Those are words from our very first Chief Justice, John Marshall. He was right, taxation can be a very effective way to encourage some behavior and penalize others. We have taxes on alcohol and tabacco to discourage use, for example. We give tax incentives to industries we want to invest in a particular areas. Let's look at individual taxes and see what our tax policy is trying to destroy, and what it is trying to preserve.
Congratulations! You made a million dollars last year! Now that sounds great, but the question is how did you get that Million? Let's look at the tax implications from various ways you could have earned that money:
Inheritance: Its your lucky day. You get a million dollars and you don't owe any taxes
Capital Gains: Sad, for you, but you will have to pay 15% of your million as tax.
Labor: You worked for the money? Well you need to be punished, because you didn't do the right thing, like have wealthy parents, or live off a trust fund. your effective tax rate is 32.8%
So let's compare: Inherit $1,000,000, keep $1,000,000
Investment gains of $1,000,000, keep $850,000
Earn $1,000,000 through work, keep $672,000
Our tax code rewards people for inheriting money the most, than investing, and finally punitively taxes the income on labor at a much higher rate. How in the world did this become our set of priorities?
The President and the democrats need to be talking about tax fairness that treats all income the same. We shouldn't be favoring trust fund babies over those who are working. Capital gains, inheritence, etc should be considered like all other forms of income. That would solve a large part of our revenue problem right there.