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The Rosetta Stone to the US Code: A New History of Taxation

Mises Institute

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The Rosetta Stone to the US Code: A New History of Taxation

The Rosetta Stone to the US Code: A New History of Taxation

Mises Institute

1
Followers
0
Plays
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About Us

This series of lectures by tax historian Charles Adams—based on original research—illuminates episodes in light of the tendency of government to tax beyond the point where people will tolerate. This is the fascinating story of how taxes have shaped history.Download the complete audio of this event (ZIP) here.

Latest Episodes

10. Learning from the Past: What History Teaches

Adams suggests nine reform items to tame the tax monster: 1) tear down the spy system, 2) establish a crime for tax extortion as well as a civil action for damages, 3) establish a civil action for damages for tortious tax administration including: malicious tax investigations, extortions, leaked information and grand jury abuse, 4) have all federal tax districts coincide with congressional districts and provide for the recall of district directors, 5) adjudicate tax disputes like any other debt, 6) decriminalize the tax law, 7) make congressional representatives and federal judges immune from the IRS, 8) make our federal tax system indirect as much as possible, and 9) another reform measure that may take the forefront in tax reform is a national consumption tax, like a sales tax.

-1 s2004 SEP 6
Comments
10. Learning from the Past: What History Teaches

9. American Taxation

The Laffer Curve from the 1920s reflects the truism that a 77 percent tax rate produces the same amount of revenue as a 7 percent tax rate. Once the tax rate exceeds twenty-five percent, less will be collected.

-1 s2004 SEP 6
Comments
9. American Taxation

8. The Civil War

A tariff set the stage for the American Civil War. The quarrel between the North and the South was a fiscal quarrel, not a war over slavery. The tariff of 1828 was called the tariff of abomination. Nullification was a strong argument to void unconstitutional federal laws.

-1 s2004 SEP 6
Comments
8. The Civil War

7. After the Magna Carta

Does liberty sow the seeds of its own destruction? Yes, by consenting to excessive taxes. Government will not want to give up the power. Taxes were to be only for common defense, not offensive wars.

-1 s2004 SEP 6
Comments
7. After the Magna Carta

6. Tax Revolt in the Netherlands

In this lecture Adams talks about the Enlightenment which was the philosophy of the eighteenth century. It was the high water mark of man’s thinking on taxes. They were wise; we’re not. These thinkers used the past as a guide.

-1 s2004 SEP 6
Comments
6. Tax Revolt in the Netherlands

5. The Swiss: From William Tell to No Tell

Note:The Swiss are not mentioned in this lecture.King Solomon, king of Israel from 970 to 931 BC, lusted after women as he grew older. He had a thousand wives and concubines. Solomon spent tax moneys for luxurious palaces and his harem. His treasury was soon empty, so he found new ways to drain money from his people.

-1 s2004 SEP 6
Comments
5. The Swiss: From William Tell to No Tell

4. The Middle Ages

Lady Godiva’s naked ride on her horse was a protest over taxes. Ship money for war ships was collected in Britain even though there was then no war.

-1 s2004 SEP 6
Comments
4. The Middle Ages

3. The Kaleidoscopic Romans

Adams begins with a few tidbits: taxation problems caused the end of Egypt and the taxes that the Greeks put on the Jews were an excessive one-third. Sulla of Rome created special tax agents, essentially IRS agents, to collect taxes. Cicero felt that the era of chaos made a military dictatorship inevitable, saying that, “And so in Rome only the walls of her houses remain standing… our Republic we have lost forever.”

-1 s2004 SEP 6
Comments
3. The Kaleidoscopic Romans

2. The Bible's World of Taxes

Adams begins this session with facts about taxation being the basis of the Civil War, not slavery. If the British had not taxed the colonies, the colonies would have remained with Britain and slavery would have been ended when Britain ended it. The thousand year history of the Romans covered everything about taxes.

-1 s2004 SEP 6
Comments
2. The Bible's World of Taxes

1. The Making of a Tax Historian

Charles Adams, the tax writer, tells young people to get a liberal education and go with the flow. He took tax law and he taught history. He saw that there was a tax story behind every event. Taxes, not slavery, caused the Civil War.Taxes began in Sumer. “Taxes are the fuel that make civilizations run,” but how we tax and spend determines to a large extent whether we are prosperous or poor, free or enslaved, and most importantly, good or evil. Taxes are forced exaction.

-1 s2004 SEP 6
Comments
1. The Making of a Tax Historian
the END

Latest Episodes

10. Learning from the Past: What History Teaches

Adams suggests nine reform items to tame the tax monster: 1) tear down the spy system, 2) establish a crime for tax extortion as well as a civil action for damages, 3) establish a civil action for damages for tortious tax administration including: malicious tax investigations, extortions, leaked information and grand jury abuse, 4) have all federal tax districts coincide with congressional districts and provide for the recall of district directors, 5) adjudicate tax disputes like any other debt, 6) decriminalize the tax law, 7) make congressional representatives and federal judges immune from the IRS, 8) make our federal tax system indirect as much as possible, and 9) another reform measure that may take the forefront in tax reform is a national consumption tax, like a sales tax.

-1 s2004 SEP 6
Comments
10. Learning from the Past: What History Teaches

9. American Taxation

The Laffer Curve from the 1920s reflects the truism that a 77 percent tax rate produces the same amount of revenue as a 7 percent tax rate. Once the tax rate exceeds twenty-five percent, less will be collected.

-1 s2004 SEP 6
Comments
9. American Taxation

8. The Civil War

A tariff set the stage for the American Civil War. The quarrel between the North and the South was a fiscal quarrel, not a war over slavery. The tariff of 1828 was called the tariff of abomination. Nullification was a strong argument to void unconstitutional federal laws.

-1 s2004 SEP 6
Comments
8. The Civil War

7. After the Magna Carta

Does liberty sow the seeds of its own destruction? Yes, by consenting to excessive taxes. Government will not want to give up the power. Taxes were to be only for common defense, not offensive wars.

-1 s2004 SEP 6
Comments
7. After the Magna Carta

6. Tax Revolt in the Netherlands

In this lecture Adams talks about the Enlightenment which was the philosophy of the eighteenth century. It was the high water mark of man’s thinking on taxes. They were wise; we’re not. These thinkers used the past as a guide.

-1 s2004 SEP 6
Comments
6. Tax Revolt in the Netherlands

5. The Swiss: From William Tell to No Tell

Note:The Swiss are not mentioned in this lecture.King Solomon, king of Israel from 970 to 931 BC, lusted after women as he grew older. He had a thousand wives and concubines. Solomon spent tax moneys for luxurious palaces and his harem. His treasury was soon empty, so he found new ways to drain money from his people.

-1 s2004 SEP 6
Comments
5. The Swiss: From William Tell to No Tell

4. The Middle Ages

Lady Godiva’s naked ride on her horse was a protest over taxes. Ship money for war ships was collected in Britain even though there was then no war.

-1 s2004 SEP 6
Comments
4. The Middle Ages

3. The Kaleidoscopic Romans

Adams begins with a few tidbits: taxation problems caused the end of Egypt and the taxes that the Greeks put on the Jews were an excessive one-third. Sulla of Rome created special tax agents, essentially IRS agents, to collect taxes. Cicero felt that the era of chaos made a military dictatorship inevitable, saying that, “And so in Rome only the walls of her houses remain standing… our Republic we have lost forever.”

-1 s2004 SEP 6
Comments
3. The Kaleidoscopic Romans

2. The Bible's World of Taxes

Adams begins this session with facts about taxation being the basis of the Civil War, not slavery. If the British had not taxed the colonies, the colonies would have remained with Britain and slavery would have been ended when Britain ended it. The thousand year history of the Romans covered everything about taxes.

-1 s2004 SEP 6
Comments
2. The Bible's World of Taxes

1. The Making of a Tax Historian

Charles Adams, the tax writer, tells young people to get a liberal education and go with the flow. He took tax law and he taught history. He saw that there was a tax story behind every event. Taxes, not slavery, caused the Civil War.Taxes began in Sumer. “Taxes are the fuel that make civilizations run,” but how we tax and spend determines to a large extent whether we are prosperous or poor, free or enslaved, and most importantly, good or evil. Taxes are forced exaction.

-1 s2004 SEP 6
Comments
1. The Making of a Tax Historian
the END
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