1776.
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[Quote No.33504] Need Area: Money > Tax
"Stripped of its academic jargon, the welfare state is nothing more than a mechanism by which governments confiscate the wealth of the productive members of a society to support a wide variety of welfare schemes [and thereby keep poverty and social unrest to acceptable levels while balancing the need to not discourage the economic risk and productivity that provides for the needs of society and supports the whole government structure]. A substantial part of the confiscation is effected by taxation. But the welfare statists were quick to recognize that if they wished to retain political power, the amount of taxation had to be limited and they had to resort to programs of massive deficit spending, i.e., they had to borrow money, by issuing government bonds, to finance welfare expenditures on a large scale." - Alan Greenspan
Economist and later Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve. Quoted in 'Gold and Economic Freedom', published 1966.
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[Quote No.33539] Need Area: Money > Tax
"The U.S. top marginal tax rate, after the 1929 stock market crash and during the subsequent Great Depression, went from 25% in 1932 to 81.1% in 1940 in order to pay for the New Deal social welfare programs." - Haver Analytics

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[Quote No.33570] Need Area: Money > Tax
"Inflation [due to uneconomically wise government policies usually to favour a political faction] is the one form of taxation that can be imposed without legislation." - Milton Friedman
Famous economist
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[Quote No.33571] Need Area: Money > Tax
"Countless economic studies have shown that there is only so much money the government can get by raising taxes. If they tax people too much, the economy slows down. And when the economy slows down, there is less wealth to tax... so the government's income actually drops rather than rises." - Michael Masterson

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[Quote No.33573] Need Area: Money > Tax
"Government lasts as long as the under-taxed can defend themselves against the over-taxed." - Bernard Berenson

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[Quote No.33584] Need Area: Money > Tax
"Taxaholics: When people are addicted to something, there are usually two alternative treatments. One is to attempt to educate them about the dangers of whatever they are addicted to, and the other is to remove them from the addictive substance so they cannot get their hands on it. All too many [politicians and bureaucrats] in Washington, particularly Democrats, but also some Republicans, are addicted to taxes. This addiction is particularly common among policymakers and elected officials, not only in the United States, but also worldwide, and is most prevalent in Europe. Many in the TEA [Taxed Enough Already] Party movement believe the best solution for the taxaholic problem is to remove the taxaholics from political office where they do the most damage. A number of those in economic public policy organizations, believing in redemption, are trying to educate the taxaholics with the hope of weaning them from their destructive ways. Both approaches have much merit. The majority of taxaholics are particularly addicted to the most destructive taxes, being the taxes on capital. Up to a point, perfectly sound arguments can be made for taxing tobacco, alcohol, gasoline, etc. However, taxing capital at high rates or double or triple taxing is nothing more than self-destruction. Capital is what business people use to hire workers and purchase new plants and equipment. Taxes on corporations, capital gains, dividends and interest are primarily taxes on capital — and the heavier the tax, the fewer new jobs [as further domestic investment is curtailed, increasing the demand for government spending to stimulate the economy but from an ever diminishing tax base and thereby increasing deficit and debt in a vicious cycle down for all]... In October and November [2009], the tax research group IRET, led by Stephen Entin, a former senior U.S. Treasury economist, released three first-rate studies by noted economists, clearly demonstrating that if capital gains tax rates are raised, the U.S. government would receive less revenue and there would be fewer jobs, lower wages and less productivity growth than there would be in the absence of the tax increase." - Richard W. Rahn
a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth. Quoted from an article that appeared in 'The Washington Times' on May 11, 2010.
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[Quote No.33585] Need Area: Money > Tax
"The state sector is like a fat man of 200kg sitting on the back of a 50kg little man who is the real economy. [He stated this when he announced that officials had decided... to reduce the pay of state employees by 25 per cent from next month and pensions and unemployment benefits by 15 per cent this year... He said the cutbacks would also help reinvigorate an economy that is being crushed by a bloated and inefficient state sector, and allow Romania to avoid steep tax hikes that could hamper investment and destroy hopes of a swift recovery from the 2009-10 recession.]" - Traian Basescu
President of Romania
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[Quote No.33670] Need Area: Money > Tax
"The 2003 [U.S.] tax cuts reduced the tax rate on long-term capital gains from 20 percent to 15 percent, but this rate will return to the higher level on January 1, 2011. Proponents argue that the higher tax rate will bring additional money into the government coffers and make the tax system fairer. There are very strong arguments, though, that a capital gains tax discourages entrepreneurial activity and investment. Moreover, if the tax has a sufficiently large impact on the incentive to invest and the incentive to sell appreciated assets, then it is quite possible that assumptions of higher tax revenue are misguided. Another key issue is the degree to which a capital gains tax impacts capital mobility in a world where many countries do not tax capital gains. [When governments, politicians, policymakers consider tax issues, it is important that they understand how taxation impacts incentives, economic progress and realistic expectations of future government tax revenue.]" - Daniel J. Mitchell and Richard W. Rahn
Daniel J. Mitchell, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; and Richard W. Rahn, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute, and Chairman, Institute for Global Economic Growth.
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[Quote No.33939] Need Area: Money > Tax
"Stimulus, Austerity, [Taxes] and the Spiral of Decline: In an economic decline, mediocre governments typically bounce back and forth between [Keynesian] 'stimulus' and 'austerity.' They are the ketchup and mustard of bad recession policy. 'Stimulus' - favored by the left-leaning politicians - rarely amounts to more than a form of welfare spending. This is appreciated in hard times, but it tends to be extremely expensive and does little for the economy as a whole. Deficit worries increase. Then comes the 'austerity,' often favored by conservative politicians. 'Austerity' usually means spending cuts and tax hikes. But, it does not take long before politicians, bureaucrats, public employees and corporate cronies all agree that they don't actually want to cut spending. Usually, they take some unpleasant swipes at welfare programs and services - in other words, the only programs that actually do some good, and which are especially important in a recession. This also happens to be the only government expenditure that does not land in the pockets of politicians, bureaucrats, public employees and corporate cronies. These spending cuts rarely amount to much, so the government relies more and more on tax hikes for their 'austerity' plans. The results of the tax hikes are typically an even worse economy, and often no appreciable increase in tax revenue. As the economy contracts further, demands on the government increase. 'Austerity' becomes unpopular, and is postponed until some future date 'after the economy recovers.' (The tax hikes remain, however.) If the government has not exceeded its debt carrying capacity, it lurches back toward 'stimulus' and large deficits. Japan has been though this cycle probably a half-dozen times by now. If the government can no longer credibly issue debt, the typical next step is a double helping of 'austerity.' There is talk of huge spending cuts, which rarely materialize. What usually happens next is minor spending cuts and huge tax hikes. This often begins the final [economic] implosion, when businesses give up completely, and tax evasion soars as the government has lost all legitimacy. [Sovereign bond] Default may follow soon after [as deficit-to-GDP and debt-to-GDP figures soar above safe figures of 3% and 60% respectively]. Britain's government is near this point now. 'Stimulus' is no longer tenable. Out come the tax hikes. The talk now is of raising the capital gains tax from 18% to 40%, and even 50% in some situations. This would be on top of an increase in the VAT to around 20% from 17.5%. It was 15% in 2009. In November 2008, Britain's government raised the top income tax rate from 40% to 45%, and in 2009 it increased to 50%. In his 1932 election campaign, Herbert Hoover boasted that more public works had been built in the four years of his administration than in the previous thirty. Federal spending ballooned from $2.9 billion in 1929 to $4.4 billion in 1931, a 52% increase. Part of this gusher of cash went to build the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River. This spending binge, in the midst of recession, brought huge deficits. Hoover then tried to address the deficit with a huge tax hike. In 1932, the top income tax rate in the US rose from 25% to 63%. He also tried to implement a national sales tax, but this was defeated. This followed the infamous Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930, which put a 60% tariff on more than 3,200 products. After 1933, the Roosevelt administration pursued much the same approach. By 1935, Federal expenditures had grown to $6.4 billion, and in 1940 they hit $9.5 billion - over three times the level in 1929. That year, the top personal income tax rate was 79%. President Roosevelt's Treasury Secretary, Henry Morgenthau, described the results in May 1939: 'We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. ...We have never made good on our promises... I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started... And an enormous debt to boot.' The cycle of 'stimulus' and 'austerity' eventually leads to more spending and higher taxes. It doesn't work. So what's the solution? A better strategy is less spending and lower taxes. In 1976, Britain was so hard up that it had to go to the IMF [International Monetary Fund] for a loan. Without this assistance, the government would have likely defaulted. The IMF insisted on its usual 'austerity' plan, with spending reductions and higher taxes of course. In 1979, Margaret Thatcher became prime minister. Thatcher is remembered today for her sweeping reorganization of government, in which public employees, subsidies and state-run businesses were slashed or discarded. She crushed the influence of public unions in the face of widespread strikes. Despite this, in the 1983 general elections, only 39% of union members voted for the opposing Labor Party. Thatcher was popular. Why? The other side of her strategy was tax cuts. She immediately moved to lower top income tax rates from 83% to 60%. By 1986, the top income tax rate was 40%, and the basic rate had fallen to 25%. Capital gains tax rates were reduced from 75% to 30%, and indexed to inflation. The corporate tax rate was reduced from 52% to 35%. Ronald Reagan, in the US, had much the same strategy: tax cuts and spending cuts. During his presidency, the top US income tax rate fell from 70% to 28%. His attempts to reduce spending floundered in the Democrat-controlled Congress. Ideally, spending reductions should focus on the waste, theft and graft - the politicians, bureaucrats, public employees and corporate cronies - not on the public services which are the government's primary reason for existence. Britain still has its National Health system. I find that these sorts of policies are accompanied by a certain change in mood. The political focus shifts from parasitic self-enrichment to one of national success and failure. If your initial premise is to find a way to strip-mine the populace for wealth, and then distribute your gains among your cronies, then tax hikes and spending increases are the natural conclusion. Politicians find the answers when they start to ask the questions. Thatcher studied conservative texts, and actually read [Nobel prize winner and Austrian economist] Friedrich Hayek's 'The Road to Serfdom' from cover to cover. You can sense this change in mood when the terms 'stimulus' and 'austerity' disappear from discussion. Politicians start to talk about 'national greatness,' as Vladimir Putin did in 2000 when he introduced Russia's amazing 13% flat income tax. In the explosive recovery that followed, the Russian government's income tax revenues soared. In 2001, the first year of the new tax system, income tax revenues increased by an astonishing 46%! This had nothing to do with oil prices, which finished that year at $19.33 per barrel. In 2002, income tax revenues increased another 40%, and crude oil finished the year at $29.42. By 2007, income tax revenues were 624% higher than they were in 2000, and Russia was once again a major world power. [Politicians who truly want to help their country should become experts on the tax system and they will realise that raising taxes is counter-productive. Like a supermarket that takes a small amount of profit from a large volume of sales so good government has very low taxes but very high GDP!]" - Nathan Lewis
formerly the chief international economist of a leading economic forecasting firm. He now works for an asset management company based in New York. Lewis has written for The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal Asia, The Japan Times, Pravda, and authored 'Gold: The Once and Future Money'. Published 'The Daily Reckoning Australia', 25th June, 2010.
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[Quote No.33948] Need Area: Money > Tax
"Research ...shows that tax cuts or tax increases have as much as a 3-times multiplier effect on the economy. If you cut taxes by 1% of GDP then you get as much as a 3% boost in the economy. The reverse is true for tax increases. Christina Romer, [Democratic President] Obama's head of the [U.S.] Council of Economic Advisors, did the research along with her husband, so this is not a Republican conclusion." - John Mauldin
June 25, 2010.
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[Quote No.33971] Need Area: Money > Tax
"Nor should the argument seem strange that taxation may be so high as to defeat its object, and that, given sufficient time to gather the fruits, a reduction of taxation will run a better chance than an increase of balancing the budget." - John Maynard Keynes
Famous economist
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[Quote No.34014] Need Area: Money > Tax
"[All governments, politicians and bureaucrats should remember this:] The natural effort of every individual to better his own condition ...is so powerful, that it is alone, and without any assistance, not only capable of carrying on the society to wealth and prosperity, but of surmounting a hundred impertinent obstructions with which the folly of human laws too often encumbers its operations. Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things." - Adam Smith
Famous philosopher and economist. Quote from his book, 'The Wealth of Nations'.
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[Quote No.34313] Need Area: Money > Tax
"Moderate profits [or taxes - in the government's situation] fill the purse." - Italian Proverb

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[Quote No.34482] Need Area: Money > Tax
"Blessed are the young for they shall inherit the national debt." - Herbert Clark Hoover

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[Quote No.34526] Need Area: Money > Tax
"Elections should be held on April 16th — the day after we [U.S. citizens] pay our income taxes. That is one of the few things that might discourage politicians from being big spenders. [Another idea would be when you get your tax notice that the government by law must list the GDP, the taxes they have taken from this and then break down the percentage of taxes spent where and on whom, because taxes without representation AND accountability is tyranny AND theft.]" - Thomas Sowell

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[Quote No.34583] Need Area: Money > Tax
"The state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else [by demanding politicians tax others and support them]." - Frederic Bastiat
'Selected Essays on Political Economy'
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[Quote No.34645] Need Area: Money > Tax
"We have rights, as individuals, to give as much of our own money as we please to charity, but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of public money." - David Crockett
Member of U.S. Congress, 1827-31, 1832-1835.
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[Quote No.34779] Need Area: Money > Tax
"In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one class of citizens to give to the other." - Voltaire
Dictionnaire Philisophique, 1764.
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[Quote No.34883] Need Area: Money > Tax
"[Politicians:] Don't expect to build up the weak by [just] pulling down the strong." - Calvin Coolidge
US President
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[Quote No.34916] Need Area: Money > Tax
"Death and taxes and childbirth! There's never any convenient time for any of them!" - Margaret Mitchell

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[Quote No.34931] Need Area: Money > Tax
"Stripped of its academic jargon, the welfare state is nothing more than a mechanism by which governments confiscate the wealth of the productive members of a society to support a wide variety of welfare schemes. A substantial part of the confiscation is effected by taxation. But the welfare statists were quick to recognize that if they wished to retain political power, the amount of taxation had to be limited and they had to resort to programs of massive deficit spending, i.e., they had to borrow money, by issuing government bonds, to finance welfare expenditures on a large scale." - Alan Greenspan
Economist and later Chairman of the US Federal Reserve Bank. Quote from 'Gold and Economic Freedom', 1966.
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[Quote No.34999] Need Area: Money > Tax
"There is no kind of dishonesty into which otherwise good people more easily and frequently fall than that of defrauding the government." - Benjamin Franklin

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[Quote No.35004] Need Area: Money > Tax
"When governments are trying to stimulate their economy they often consider tax reductions and increased deductions hoping that the later improvement to economic growth will pay the increased interest costs of incurring the debt through issuing sovereign bonds. At these times there are usually debates about whether it is better to focus those tax changes for business [- which politicians and the press like to call at these times 'the rich' - knowing that business people have a tendency to always try to maximise the productivity of their money and their business's capacity, stimulating the economy 'top down' often referred to as 'trickle down' stimulus], or to focus those tax changes to help the less well off [- believing that people in this situation usually need to spend any money they get which boosts consumption in the economy, which is called 'bottom up' stimulus], or to share the benefits of the tax changes between business and the consumer, in the interests of individual equality and balanced economic growth." - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.35007] Need Area: Money > Tax
"Well, this morning, I see that one of the U.S. states that I've talked about for over a year now, Illinois, has passed a 67% income-tax increase in an attempt to deal with their $13 Billion deficit. That's 67% folks. Now, that Illinois has done this, watch the domino affect come into play with the other states announcing their income tax increases. And if you don't think this will play hell with consumers' ability to spend, then this [foreign exchange and financial news] letter isn't for you. And when consumers can't spend because their income is being taken away by taxes, eventually the economy falters, again. Now, you may recall me telling you over and over again (I laugh, because how could you not recall me telling you this), that taxes in the country will be soaring to deal with the deficits in the future and our kids and grandkids will have to deal with it. Well, this income tax increase in Illinois is just the beginning of that. And the media is all about Portugal's debt? Or Ireland's? or Greece's? Give me a break! Before I go on to another thought, I want people right here, right now, to remember who it was that told them that this was all going to happen here in the U.S. because of the deficit spending." - Chuck Butler
President, EverBank World Markets. Quote from his newsletter, 'A Pfennig For Your Thoughts', Wednesday, January 12, 2011.
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[Quote No.35074] Need Area: Money > Tax
"Inheritance taxes are so high that the happiest mourner at a rich man's funeral is usually Uncle Sam." - Olin Miller

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[Quote No.35133] Need Area: Money > Tax
"[Often tax policy seems to have more to do with government greed, envy and populism than need or equity, as the following quip humorously suggests...] Rich bachelors should be heavily taxed. It is not fair that some men should be happier than others." - Oscar Wilde
Famous playwright and wit.
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[Quote No.35245] Need Area: Money > Tax
"The point to remember is what government gives it must first take away." - John S. Caldwell

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[Quote No.35343] Need Area: Money > Tax
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people [by over taxing them in order to fund exorbitant fiscal spending initiatives] under the pretense of taking care of them." - Thomas Jefferson
(1762-1826), 3rd US President (1801-09). Author of the Declaration of Independence.
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[Quote No.35417] Need Area: Money > Tax
"Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Thus the beneficiaries are spared the shame and danger that their acts would otherwise involve... But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them and gives it to the other persons to whom it doesn't belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. Then abolish that law without delay ... No legal plunder; this is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony and logic." - Frederic Bastiat

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[Quote No.35503] Need Area: Money > Tax
"People rarely bite the hand that feeds them." - Proverb

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[Quote No.35518] Need Area: Money > Tax
"The [US] federal tax code, which in 1913 could be published as a single 400-page book, today occupies some 72,000 pages. [In the last 10 years alone, reports National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson 'there have been approximately 4,428 changes to the tax code.' The instructions for filling out Form 1040, which took up two pages 75 years ago, are 179 pages long this year. No wonder that nine out of 10 taxpayers use software or professional preparers to do their taxes. Olson estimates that the process consumes 6.1 billion hours and costs $163 billion a year.]" - Jacob Sullum
April, 2011.
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[Quote No.35522] Need Area: Money > Tax
"[Song Lyrics:]

Let me tell you how it will be,
There's one for you, nineteen for me,
'Cause I'm the Taxman,
Yeah, I'm the Taxman.

Should five per cent appear too small,
Be thankful I don't take it all.
'Cause I'm the Taxman,
Yeah, I'm the Taxman.

(If you drive a car), I'll tax the street,
(If you try to sit), I'll tax your seat,
(If you get too cold), I'll tax the heat,
(If you take a walk), I'll tax your feet.
Taxman.

" - The Beatles
Famous band. Quote of some lyrics from their song, 'Taxman'.
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[Quote No.35535] Need Area: Money > Tax
"We don't have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven't taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much." - Ronald Reagan
US President
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[Quote No.35569] Need Area: Money > Tax
"[Here is one economist's argument against too redistributive a use of taxes by government in the name of 'equality of opportunities and results':] The subtle change in meaning to which the word ‘freedom' was subjected in order that this argument sound plausible is important. To the great apostles of political freedom the word had meant freedom from coercion [and fraud], freedom from the arbitrary power of other men, release from the ties which left the individual no choice but obedience to the orders of a superior to whom he was attached...The demand for the new freedom was [in contrast]...only a name for the old demand of an equal distribution of wealth [which as soon as the individual received their equal share would become unequal again by the way they managed, invested, spent, saved and the effects of luck, circumstance, ability and inheritance, unless it was continually recycled from the able and fortunate back to the incompetent and unlucky. Then there would be no incentive to struggle to evolve to become competent or avoid high risk, which would eventually reduce the amount available to tax and distribute, reducing the living standards of all equally. That is not to say that there should not be some redistribution of wealth (forced? or voluntary) for a number of reasons:- peace of mind for all, compassion for the unfortunate, help for the able to get closer to achieving their potential for the good of themselves and the community; and to maintain social order, which may otherwise deteriorate removing everyone's chances for a better life at least for a time if a large enough portion of the population felt unjustly treated by authorities and rebelled throwing society into chaos.]" - F. A. Hayek
Famous economist. Quote from 'The Road to Serfdom' - 'The Great Utopia.' p. 77
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[Quote No.35699] Need Area: Money > Tax
"What's Wrong with This Picture? As you may have heard [in 2011 in the United States], the Vermont legislature has just passed a law calling for a single-payer healthcare system in the state, the single-payer being the state. On May 26, the governor will sign the bill into effect. To get a sense of the intended consequences of the bill one has to look no further than to the Statement of Principles of one of the leading organizations pushing the bill forward: Vermont For Single Payer (VFSP). And I quote directly from the organization's website: Statement of Principles: We support a universal health care system for the State of Vermont, one that includes all Vermonters, offers free choice of providers, is progressively financed, decoupled from employment, affordable for all, and pays for all necessary care out of public funds; a system which retains the private delivery of health care and has a publicly accountable budget process to ensure adequate capacity to meet the health care needs of all Vermonters. At first glance, that may sound all very high-minded, socially responsible, and all that. But read carefully: the phraseology reveals the organization's truly self-destructive tendencies. For example... Phrase: 'one that includes all Vermonters'. The legislation the organization has helped spawn means just what it says - 'all' as in everyone. But, of course, not everyone can afford the medical treatments they might want or need, which by default means that someone else will have to dig in to their pocket to pick up the tab. Even if it means paying for trying to mitigate some of the damage my old chum Don has done to his own lungs, liver, and virtually every other vital organ. So who, pray tell, is going to be called to pay these costs? Ah, here we are... Phrase: 'is progressively financed'. In case one is unfamiliar with the phrase, 'progressively financed' that means the more you make, the more you'll pay. In other words, the more productive one is, the more one pays. Given free rein, I suspect the authors of this Statement of Principles would have been just as happy to swap the phrase with '... to be paid for by fat cats and other greedy capitalists.' Phrase: 'decoupled from employment'. No job, no worries. The fat cats are picking up the tab! Phrase: 'affordable for all'. See above. Phrase: 'pays for all necessary care out of public funds'. Last time I checked, the government didn't actually produce anything hereabouts. See above. And so on, and so forth. Not surprisingly, the legislation avoids any details on how this wonderful new level of health care for all will be paid for, though the trial balloons floated so far include up to a 12% surcharge on top of existing payroll taxes, and higher personal and corporate taxes - or some combination thereof. The problem - nay, the complete disconnect with the reality that actions have consequences - is that Vermont is already the highest-taxing state in the nation. As a consequence, what few large employers still remain in the state are now openly discussing shutting down their operations and heading to friendlier climes. What happens then? And don't forget that at the same time as the best-paying jobs in the state are heading out, less-flush individuals will be moving in from other states in order to take advantage of the state's wonderful new (free!) health coverage? Does the state, deprived of tax revenue at the same time its costs are soaring, raise taxes even further? Pour another drink, light up another cigarette? Of course, if it was the nation rather than just a single state propagating this sort of legislation, it might enact legislation levying a considerable 'exit tax' on businesses that choose to move elsewhere - Or layer on special corporate taxes that would make it uneconomic to set up elsewhere. Alas, the state of Vermont has no such option, so heading off a business exodus will most likely require negotiating special company-specific concessions with the large employers, pushing the taxes down the chain and on to the backs of the medium-sized employers and individual taxpayers - but, progressively, of course, so it's really only the fat cats who are inconvenienced. Regardless, the outcome is predictable: an exodus of wage earners and income generators, with the higher the wages and income generated, the greater the likelihood they'll pack up and move on. That's how a negative incentive works. Now you might have missed the nuance in these musings. Nuances make them relevant to you, no matter where you live in these United States - and, for that matter, most any of the developed countries. Specifically, while the individual states don't legally have the right to levy punitive exit taxes on companies looking to disembark for friendlier shores - that is not the case with the federal government. Given that the federal government is making not even a little attempt to stop its binge spending and chain legislating, the nation itself remains firmly on course for its own slow-motion suicide. Unfortunately, in this case, the wealth of the citizenry will be increasingly stripped to pay to keep the party going. And, it is inevitable that exit penalties will be increased, and foreign exchange controls implemented, in an attempt to keep businesses and individuals from moving elsewhere to protect their assets. In time, however, no matter how aggressive its wealth stripping becomes, if the federal government doesn't reform its spendthrift ways it will find itself barely able to shuffle across the room - let alone compete internationally, and the economy will drop dead. When that happens, a number of outcomes are likely. One could be that government's continued overstepping of reasonable bounds, and the excesses that overstepping has led to [fiscal and trade deficits, high national debt to GDP], could be revealed as the central cause of the nation's economic ills. In which case, the country could undergo a renewal and be returned to the robust health that made it such an economic powerhouse in the first place. Regrettably, it is far more likely the citizenry will fail to recognize the self-inflicted nature of the problem (after all, they do keep voting the bums in), and instead will demand even more from the government. At that point, literally any number of unfavorable consequences could materialize. If you don't want to suffer those same consequences, it behooves you to begin thinking seriously about how you will cope with demands that are only likely to get more extreme as the government continues to take the economy down with its self-destructive excesses. Buying precious metals on dips (more on that in a moment), converting your IRA to a Roth IRA ASAP, exploring the use of well-structured trusts, diversifying into the currencies of better-managed central banks, opening foreign bank accounts (duly recorded), buying foreign property, and so forth are all options. The alternative, of betting your future on the actions of power- and money-addicted government, is to set yourself up... [to rely on no one but yourself, your own well considered plan and your own discipline to bring it to fruition... specifically the maturity to take personal responsibility for improving your own life and the lives of those you love, because history has shown that high taxing spend-thrift governments cannot be relied upon to live up to their promises because their economics don't make sense.] " - David Galland
Published in Casey's Daily Dispatch, May 13, 2011.
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[Quote No.35711] Need Area: Money > Tax
"Remember for every dollar $1 increase in government spending there are three options: raise taxes by $1; borrow $1; or print $1. All 3 options lead to a greater burden on tax payers, either today, tomorrow or at some point down the road either through increased taxation to pay principal and interest on the sovereign debt or increased inflation which will necessitate tighter monetary policy - interest rate rises which will be felt in more expensive mortgage payments. Notice there are no free lunches for increases to government spending. The population always has to pay for it." - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.35715] Need Area: Money > Tax
"[Tax enforcement is vital if tax evasion is not to become epidemic and the country's economy and debt-to-GDP to blow out raising tax and interest rates for all due to the risk of default:] 'The scale of Greek tax cheating was at least as incredible as its scope: an estimated two-thirds of Greek doctors reported incomes under 12,000 euros a year—which meant, because incomes below that amount weren’t taxable, that even plastic surgeons making millions a year paid no tax at all. The problem wasn’t the law—there was a law on the books that made it a jailable offense to cheat the government out of more than 150,000 euros—but its enforcement. ‘If the law was enforced,’ the tax collector said, ‘every doctor in Greece would be in jail.’ I laughed, and he gave me a stare. ‘I am completely serious.’ One reason no one is ever prosecuted—apart from the fact that prosecution would seem arbitrary, as everyone is doing it—is that the Greek courts take up to 15 years to resolve tax cases. ‘The one who does not want to pay, and who gets caught, just goes to court,’ he says. Somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of the activity in the Greek economy that might be subject to the income tax goes officially unrecorded, he says, compared with an average of about 18 percent in the rest of Europe.' " - Michael Lewis
Vanity Fair, October, 2010.
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[Quote No.35728] Need Area: Money > Tax
"[Tax compliance and enforcement is vital if tax evasion is not to become epidemic and a country's economy and debt-to-GDP to blow out eventually raising tax and interest rates for all due to the risk of default. Greece had to bailed out by the IMF in 2009-10 due to tax evasion among other things that meant the government couldn't pay its loans-sovereign debts:] When you drive to Athens from the airport you pass mile after mile of houses with unfinished second or third floors. That means your house is still under construction so you don't have to pay real estate taxes. These houses have been 'under construction' for decades. " - George Eliot
Annapolis, MD. May 16th, 2011.
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[Quote No.35735] Need Area: Money > Tax
"I'm one of many economists who favor scrapping the current system [of taxing based on progressively higher rates of tax depending on income earned, called progressive taxing] entirely in favor of some form of a flat tax [where the rate of tax is the same for everyone but], with a very high deductible for low-income earners. And you know what? The very wealthy would pay more. They pay less under the current system because there are these smoke and mirrors they can hide behind, all these deductions and all these ways of avoiding taxes." - Kenneth Rogoff
Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Harvard, the International Monetary Fund's chief economist for two years, an adviser to John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, author of the 2009 best-seller, 'This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly,' an International Chess Grandmaster and a friend of Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke.
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[Quote No.35758] Need Area: Money > Tax
"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men [and women] living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." - Frederic Bastiat
Famous French lawyer
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[Quote No.35783] Need Area: Money > Tax
"The best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. [Inflation is chosen by the government to make the repayment of its debt easier over time, rather than reduce spending elsewhere or increase taxes, as the public, not knowing any better, doesn't hold it as accountable.]" - John Maynard Keynes
Famous economist
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[Quote No.35915] Need Area: Money > Tax
"When the government spends more, the public spends less. Public works are not accomplished by the miraculous power of a magic wand. They are paid for by funds taken away from the citizens." - Ludwig von Mises
[1881 – 1973], an Austrian-American economist, historian, philosopher, author, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern free-market libertarian movement and the Austrian School of economics.
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[Quote No.35933] Need Area: Money > Tax
"[Almost] Nobody seems to doubt that to prevent some people from acquiring [or keeping] riches [through vilification, encouraging class ‘warfare’, weak private property laws, exorbitant taxes, etc] is a [political] policy extremely beneficial for the rest of society. [But is it? What great contributions to the well-being of that society will not be made as the rewards won’t outweigh the risks? Won't those contributions be made, by those individuals and companies or others, in other places where the circumstances are more conducive to risk taking?]" - Ludwig von Mises
[1881 – 1973], an Austrian-American economist, historian, philosopher, author, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern free-market libertarian movement and the Austrian School of economics.
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[Quote No.35940] Need Area: Money > Tax
"[Would a simpler tax system help everyone?] With the United States a little financially strapped right now, lawmakers are including all kinds of remedies - including a major overhaul of corporate tax laws. Our current system's odd features often leave observers scratching their heads or shaking their fists. For companies and individuals alike, the sheer complexity of the tax code is a problem in and of itself. ExxonMobil, with tax returns running 20,000 pages, houses 35 full-time IRS employees at its headquarters just to help it stay in compliance. The tax returns of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway take up roughly 14,000 pages. Simplifying the tax code would save many companies considerable time and money. -A 25% solution- One reform that many have suggested, and which is currently being considered, involves lowering the corporate tax rate from its current 35% rate, while eliminating many corporate tax breaks. You might think that the business world would rejoice at such a reduction, but many businesses enjoy so many tax breaks and deductions that they effectively pay far less than 25% already ['effective tax rate']. According to the angry-about-corporate-taxes organization Pay Up Now, for example, Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT) paid the equivalent of a U.S. tax rate of 15% between 2008 and 2010, while Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) paid 5%. Companies that may see their tax bills shrink include MedcoHealth Solutions (NYSE: MHS), with a 2008-to-2010 rate of 38%, and Lowe's, paying 33%. If reforms truly wipe out government subsidies and tax breaks, certain industries will really get pinched, particularly alternative energy companies. JA Solar (Nasdaq: JASO), for instance, paid a 12% tax rate in 2010. -Getting territorial- Another reform on the table would make our corporate tax system 'territorial,' like those of many other nations. A fully territorial system would exempt profits generated abroad from taxation in the U.S. As you might imagine, many global giants are salivating at this thought. After all, in 2010, 93% of Citigroup's (NYSE: C) profits were generated outside the U.S., while that number was 64% for General Electric (NYSE: GE) and more than 88% for Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO). The corporate tax laws might not become fully territorial, but it's possible that they may become somewhat so. A simpler tax system could be much less expensive to operate, and may generate more much-needed revenue for our country. But it's far from a sure thing, given the influence of massive corporate lobbying. Still, if big changes do make it into law, many otherwise excellent investments might get whacked hard [as their effective tax rate would rise]. " - Selena Maranjian
Motley Fool [www.fool.com] contributor Selena Maranjian, May 31, 2011.
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[Quote No.35959] Need Area: Money > Tax
"We still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping at the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised to furnish new pretences for revenue and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without a tribute." - Thomas Paine

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