"If a government were trying to squeeze as much money as possible out of a population, what would it do?
1. The use of indirect rather than direct taxes, so that the tax is hidden in the price of goods.
2. Inflation, by which the state reduces the value of everyone else's currency.
3. Borrowing, so as to postpone the necessary taxation.
4. Gift and luxury taxes, where the tax accompanies the receipt or purchase of something special, lessening the annoyance of the tax.
5. “Temporary” taxes, which somehow never get repealed when the emergency passes.
6. Taxes that exploit social conflict, by placing higher taxes on unpopular groups.
7. The threat of social collapse or withholding monopoly government services if taxes are reduced.
8. Collection of the total tax burden in relatively small increments over time, rather than in a yearly lump sum.
9. Taxes whose exact incidence cannot be predicted in advance, thus keeping the taxpayer unaware of just how much he is paying.
10. Extraordinary budget complexity to hide the budget process from public understanding.
11. The use of generalized expenditure categories to make it difficult for outsiders to assess the individual components of the budget."
Amilcare Puviani
Italian scholar
paraphrased by David Boaz, What Big Government Is All About, The Freeman, April, 1997, p. 213-14
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Reader comments about this quote:
What im thinkin, cant be said........
 -- Kimo, Lahaina     
    And no one the wiser.
     -- J. B. Wulff, Bristol, CT     
     -- Mary, Michigan      
    And further to that thought - How all 10 Planks of the Communist Manifesto are at work in America: http://www.libertyzone.com/Communist-Manifesto-Planks.html
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    This leads perfectly into the comments by Milton Friedman that the true cost of government is all the taxation plus all the costs of all the regulation to comply with government. I would love to see that true calculation.
     -- J. Allen, Arlington, Va     
  • 1
    A start, and as Carlton said "all ten Planks", and, and, and . . .
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    One for my Tax file... Carlton, I'm sorry, I just had to laugh - Americans have no idea what would really happen if the 10 planks were implemented - we are way from little experiment... 1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes. 2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax. 3. Abolition of all right of inheritance. 4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels. 5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly. 6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State. 7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan. 8. Equal liability of all to labour. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture. 9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of the population over the country. 10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.[12]
     -- RBESRQ     
    A great example of a "temporary tax" is the payroll deduction tax which was supposed to finance WW2 which ended in 1945,the war, not the tax. This was meant to end after the war but the government loved it since they could bleed the suckers(us) a little at a time and we would hardly notice it. That's when we got the term"take home pay".
     -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
    Anonymous- not sure why you're apologizing. The 10 planks have in fact been implemented...just not blatantly as in straight up communism...yet!
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    Take the peoples' freedom from them all at once and they will revolt overnight, but just take it silently a little at a time and they will never realize it until to late.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
    Robert, I'll address just the first 3 planks. This is not the forum for an exhaustive explanation. There is no longer any allodial freehold in any State or land infected by the current de facto statist theocracy(s). By way of example: Government claims to have inherent right in toto aloof from We The People, government claims to be the sole sovereign any where it has presence thus giving it a distorted perception / enforcement of eminent domain so; don't pay your rent (property tax) to the alien organic hegemony (hiding behind the face of the public) and it will kick you out. 2nd, A heavy progressive or graduated income tax, too obvious to comment further. 3rd, the concept of focal interest here is right. To enforce any abolition of total inheritance is to lawfully state there is "NO" right and, "ALL" property belongs to the State. Any thing passed from one individual to another at the death of an individual is a facade to deceive the herd.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Mike...Awesome. :)
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    Never mind Communism; that was a boogie man dreamed up to detract us from our own governments perpetrating the 10 Steps of Dictatorship upon us. Look it up. Almost every step that Hitler took has been completed and Ronald Reagan was the initiator.
     -- L, Hanson, Edmonton, Canada     
     -- Rusty, Smallville      
    Puviani is right on!! It was obvious to me as a kid that the government wants a piece of the action between everything that happens between 2 parties. They are there every time we buy something, sell something, get married, have children, now they want to track what we eat, inhale, and even exhale! Mike is right about the first 3 planks -- already done, though most do not realize it. What about the 5th plank, the centralization of credit in the hands of the state by the use of a central bank? Now you know who the REAL state is: the Federal Reserve Bank. And the 6th plank, centralization and control of the means of communication and transportation -- already done. The rest has been done as much as remains profitable to the state -- but know that the state does believe it has the right to implement ANY and ALL communist planks if it so desires.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    There is a chill running up my spine
     -- Margot, Glen Ellyn Illinois     
    I never heard anything said as stupid as Ronald Reagan was the initiator of Hitler style dictatorship. It was initiated in slow steps in this country by FDR and the left. Reagan was not a leftist like Hitler.
     -- warren, olathe     
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