Tuesday, September 8, 2015
On the Fact that William Jennings Bryan (a Man Who I Admire in Many Ways but Who Disappointed Me Here) Actually Tried to Convince the American Citizens that Adam Smith Was a Supporter of the Income Tax
This, straight from Smith's "Wealth of Nations"; "Capitation taxes, if it is attempted to proportion them to the fortune or revenue of each contributor, become altogether arbitrary. The state of a man's fortune varies from day to day, and without an inquisition more intolerable than any tax, and renewed at least once every year, can only be guessed at. His assessment , therefore, must in most cases depend upon the good or bad humour of his assessors, and must, therefore, be altogether arbitrary and uncertain.............An inquisition into every man's private circumstances, and an inquisition which, in order to accommodate the tax to them, watched over all the fluctuations of his fortune, would be a source of such continual and endless vexation as no people could support."......Well said, Adam. Well said (and, yes, he was clearly wrong about that last part in that the average Joe of today has no problem whatsoever in taxation as long as it doesn't pertain to him).