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We really don’t need to pay taxes. We pay taxes because the financial sector and the banks do not want the governments simply to create the money on its own printing press. We pay taxes as a way of keeping down labor. We tax labour and industry but we don’t tax real estate, we hardly tax finance at all, and we don’t tax monopolies, which are large enough to have off-shore banking centres where they don’t pay taxes. We pay taxes so that the 1% can push the whole tax burden on to the 99% and prevent it from rising in the economy. Prevent it from having economic power that might turn into political power to make productivity to help its own living standards and help society instead of helping the 1% to make society worse and worse. Michael Hudson, interview The Keiser Report September 2020
Death and taxes and childbirth! There’s never any convenient time for any of them. Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind, 1936
Our new Constitution is now established and has the appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes. Benjamin Franklin
The people will be crushed under the burden of taxes, loan after loan will be floated; after having drained the present, the State will devour the future. Frederic Bastiat
You gotta render unto Caesar … They just want to tax you a little bit. Training Day 2001 starring Denzel Washington & Ethan Hawke & Scott Glenn & Tom Berenger & Harris Yulin & Raymond Barry & Cliff Curtis & Dr Dre & Snoop Dogg & Macy Gray & Charlotte Ayanna & Eva Mendes et al, director Antoine Fuqua, Washington to dealer
Taxes go against the very spirit of free enterprise. That’s why they call it free ... She’s been polluting Zak’s mind with notions of equality and compassion. What ever happened to survival of fittest? What ever happened to the rich getting richer ... The first thing I’m going to do is eliminate these so-called Reforms. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine s7e24: The Dogs of War, Quark
Taxation – the very thing that had triggered the British civil wars would do so again this time in America. Simon Schama, A History of Britain s2e4: The Wrong Empire, BBC 2001
Then in one notorious incident the tormented Redcoats opened fire before the Statehouse: five Bostonians were left dead on the street. Shocked by the killings over the next three years both sides let things calm down. Eventually the British dropped all their taxes except one: that on tea. ibid.
Increasingly the stock in trade of British India was not spices, not cloth but taxes. ibid.
The American colonies are critical to Britain’s economic prosperity. Boston is a gateway to a market that accounts for 40% of British exports. And American taxes are also taken by the British crown. America: The Story of the US e1: Rebels, History 2010
Britain has repealed all taxes except one: on tea. In one of the most famous acts of resistance in history, rebels dump over $1,000,000 worth of tea into Boston Harbor. The British respond by closing down Boston Harbor. ibid.
The poll tax of 1380: everyone rich or poor over the age of fifteen had to pay twelve pence – a massive sum. Bettany Hughes, Seven Ages of Britain: The Sixth Age: 1350 A.D. – 1530 A.D. Channel 4 2003
The Romans turned taxation into a fine art. Bettany Hughes, The Roman Invasion of Britain III: Dominion, History 2010
In the 1370s with a series of national poll taxes which hit everyone ... The Peasants’ Revolt was an English phenomenon ... 63 women rebels were indicted in Sussex alone ... Once the rebels had dispersed, the government reneged on the deal. Michael Wood, The Great British Story: A People’s History 4/8: The Great Rising, BBC 2012
The top rate of income tax went up to 83%. Dominic Sandbrook, The 70s: The Winner Takes It All 77-79, BBC 2012
[Woodrow] Wilson: 2.8 million men would be drafted, and the top income tax rate was raised to 77% to cover defense spending. Ultimate Guide to the Presidents e5: Call of Duty 1899-1921, History 2013
My fellow citizens, I’d like to speak to you tonight about our future ... Specifically, I want to talk about taxes. Ronald Reagan
Read my lips – no new taxes. George H W Bush
Not over my dead body will they raise your taxes. George W Bush
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
Some critics claim the 16th amendment [income tax] was never ratified. William T Still, The Money Masters, 1996
If there were no Federal Reserve, there may have been no need for an income tax. James Jaeger, Fiat Empire: Why the Federal Reserve Violates the US Constitution, 2006
There’s nothing that politicians fear more than telling us our taxes are going up. Nick Robinson, Your Money and How They Spend It I BBC 2011
We put pressure on the Chancellor to spend more and more, and then we’re incredibly resistant to more tax to pay for it. Nick Robinson, Your Money and How They Spend It II
Taxes are for the very rich effectively voluntary. ibid.
We’re living way beyond our means. ibid.
By the end of the seventies a new Tory government came to office promising lower income tax for all. The basic rate was cut to 30%, the top rate to 60%. ibid.
Gordon Brown had scrapped the lower level of income tax – the 10p band. ibid.
Tax and national insurance – they pay for exactly the same things. ibid.
We never seem to think we’re getting a bargain. ibid.
Takeaways used to be tax-free until back in 1984 the then Tory government decided to extend VAT to cover them. ibid.
The IRS is a symptom of the problem. The real problem is the banking industry and the bankers in this country. That’s where the real problem lies. That’s the root of our problem. That’s why we’ve lost America. So pay your taxes. If you don’t pay ’em, you may get hurt ... The American people are living in a Matrix. Aaron Russo, interview Alex Jones
Once you realize that trickle-down economics does not work, you will see the excessive tax cuts for the rich as what they are – a simple upward redistribution of income, rather than a way to make all of us richer, as we were told. Ha-Joon Chang, 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism
One of the largest tax cuts in American history was passed with Vice President Dick Cheney casting the decisive vote. Frontline: Ten Trillion and Counting, PBS 2009
Real American tax receipts will decline this decade. Celente & Schiff & Paul & Faber & Rogers & Woods, MeltUp: The Beginning of a US Currency Crisis
I know from experience that even mentioning income distribution leads to angry accusations of class warfare ... Why has the response to rising inequality been a drive to reduce taxes on the rich? Paul Krugman