QUOTES ON TAXES
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. Humor
  2. Government/Legislative Intent
  3. Wisdom/Proverbs
  4. Deceit
  5. Injustice
  6. Corruption
  7. Socialism
  8. Statistics
  9. Reform
  1. HUMOR

    • "For every tax problem there is a solution which is straightforward, uncomplicated and wrong."

    • A nervous taxpayer was unhappily conversing with the IRS auditor who had come to review his records. At one point the auditor exclaimed, "Mr. Carr, we feel it is a great privilege to be allowed to live and work in the USA. As a citizen you have an obligation to pay taxes, and we expect you to eagerly pay them with a smile.""Thank God," returned Mr. Carr, "I thought you were going to want cash!"

    • "Tax loopholes are like parking meters. As soon as you see one they're gone."

    • "The trouble with the profession of income-tax inspectors is that 99% of its members give the rest a bad name. "

    • "People who complain about paying their income tax can be divided into two types: men and women."

    • "What's the difference between an overzealous tax auditor and a rottweiler? A rottweiler eventually lets go! "

    • "How can you tell when a tax auditor is trying to trap you into a confession? Answer: When his lips are moving."

    • "Why do sharks not attack tax auditors? Answer: Professional courtesy. "

    • " Due to taxation, politicians find it increasingly difficult to reconcile their net incomes with their gross habits."

    • "To err is human - and to blame it on the Government is even more so. "

    • "Where there's a will there's a tax shelter. "

    • "The less people know about how sausages and laws are made, the better they'll sleep at night." -- Otto Von Bismarck

    • "Nuclear physics is much easier than tax law. It's rational and always works the same way." -- Jerold Rochwald

    • "Death and taxes are inevitable; at least death doesn't get worse every year." -- Unknown

    • "In case you didn't know, ethanol is made by mixing corn with your tax dollars." -- Paul A. Gigot

    • "Born Free . . . Taxed to Death." -- Unknown

    • "On the income tax 1040 it says 'Check this box if you are blind.' I want to know the idiot that creates these forms." -- Unknown

    • "Last year I had difficulty with my income tax. I tried to take my analyst off as a business deduction. The Government said it was entertainment. We compromised finally and made it a religious contribution." -- Woody Allen

    • "Where there's a will, there's an Inheritance Tax." -- Unknown

    • "Old MacDonald had an agricultural real estate tax abatement." -- Unknown

    • "You know it's a bad day when your income tax refund check bounces." -- Unknown

    • "Save our Trees. Stop Printing Tax Forms!" -- Bumper Sticker

    • "The IRS has had substantial success in Chicago. Al Capone was convicted on tax evasion here, and that was probably the last time a majority of Americans applauded the IRS on anything." -- Sheldon L. Banoff

    • "[The IRS] may take some solace in the fact that Matthew was a tax collector before he became a saint." -- Donald C. Alexander

    • "Internal Revenue Service: The world's most successful mail order business." -- Bob Goddard

    • "The IRS spends God knows how much of your tax money on these toll-free information hotlines staffed by IRS employees, whose idea of a dynamite tax tip is that you should print neatly." -- Dave Barry "Sweating Out Taxes"

    • "If the Lord had meant us to pay income taxes, he'd have made us smart enough to prepare the return." -- Kirk Kirkpatrick

    • "People who complain about taxes can be divided into two classes: men and women." -- Unknown

    • "I believe we should all pay our tax bill with a smile. I tried but they wanted cash." -- Anonymous 4/5/99

    • "The trick is to stop thinking of it as 'YOUR' money." -- IRS, Auditor

    • "IRS: We've got what it takes to take what you've got." -- Bumper Sticker

    • "There is only one thing worse than the flu season; the tax season. You can recover from the flu." -- Unknown 11/1/99

    • "The difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion is the thickness of a prison wall". -- Denis Healey

    • "There's nothing wrong with the younger generation that becoming taxpayers won't cure." -- Dan Bennett

    • "I am proud to be paying taxes in the United States. The only thing is - I could be just as proud for half the money." -- Arthur Godfrey

    • "Death and taxes are both certain . . . But death isn't annual." -- Anonymous

    • "Thank God they're not doing brain surgery." -- Fred Allen commenting about the IRS

    • "Loophole: To liberals, any provision of the tax code that fails to claim money earned, inherited, saved, or otherwise pocketed by known taxpayers." -- The Conservative's Dictionary

    • "Your federal government needs your money so that it can perform vital services for you that you would not think up yourself in a million years." -- Dave Barry "Sweating Out Taxes"

    • "[American tax laws] are constantly changing as our elected representatives seek new ways to ensure that whatever tax advice we receive is incorrect." -- Dave Barry

    • "I bet that if you actually read the entire vastness of the U.S. Tax Code, you'd find at least one sex scene . . ." -- Dave Barry

    • "Income tax returns are the most imaginative fiction being written today." -- Herman Wouk

    • "You're acting like a thing from another tax bracket! -- Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    • "Income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf." -- Will Rogers

    • "I have trouble reconciling my net income with my gross habits." -- Errol Flynn

    • "I haven't committed a crime. What I did was fail to comply with the law." -- David Dinkins

    • "It used to be that death and taxes alone were inevitable. Now there's shipping and handling." -- Bert Murray

    • "Any bare necessity--with taxes added." -- David Crown's reference to luxury tax

    • "The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin."-Mark Twain

    • "Bachelors should be heavily taxed. It is not fair that some men should be happier than others." -- Oscar Wilde

    • "Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors, and miss." -- Lazarus Long "Time Enough for Love"

  2. GOVERNMENT/LEGISLATIVE INTENT

    • "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, ... That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it."  Declaration of Independence

    • "That the sole object and only legitimate end of government is to protect the citizen in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property, and when the government assumes other functions it is usurpation and oppression."- Samuel Adams

    • "Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner." --James Bovard

    • "Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place."- Frederick Bastiat

    • "Many of the opposition [to the new Federal Constitution] wish to take from Congress the power of internal taxation. Calculation has convinced me that this would be very mischievous." -- President Thomas Jefferson to William Carmichael, 1788

    • "Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a law breaker, it breeds contempt for the law."-Justice Louis D. Brandeis

    • "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed." -- New Testament Nothing has stopped it since then ....

    • "Taxes should be proportioned to what may be annually spared by the individual." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison

    • "I like to pay taxes. With them, I buy civilization." -- Oliver Wendell Holmes

    • "Contrary to what some people claim, the tax laws have a lot of respect for logic. They use it so sparingly." -- Jeffrey L. Yablon

    • "Our forefathers made one mistake. What they should have fought for was representation without taxation." -- Fletcher Knebel

    • "Our properties within our own territories [should not] be taxed or regulated by any power on Earth but our own."  -- Thomas Jefferson's Rights of British America, 1774

    • "Excessive taxation will carry reason and reflection to every man's door, and particularly in the hour of election." -- Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor

    • "The politician's promises of yesterday are the taxes of today." -- W.L. Mackenzie King

    • "I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of freedoms of the people by gradual and silent encroachment of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."-James Madison

    • "The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing." -- Jean B. Colbert

    • "War involves in its progress such a train of unforeseen and unsupposed circumstances that no human wisdom can calculate the end. It has but one thing certain, and that is to increase taxes." -- Thomas Paine

    • "Taxes are what we pay for civilized society. A penalty on the other hand is intended altogether to prevent the thing punished."-- Oliver Wendell Holmes

    • "There are two distinct classes of men . . . those who pay taxes and those who receive and live upon taxes." -- Thomas Paine

    • "Censure is the tax a man pays to the public for being eminent." --Jonathan Swift

    • "Idleness and pride tax with a heavier hand than kings and parliaments. If we can get rid of the former, we may easily bear the latter." -- Benjamin Franklin

    • "Taxes are the killing fields of Democrats." -- Grover Norquist

    • "The nation ought to have a tax system which looks like someone designed it on purpose." -- William E. Simon

    • "When everybody has got money they cut taxes, and when they're broke they raise 'em. That's statesmanship of the highest order." -- Will Rogers

    • "Of all debts, men are least willing to pay taxes. What a satire is this on government!" -- Ralph Waldo Emerson "Politics," 1844

    • "Your profits are going to be cut down to a reasonably low level by taxation. Your income will be subject to higher taxes. Indeed in these days, when every available dollar should go to the war effort, I do not think that any American citizen should have a net income in excess of $25,000 per year after payment of taxes." -- President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Radio Broadcast, April 28, 1942 (Referring to Seven-Point Program)

    • ". . . If the exercise of power of internal taxation by the Union should be discovered on experiment to be really inconvenient, the federal government may then forbear the use of it . . ." -- Alexander Hamilton

    • "The validity of a tax depends upon its nature, and not upon its name." -- Benjamin N. Cardozo

    • "The power of creating new funds upon new objects of taxation, by its own authority, would enable the national government to borrow as far as its necessities might require." -- Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 30: Concerning the General Power of Taxation, December 28, 1787

    • "Taxation is, in fact, the most difficult function of government and that against which their citizens are most apt to be refractory."-- President Thomas Jefferson, Introduction to Tracy's "Political Economy," 1816

    • "When the government fears the people there is liberty; when the people fear the government there is tyranny."-Thomas Jefferson

    • "Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding." -Justice Louis D. Brandeis

    • "There is only one way to kill capitalism and freedom-- by taxes, taxes, and more taxes." -- Unknown

    • "An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, the power to destroy." -- Daniel Webster

    • "The power to tax involves the power to destroy." -- John Marshall

    • "The wisdom of man never yet contrived a system of taxation that would operate with perfect equality." -- President Andrew Jackson

    • "Due process requires some definite link, some minimum connection, between a state and the person, property or transaction it seeks to tax." -- Robert H. Jackson

    • "No one imagines that a law professing to tax will be permitted to destroy." -- John Marshall

    • "We cannot lose sight of the fact that complexity is the result of our struggle for fairness." -- Margaret Milner Richardson

    • "The Constitution is not neutral. It was designed to take the government off the backs of people." -Justice William O. Douglas

    • "The right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedom."-Justice William O. Douglas

    • "The apportionment of taxes on the various descriptions of property is an act which seems to require the most exact impartiality; yet there is, perhaps, no legislative act in which greater opportunity and temptation are given to a predominant party to trample on the rules of justice. Every shilling with which they overburden the inferior numbers is a shilling saved to their own pockets." -- James Madison

    • "Revenue on the consumption of foreign articles is paid cheerfully by those who can afford to add foreign luxuries to domestic comforts." -- President Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Smith, 1823

    • "Taxes are the sinews of the state." -- Cicero

    • "For every benefit you receive a tax is levied." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

    • "The taxpayer-- that's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination." -- President Ronald W. Reagan

    • "If men, through fear, fraud, or mistake, should in terms renounce or give up any natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right to freedom being the gift of Almighty God, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave."-Samuel Adams

    • "To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."-Thomas Jefferson

    • "[The states] have no power, by taxation or otherwise, to retard, impede, burden or in any manner control the operations of the constitutional laws enacted by Congress." -- John Marshall; [Webster and Marshal were friends. Webster represented the banks in McCough v. Maryland- historical note.]

    • "Suppose your were an idiot.  And suppose you were a Congressman.  But I repeat myself."  Mark Twain

    • "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." --Mark Twain

    • "Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries." --Douglas Casey

    • "Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it." -- Ronald Reagan

    • "The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other." --Ronald Reagan

    • "If you want government to intervene domestically, you're a liberal.  If you want government to intervene overseas, you're a conservative. If you  want government to intervene everywhere, you're a moderate. If you don't want government to intervene anywhere, you're an extremist." --Joseph Sobran

    • "What this country needs are more unemployed politicians."--Edward Langley

  3. WISDOM/PROVERBS

    • "To steal from one person is theft. To steal from many is taxation." -- Jeff Daiell

    • "We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle." --Winston Churchill

    • "A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money." --G. Gordon Liddy

    • "Men in authority will always think that criticism of their policies is dangerous. They will always equate their policies with patriotism, and find criticism subversive."-Henry Steele Commager

    • ". . . In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes." -- Benjamin Franklin discussing the Stamp Act passed by the British Parliament on March 22, 1765

      "Rulers do not reduce taxes to be kind. Expediency and greed create high taxation, and normally it takes an impending catastrophe to bring it down." -- Charles Adams

    • "Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything."-Josef Stalin see www.votefraud.org

    • "It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong."-Voltaire

    • "Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it."-Albert Einstein

    • "Justice: A commodity which is a more or less adulterated condition the State sells to the citizen as a reward for his allegiance, taxes, and personal service." -- Ambrose Bierce The Devil's Dictionary

    • "You [senators] and the American people don't have a clue about how the IRS does its job, and that's just the way they like it." -- Shelley Davis - IRS Historian

    • "Death and taxes and childbirth. There's never any convenient time for any of them." -- Margaret Mitchell 'Gone With the Wind'

    • "I wouldn't mind paying taxes -- if I knew they were going to a friendly country." -- Dick Gregory

    • "It is the duty of a good shepherd to shear his sheep, not to skin them." -- Tiberius Caesar

    • "Taxation WITH representation ain't so hot either." -- Gerald Barzan

    • "Inflation is the one form of taxation that can be imposed without legislation." -- Milton Friedman

    • "If Patrick Henry thought that taxation without representation was bad, he should see how bad it is with representation." -- Farmer's Almanac

    • "Why does a slight tax increase cost you $200 and a substantial tax cut saves you 30 cents?" -- Peg Bracken

    • "Thinking is one thing no one has ever been able to tax. YET!" -- Charles F. Kettering

    • "What we should have fought for was representation without taxation." -- Sam Levenson

    • "Tariff: A scale of taxes on imports designed to protect the domestic producer against the greed of his consumer." -- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

    • "The hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax." -- Albert Einstein

    • "All taxes paid over a lifetime by the average American are spent by the government in less than a second." -- Jim Fiebig

    • "There is nothing more permanent than a temporary tax." -- Unknown

    • "Anyone who's received a notice in the mail from the IRS knows how it can cause the blood pressure to rise." -- Rep. James A. Traficant, D-Ohio

    • "Have you ever wondered if taxation without representation was cheaper." -- Unknown

    • "Houseless: Having paid all taxes on household goods." -- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

    • "Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages." -- H. L. Mencken

    • "The politicians don't just want your money. They want your soul."

    • "The Government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul." (George Bernard Shaw) 

    • "But in this world nothing is certain but death and taxes." (Benjamin Franklin) 

    • "The First Rule of Practicing Tax Law: If someone has to go to jail, make sure it's the client." -- Fred Drasner

    • "A fine is a tax for doing something wrong. A tax is a fine for doing something right." -- Unknown

    • "As a cop, the IRS has to balance customer service and law enforcement. Stated another way, the agency's motto could be: 'We're your friend. But if you push that friendship too far, we'll ruin your life and then throw you in jail.'" -- Christopher Bergin

    • "As a citizen, you have an obligation to the country's tax system, but you also have an obligation to yourself to know your rights under the law." -- Donald C. Alexander

    • "Find out just what the people will submit to and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."-Frederick Douglas

    • "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."-Benjamin Franklin

    • "Truth resides in every human heart, and one has to search for it there, and to be guided by truth as one sees it. But no one has a right to coerce others to act according to his own view of truth."-Ghandi

    • "Death: to stop paying taxes suddenly." -- Unknown

    • "A dollar saved is bound to be taxed." -- Unknown

    • "They want you to be worn down by taxes until your are dependent and helpless. When you subsidize poverty and failure, you get more of both." -- James Dale Davidson

    • "[I] shall never use profanity except in discussing house rent and taxes. Indeed, upon second thought, I will not use it then, for it is unchristian, inelegant, and degrading--though to speak truly I do not see how house rent and taxes are going to be discussed worth a cent without it." -- Mark Twain

    • "When Barbary Pirates demand a fee for allowing you to do business, it's called 'tribute money.' When the Mafia demands a fee for allowing you to do business, it's called 'the protection racket.' When the state demands a fee for allowing you to do business, it's called 'sales tax.' "-- Jeff Daiell

    • "When Congress talks about simplification, taxpayers may well be reminded of Emerson's comments regarding an acquaintance, 'the louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons'." -- Michael J. Graetz

    • "Logic and taxation are not always the best of friends." -- James C. McReynolds

    • "A dollar saved is bound to be taxed."

    • "Some say that nobody should keep too much to themselves. The tax office is of the same opinion."

    • "When the same man, or set of men, holds the sword and the purse, there is an end of liberty." -- George Mason

    • "Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you." --Pericles

  4. DECEIT

    • "I have no intention of raising taxes." -- President Bill Clinton

    • "Read my lips. No new taxes." -- President George Bush

    • "No statesman ever will find it worth his pains to tax our labours and excise our brains." -- Charles Churchill

    • "It's getting so that children have to be educated to realize that 'Damn' and 'Taxes' are two separate words." -- Unknown

    • "We're just learning that when it comes to taxes, Washington speaks with an accomplished forked tongue." -- Martin L. Gross

  5. INJUSTICE

    • "... The physical power to get the money does not seem to me a test of the right to tax. Might does not make right even in taxation..." -Justice Jackson in International Harvester v. Wisconsin Dept of Taxation, 322 U.S. 450

    • "The Tax Code is a monstrosity and there's only one thing to do with it. Scrap it, kill it, drive a stake through its heart, bury it and hope it never rises again to terrorize the American people." -- Steve Forbes

    • "When there is an income tax, the just man will pay more and the unjust less on the same amount of income." (Plato) 

    • "The reality is that for the last quarter century, Congress and the presidents have betrayed us by concocting tax laws that are insincere, unfair, and convoluted. We're just learning that when it comes to taxes, Washington speaks with an accomplished forked tongue." -- Martin L. Gross

      "There is no prospect that today's younger workers will receive all the Social Security and Medicare benefits currently promised them." -- Dorcas Hardy, former Social Security Commissioner and author of "Social Insecurity", quoted in the December 1995 Reader's Digest

    • "All the Congress, all the accountants and tax lawyers, all the judges, and a convention of wizards all cannot tell for sure what the income tax law says." -- Walter B. Wriston

    • "When you pay social security taxes, you are in no way making provision for your own retirement. You are paying the pensions of those who are already retired. Once you understand this, you see that whether you will get the benefits you are counting on when you retire depends on whether Congress will levy enough taxes, borrow enough, or print enough money ...." -- W. Allen Wallis, former Chairman of the 1975 Advisory Council on Social Security, May 27, 1976

    • "The tax collector must love poor people--he's creating so many of them." -- Bill Vaughan

    • "The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along, paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return." -- Gore Vidal

    • "Never before have so many been taken for so much and left with so little." -- Van Panopoulos

    • "There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him."-- Robert Heinlein

    • "In the matter of taxation, every privilege is an injustice." -- Voltaire

    • "The income tax created more criminals than any other single act of government." -- Barry M. Goldwater

    • "The avoidance of taxes is the only pursuit that still carries any reward." -- John Maynard Keynes

    • "A society which turns so many of its best and brightest into tax lawyers may be doing something wrong." -- Hoffman F. Fuller

    • "Taxes are not levied for the benefit of the taxed." -- Robert Heinlein

    • "My uncle claims that if he files his income tax wrong he'll go to jail, and if he files it right he'll go to the poor house." -- Nonnee Coan

    • "For every $50 you earn, you get $10 and they get $40." -- Jay Leno explaining Form 1040

    • "All taxation is an evil, but heavy taxes, indiscriminately levied on everything are one of the greatest curses that can afflict a people." -- Brooks Adams

    • "I want to be sure that he is a ruthless son of a bitch, that he will do what he is told, that every income tax return I want to see, I see. "-- President Richard M. Nixon commenting on the kind of IRS Commissioner he wanted

    • "[W]e do not have, and never had, and could not have a 'voluntary' tax system." -- Donald C. Alexander - former tax Commissioner

    • "Congress tried to soak the rich, but drenched the middle class instead."-- Sen. Connie Mack, R-Fla., during debate on H.R. 2264, the 1993 budget reconciliation bill

    • "Due to the sheer size of the IRS, waste and mismanagement occur on a massive scale." -- Rep. Stephen Horn, R-Calif.

    • "Nothing is so well calculated to produce a death-like torpor in the country as an extended system of taxation and a great national debt." -- William Cobbett

    • "In the end, when you're dealing with tax laws, the pigs get fatter and the hogs get slaughtered." -- Gene Gavin

    • "We have long had death and taxes as the two standards of inevitability. But there are those who believe that death is the preferable of the two. 'At least,' as one man said, 'there's one advantage about death; it doesn't get worse every time Congress meets'."-- Erwin N. Griswold

    • "We now have so many regulations that everyone is guilty of some violation."-Donald Alexander

    • "Once the law starts asking questions, there's no stopping them."-William S. Burroughs

    • "It's a game. We [tax lawyers] teach the rich how to play it so they can stay rich-- and the IRS keeps changing the rules so we can keep getting rich teaching them." -- John Grisham

    • "In the matter of taxation, every privilege is injustice." -- Voltaire

    • "Americans now get less from their federal government than they used to. But most people pay about as much in taxes-or more-than they did in the past." -- Robert S. McIntyre

    • "The new technologies should not be used as justification to create new taxes." -- Glen A. Kohl

    • "The reward of energy, enterprise and thrift is taxes." -- William Feather

  6. CORRUPTION

    • "There is no art which one government sooner learns from another than that of draining money from the pockets of the people."-- Adam Smith

    • "No man's property is safe while Congress is in session." -- Mark Twain

    • "The privacy and dignity of our citizens [are] being whittled away by sometimes imperceptible steps. Taken individually, each step may be of little consequence. But when viewed as a whole, there begins to emerge a society quite unlike any we have seen -- a society in which government may intrude into the secret regions of a [person's] life."-Justice William O. Douglas

    • "The federal income tax system is a disgrace to the human race." -- Jimmy Carter

    • "The history of congressional oversight of the IRS does not speak well for how seriously lawmakers have been monitoring the operations of the agency." -- George Guttman

    • "It would be an extreme if not an extravagant application of the Fifth Amendment to say that it authorized a man to refuse to state the amount of his income because it had been made in crime." -- Oliver Wendell Holmes

    • When you do a good deed, get a receipt, in case heaven is like the IRS.

    • Did you ever notice??  If you put together the two words of “THE” and “IRS” it spells “THEIRS”?

    • "I don't like the income tax. Every time we talk about these taxes we get around to the idea of 'from each according to his capacity and to each according to his needs'. That's socialism. It's written into the Communist Manifesto. Maybe we ought to see that every person who gets a tax return receives a copy of the Communist Manifesto with it so he can see what's happening to him.." -- T. Coleman Andrews, Commissioner of Internal Revenue, May 25, 1956 in U.S. News & World Report

    • "The war against illegal plunder has been fought since the beginning of the world. But how is ... legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not 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 this law without delay ... If such a law is not abolished immediately, it will spread, multiply and develop into a system." -- Frederic Bastiat, French author of "The Law" (1848).  (See his book entitled The Law)

    • "I believe that the 16th amendment has created a system that is economically destructive, impossibly complex, overly intrusive, unprincipled, dishonest, unfair, and inefficient "-- Rep. Sam Johnson R-Texas on April 10, 1997

    • "[T]he tax code is the single greatest source of lobbying activity in Washington." -- Rep. Richard K. Armey, R-Texas

    • "The best things in life are free, but sooner or later the government will find a way to tax them." -- Unknown 1/4/99

    • "The collection of any taxes which are not absolutely required, which do not beyond reasonable doubt contribute to the public welfare, is only a species of legalized larceny." -- President Calvin Coolidge

    • "The current income tax code is the chief source of political corruption in the nation's capitol. Tax reform is not for the timid." -- Rep. Richard K. Armey, R-Texas

    • "The only people helped by the death tax are lawyers, accountants, and IRS agents." -- Rep. Bob Schaffer, R-Colo.

    • "I don't see why a man shouldn't pay an inheritance tax. If a country is good enough to pay taxes to while you are living, it's good enough to pay in after you die." -- Will Rogers

  7. SOCIALISM

    • "There's only one way to kill capitalism-- by taxes, taxes, and more taxes." -- Karl Marx

    • "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery." --Winston Churchill

    • "The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools." --Herbert Spencer

    • "Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else." --Frederic Bastiat

    • "In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other." --Voltaire

    • "We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds...we [will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers. And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent ...till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery. And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression."-Thomas Jefferson

    • A tax loophole is "something that benefits the other guy. If it benefits you, it is tax reform,'' Russell B Long 

    • "A power has risen up in the government greater than the people themselves, consisting of many and various powerful interests, combined in one mass, and held together by the cohesive power of the vast surplus in banks."-John C. Calhoun

    • "A people who extend civil liberties only to preferred groups start down the path either to dictatorship of the right or the left."-Justice William O. Douglas

    • "The invisible Money Power is working to control and enslave mankind. It financed Communism, Facism, Marxism, Zionism and Socialism. All of these are directed to making the United States a member of World Government."-American Mercury Magazine

    • "Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt." -- Herbert Hoover

    • "In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other."-Voltaire

    • "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, The Law

    • "The ideal solution is for the Government to live within its means not yours. "

    • "There are two distinct classes of men... those who pay taxes and those who receive and live upon taxes." (Thomas Paine)

    • "When a new source of taxation is found, in practice, that an old source is abandoned. It merely means that the politicians have two ways of milking the taxpayer where they had only one before." -- H. L. Mencken

    • "I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious."-Thomas Jefferson

    • "There are two methods, or means, and only two, whereby man's needs and desires can be satisfied. One is the production and exchange of wealth; this is the economic means. The other is the uncompensated appropriation of wealth produced by others; this is the political means." -- Albert Jay Nock

    • "If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free." --P.J. O'Rourke

  8. STATISTICS

    • "The IRS has 480 different tax forms, plus 280 more to explain how to fill out the first 480. The original Tax Code had 11,400 words; today it has 7 million." -- Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas

    • "Most voters would rather have their purse or wallet stolen than be audited by the IRS." -- Frank Luntz

    • "Since the 1980s, it seems as if every journalist writing on tax policy is out to win a Pulitzer Prize by exposing some Watergate-type scandal of corruption and greed lurking behind the provisions of the Tax Code." -- Sheldon D. Pollack

    • "Today's American works half of every day to pay for the burden of government. His taxes are used to reward the lazy and the immoral." -- Ellen R. Sauerbrey, candidate for Governor of Maryland in a campaign speech

    • "American workers spend more of their day working to pay taxes than they do to feed, clothe, and house their families."-- The Tax Foundation 9/6/99

    • Last year, only one in five calls to the IRS customer hot line got through (GAO) 

    • Half of all errors on paper 1040 forms are the result of IRS employees inputting incorrect numbers (Portman-Kerry Commission).

    • The IRS publishes 480 tax forms and 280 forms to explain the 480 forms. The IRS sends out 8 million pages of forms and instructions each year, enough to circle the earth 28 times (Portman-Kerry Commission). 

    • The tax code is 1 million words and 5,000 pages (House Ways and means Committee, 3/4/97). The regulations interpreting the code add an additional 12,000 pages. (Heritage Foundation Backgrounder, 4/97). Houston Chronicle, 4/17/97 

    • In 1994 the top 1 percent of income earners bore 28.8 percent of the U.S.income tax burden, up from 17.9 percent in 1981. 

    • The top 10 percent of income earners paid 58.2 percent of income taxes, up from 48.2 percent in 1981. 

    • The bottom 75 percent of households paid 20.5 percent of total income taxes, down from 27.9 percent in 1981. 

    • The bottom half of all income earners paid only 4.8 percent of all income taxes, down from 7.4 percent in 1981. 

    • "All taxes are a drag on economic growth. It's only a question of degree." -- Alan Greenspan

    • "Since the content of tax policy is both complex and uninteresting to most readers, the press prefers to write about corruption and lobbying. The ideal story reports on a political campaign contribution to a member of the tax committee who has gotten a special interest amendment adopted for the contributor." -- Thomas J. Reese

    • "The thing generally raised on city land is taxes." -- Charles Dudley Warner

    • Even Congress doesn't understand the tax laws. Sixty percent of the members of the Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee don't do their own taxes, according to a Money Magazine survey. Congress gets free tax preparation services. The rest of us pay $30 billion a year for professional tax help.

    • "A true patriot would keep the attention of his fellow citizens awake to their grievances, and not allow them to rest till the causes of their just complaints are removed." -- Sam Adams 1771 

    • "All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing."-Edmund Burke

    • "The Republic was not established by cowards; and cowards will not preserve it ... This will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave."-Elmer Davis

    • "The attempt to silence a man is the greatest honour you can bestow on him. It means that you recognise his superiority to yourself."-Joseph Sobran

    • "19 terrorists in 6 weeks have been able to command 300 million North Americans to do away with the entirety of their civil liberties that took 700 years to advance from the Magna Carta onward. The terrorists have already won the political and ideological war with one terrorist act. It is mindboggling that we are that weak as a society."-Rocco Galati

    • "Give to every human being every right that you claim for yourself."-Robert Ingersoll

    • "If we make peaceful revolution impossible, we make violent revolution inevitiable."-John F. Kennedy

    • "The inherent right in the people to reform their government, I do not deny; and they have another right, and that is to resist unconstitutional laws without overturning the government."-Daniel Webster

    • "It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning."-Henry Ford

    • "Eight decades of amendments... to (the) code have produced a virtually impenetrable maze... The rules are unintelligible to most citizens... The rules are equally mysterious to many government employees who are charged with administering and enforcing the law."-Shirley Peterson

  9. REFORM

    • "While birds can fly, only humans can argue. Argument is the affirmation of our being. It is the principal instrument of human intercourse. Without argument the species would perish. As a subtle suggestion, it is the means by which we aid another. As a warning, it steers us from danger. As exposition, it teaches. As an expression of creativity, it is the gift of ourselves. As a protest, it struggles for justice. As a reasoned dialogue, it resolves disputes. As an assertion of self, it engenders respect. As an entreaty of love, it expresses our devotion. As a plea, it generates mercy. As charismatic oration it moves multitudes and changes history. We must argue -- to help, to warn, to lead, to love, to create, to learn, to enjoy justice, to be."-Gerry Spence

    • "Ideas of fairness in taxation are usually nebulous." -- Roy Blough and Carl Shoup

    • "To oppose corruption in government is the highest obligation of patriotism."-G. Edward Griffin

    • "If a thousand men were not to pay their tax bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State to commit violence and shed innocent blood. This is, in fact, the definition of a peaceful revolution, if any such is possible." -- Henry David Thoreau

    • "Any substantial tax reform would involve substantial redistributions of tax burdens and substantial changes in asset values, and you need some 'lubrication' (i.e., transition rules)." -- Robert Reischauer

    • "Fundamental [tax] reform almost always runs the risk of making things worse." -- Dan Rostenkowski

    • "It is fairer to tax people on what they extract from the economy, as roughly measured by their consumption, than to tax them on what they produce for the economy, as roughly measured by their income." -- Thomas Hobbes

    • "The best way for the Government to maintain its credit is to pay as it goes-not by resorting to loans, but by keeping out of debt-through an adequate income secured by a system of taxation, external or internal, or both. "-- President William McKinley's First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1897

    • "Unless we wish to hamper the people in their right to earn a living, we must have tax reform. -- President Calvin Coolidge 

    • "Are we ever going to have a federal tax system that regular people can understand?" -- Dave Barry

    •  "If Congress were to pass a flat tax, you'd simply pay a fixed percentage of your income, and you wouldn't fill out any complicated forms, and there would be no loopholes for politically connected groups, and normal people would actually understand the tax laws, and giant talking broccoli stalks would come around and mow your lawn for free, because Congress is NOT going to pass a flat tax, you pathetic fool." -- Dave Barry

    • "It's the kind of work that makes your hair hurt." -- Daniel Mitchell on the need for more attention to transition rules in converting to a flat tax

    • "Now is the time for us to restore freedom to the American taxpayer." -- Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas

    • "Ripping out the system by its roots is a proposition we readily support." -- W. Henson Moore during a July 31, 1996 Ways and Means Committee hearing

    • "Tax reform is taking the taxes off things that have been taxed in the past and putting taxes on things that haven't been taxed." -- Art Buchwald

    • "Hypocrisy . . . raises its head every time the subject of tax simplification comes up." -- Lee A. Sheppard

    • "Nothing guarantees more applause and more support than the call to abolish the IRS." -- Frank Luntz

    • "[Congress should] pull the current income tax code out by its roots and throw it away." -- Rep. Bill Archer, R-Texas, at a Ways and Means Committee hearing

    • "Suggesting that the IRS outsource its enforcement activities is like suggesting that the FBI outsource its manhunts and the Pentagon outsource its wars." -- Tax Executives Institute

    • "We must get rid of the IRS. It's a bureaucracy fraught with totalitarianism." -- Rep. Sonny Bono, R-California

    • "Congress should take the IRS, hand-cuff them to a chain-link fence and flog them with their own damn tax code." -- Rep. James A. Traficant, D-Ohio

    • "The trouble with an income-tax reduction is that it will stimulate business just enough to put everybody in a higher tax bracket." -- Harold Coffin

    • "Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise." -- Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1785

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Last revision: August 14, 2009 08:07 AM
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