[S]tatism is but socialized dishonesty; it is feathering the nests of some with feathers coercively plucked from others – on the grand scale. There is no moral difference between the act of a pickpocket and the progressive income tax or any other social program.
In 1950, the average family of four paid 2% of its earnings to federal taxes. Today it pays 24%.
One of the institutions--and the people who compose it--to whom we have an integrity obligation is the nation of which we are citizens. In the case of most of us, that country is the United States of America. For me, the most consistently dismaying lack of individual integrity in this respect is the failure of rather large numbers of American citizens to pay their income taxes. Equally dismaying are the reasons given by some of these people. The two most common are that the income tax is either unconstitutional or (in the case of some LDS Church members) inconsistent with gospel principles. Each of these positions is absurd. Concerning constitutionality, the income tax is explicitly authorized by the Constitution itself. The Sixteenth Amendment states, in words that could not be more plain: "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes." I have spent a good part of my life arguing and litigating over what is and is not constitutional. But I have never understood how any rational human being can take the position that a part of the Constitution itself is unconstitutional. And the notion that the anti-income tax position is rooted in gospel principles is equally insupportable in light of President Harold B. Lee's statement describing as "vicious and wicked" the practice of those "who are taking the law into their own hands by refusing to pay their income tax because they have some political disagreement with constituted authorities" ("Admonitions for the Priesthood of God," Ensign, January 1973, pp. 105, 106).
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