"I don't like the income tax. Every time we talk about these taxes we get around to the idea of 'from each according to his capacity and to each according to his needs'. That's socialism. It's written into the Communist Manifesto. Maybe we ought to see that every person who gets a tax return receives a copy of the Communist Manifesto with it so he can see what's happening to him."
by:
T. Coleman Andrews
Commissioner of Internal Revenue
Source:
May 25, 1956 in US. News & World Report
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True socialism would have you think that everyone's needs are the same, and thus that it is lots of take and only give to meet the needs with nothing left over. I believe that our system is more about compassion, where by those in need can have their needs met by those whose capacity exceeds not just their needs, but also most of their wants. This leaves room for those with capacity to not only help those with needs, but to also meet many of their own wants.
 -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
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    That's great Robin Hood from Reston ... steal from the rich and give to the poor ... forced charity at the end of a gun.
     -- Mike, NC     
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     -- Logan, Memphis, TN      
    Although taxes are misused and wasted, taxes will always be the source of revenue that pays the bills of government and pays for vital services enjoyed by the whole population.
     -- David L. Rosenthal, Hollywood     
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    The fact is, no matter how 'good' socialism sounds, we have never been able to fund it without borrowing trillions of dollars -- now to the extent that we can never pay it back, and the interest is so high, that our taxes (from rich and poor alike) merely pay the interest. Anon from Reston, at what expense shall be this 'compassion'? Who gets the power to decide who is worthy of financial aid and whose duty it is to meet it? If you ask me, to take 75% of my labors and 90% of my savings every 20 years (through inflation) is an awfully high price to pay for government's 'compassion'.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    The quote reflects a simplistic view containing some initial truth seasoned with the heavy hand of ideology. E Archer has hit on the 'secret tax' in his reference to 'managed inflation' which makes the debt 'worth less' as time progresses. In other words, the actual 'wealth' needed to pay back a debt is reduced by the inflation rate over time.
     -- Terry Berg, Occidental, CA     
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    The engine of socialism is human covetousness. Anonymous from Reston, when will you ever accept that what is mine shouldn't be subject to confiscation in order to give to someone else based on your mob-vote? Right now I can't afford medical insurance because you are taking the money to provide medical benefits to welfare recipients. How absurd, how criminal.
     -- Paul, Union, WA     
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     -- Eric, Cary, NC      
    A little book,"The Income Tax, Root of all Evil" explains this beautifully. Mr Andrews is right as rain. All taxes are nothing more than Legalized Theft.
     -- Jim Kilpatrick, Austin, Texas     
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    The worst thing about socialist activity in our government is the incredible amount of damage it does to those it pretends to help. This has created people that have for generations learned nothing but dependency. The only responsibility they have is to vote for more.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money" ~ George Bernard Shaw Which is happening very quickly right now, but no worries, Obama just signed away pretty much the last of American Sovereignty and we'll all have a new one world currency. That ought to save the day! These communist's must be stopped.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA, US      
    Shows how balanced the IRS is. This guy was the commissioner and he didn't like income taxes. We got to get away from this boogey man about socialism and communism. Since virtually every industrialized nation we know, all of our European friends etcetera have the income tax there must be something good to be said for it, why else for goodness sake does everyone have it. Robin Hood may have been in real life the Earl of Locksley who knew how the poor were oppressed by Bad King John. He was loved by his people and is still revered by the English for his progressive thinking and his humanity.Without the poor there would not be any rich. Where do you think the rich get there money if not by cornering the market on the poor. All this current bruhaha about a tax increase that will simply return us to the tax regimine under Clinton which included balanced and surplus budgets and thus a pay done on the Reagan/Bush debts, is incredulous. As Obama said we must stop this awful defict spending and allowing the Communist Chineese to pay it for us and thus own us.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    PS: If y'all want to win any argument just call the opposing side socialist or communist, that will turn the trick for you.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Terry you may be right and it may be the only way our of this quagmire. Yes, it will be managed by those that were responsible for the mess in the first place. The wave of forgiveness that we are currently experiencing by the White House makes a mockery out of Nuremberg trials. Up setting the apple cart is what we need to do - so perhaps we should reinstate all those employees that resigned over our use of torture and the COMPLETE and unconscionable theft of trillions by our financial institutes. I voted for Obama but I am very, very, disappointed with his attitude with regard to these crimes - if we are to move forward as a great nation we must first deal with crimes of the past and not as usual brush them under the proverbial carpet. The current government attitude just goes to prove Carlin's point that we are not represented government and that government represents corporate and wall street interests as they are the truth overlords. We have squandered our wealth and integrity for short term greed and misplaced security. I see just an extension of pre January politics - sad, very sad. It's now obvious that America needs to reform its so-called democracy - a democracy governed by oligarchy and not its people is bound to fail.
     -- RBESRQ     
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    Little wonder that Waffler is a socialist. Maybe you didn't get the memo Waffler - Socialism and liberty are opposites. You can't have individual liberty if the "state" owns everything or can take everything with taxes!
     -- Blue     
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    America is neither socialist or capitalist. Some have called it "state capitalism". I call it pragmatism.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Waffler, its theocracy by despotism.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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     -- Anonymous      
     -- Anonymous      
    Well I'm no great thinker, as I believe all of you to be. I believe that Mr. Andrews in his complete statement about the irs, was exactly right. But that's just my view. I don't believe we are going to get anywhere by calling anyone names, ie: socialist/communists, etc. I'm an American, I have fought for my country & our Freedom. Kind of makes me a little sad that this is the Freedom I fought for. In his remarks, Mr. Andrews said that we must find another way to fund our government. It must be funded, so let's find a better, less intrusive way to do it. I have recently read about a tax structure called the FAIR TAX. I've read th bill proposed to congress and it seems a sound way to fund government. I would be very interested to hear what all you deep thinkers think about it.
     -- Jim, Ocala, Fl     
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    As the head of the IRS, I think Andrews had a fairly good perspective on an income tax.
     -- T.C. Andrews Jr., USA     
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    No matter how you cut it...it's blatant theft. And once you understand that your income tax dollar goes "just to pay the interest" on loans made out of thin air....it's a capital crime. And Reston...you can't "legislate compassion". If you want people to be more compassionate you need to give them the freedom to be so and the means to be so. Having their pockets picked does not encourage people to be more generous.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    T.C. Andrews Jr., summed it up. The country has headed downhill ever since 1913 when we got the 16th amendment and the Fed. It got a major downhill boost by FDR's New Deal.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
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    Here's a proposed solution: America will use two types of currency, one 'hard' and one 'soft' -- the hard currency will be backed by real commodities like gold, silver, platinum, water, etc. -- we will call this 'cash' -- and the other 'soft' currency will be promissory notes like our current fiat currency issued as debt but traded as currency -- we will call this 'credit'. The banking system that issues the credit currency will be owned wholly by the People (with a national bank, state banks, county banks, etc in such a way that the process is distributed, not centralized) and all profits (which are immense) will be used to pay for government services. The government may borrow all that it needs, at market interest rates. The interest goes to the People as well. The income tax will be eliminated as it is frankly unnecessary. The values of cash and credit will fluctuate with the market. The credit currency will naturally deflate in value as more is issued -- called inflation. Holders of the debt can decide for themselves whether they want to continue with this currency as they do already. Those that wish to have credit cards and borrow for their wants and needs will use credit currency and take the risk that comes with that. People can save their cash and forgo the risks associated with interest-bearing credit accounts if they wish. States may decide for themselves what form of excise or sales taxes they may wish to impose only with a 2/3 majority vote and up for review every few years. The federal and state governments will not be allowed to load the citizens with debt -- it is THEIR debt, and if their credit is no longer good, then their government corporation dissolved and a new one created -- they may NOT use the property or labors of the People as collateral for their promises-to-pay. We will never be able to get rid of IOUs, they are a function of commerce, BUT we should always have the choice to accept IOU's or not, we must not be forced legally to accept promises-to-pay in lieu of cash.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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