Capitalism is supposed to have progressive taxation

by J.A. Myerson

Laissez faire is an injunction against the government tampering with the affairs of business, not against the government providing social services by means of taxation. Now, as it happens, even the actual meaning of capitalism is, for the avarice it promotes, rebarbative, but as long as we’re going to talk about this system as one worth upholding, let’s get it straight at least. Here’s Adam Smith himself on the matter.

The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state. The expence of government to the individuals of a great nation is like the expence of management to the joint tenants of a great estate, who are all obliged to contribute in proportion to their respective interests in the estate. In the observation or neglect of this maxim consists what is called the equality or inequality of taxation.

Hands off my 16th Amendment, dudes. And, while you’re at it, get rid of those lethal Bush tax cuts.

Advertisements