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84 of 6,095 quotations related to Taxes

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Bastiat, Frederic
The state is the great fiction by which everybody tries to live at the expense of everybody else.

Boaz, David
The fundamental class division in any society is not between rich and poor, or between farmers and city dwellers, but between taxpayers and tax consumers.

Buchwald, Art
Tax reform is taking the taxes off things that have been taxed in the past and putting taxes on things that haven't been taxed before.

Bush, George W.
I’ve described myself as a compassionate conservative, because I am convinced a conservative philosophy is a compassionate philosophy that frees individuals to achieve their highest potential. It is conservative to cut taxes and compassionate to give people more money to spend. It is conservative to insist upon local control of schools and high standards and results; it is compassionate to make sure every child learns to read and no one is left behind. It is conservative to reform the welfare system by insisting on work; it’s compassionate to free people from dependency on government. It is conservative to reform the juvenile justice code to insist on consequences for bad behavior; it is compassionate to recognize that discipline and love go hand in hand.

Mar. 7, 1999 - from his speech announcing his consideration of the Republican nomination for the presidency of the United States
Carlson, Margaret
 I mean the only thing that could explain this love of tax cuts is a lowered IQ.

Jul. 24, 1999 - on the CNN television show Capital Gang
Champion, Chris  
A landmark 1992 study by Quebec researchers Andre Raynauld and Jean-Pierre Vidal estimated the cost of smoking to non-smokers was $24 million in 1986. But because smokers die earlier, they showed a net transfer to non-smokers of $1.4 billion in saved pensions alone. Add smokers' excise taxes and there was a $4.3 billion net transfer from smokers to non-smokers.

Jul. 8, 1996 - from "The price of golden eggs", Alberta Report
Chrétien, Jean  
 The problem with cutting taxes is the people don't realize, because they think they have more cash is because they have a pay increase and so on. ... It's not very visible because it's not a huge sum of money on every pay...

Sep. 8, 2001 - quoted in "No more tax cuts, PM says" by Shawn McCarthy, published in the Globe and Mail
 If you look at only one aspect of life [taxes], maybe you would prefer living elsewhere.

Jul. 25, 1999 - quoted in Toronto's Globe and Mail newspaper while he was Prime Minister, encouraging critics of high taxation to leave Canada
Churchill, Sir Winston
In finance everything that is agreeable is unsound and everything that is sound is disagreeable.

Cicero, Marcus Tullius
Taxes are the sinews of the state.

Clinton, William Jefferson
 I am here because I want to redefine the meaning of citizenship in America. ... If you're asked in school 'What does it mean to be a good citizen?' I want the answer to be, 'Well, to be a good citizen, you have to obey the law, you've got to go to work or be in school, you've got to pay your taxes and - oh, yes, you have to serve ...

from a speech at the Volunteerism Summit
 A wage-based premium.

Pledged not to raise taxes, this is what Clinton called the tax he planned to impose to pay for his health care reforms. Quoted in Read My Lips by Parris and Mason
Coolidge, Calvin
The collection of any taxes which are not absolutely required, which do not beyond reasonable doubt contribute to the public welfare, is only a species of legalized larceny.

Mar. 24, 1925 - from his Inaugural Address
The general welfare cannot be provided for in any one act, but it is well to remember that the benefit of one is the benefit of all, and the neglect of one is the neglect of all. The suspension of one man's dividends is the suspension of another man's pay envelope.

Jan. 7, 1914 - from a speech delivered to the Massachusetts Senate when he became its president
I favor the policy of economy, not because I wish to save money, but because I wish to save people. The men and women of this country who toil are the ones who bear the cost of the Government. Every dollar that we carelessly waste means that their life will be so much the more meager. Every dollar that we prudently save means that their life will be so much the more abundant. Economy is idealism in its most practical form.

Mar. 4, 1925 - from his Inaugural Address
[People] are not required to make any contribution to Government expenditures except that which they voluntarily assess upon themselves through the action of their own representatives. Whenever taxes become burdensome a remedy can be applied by the people; but if they do not act for themselves, no one can be very successful in acting for them.

Mar. 4, 1925 - from his Inaugural Address
The wise and correct course to follow in taxation and all other economic legislation is not to destroy those who have already secured success but to create conditions under which every one will have a better chance to be more successful. The verdict of the country has been given on this question. That verdict stands. We shall do well if we heed it.

Mar. 4, 1925 - from his Inaugural Address
Coulter, Ann
Nearly three-fourths [of women surveyed in a poll by Lifetime Television] believe it is more important for the government to shore up the Social Security Ponzi scheme than to bother with those silly tax cuts.

Apr. 18, 2000 - from her column "No shadow of a doubt - liberal women are useless"
Crane, Edward H.
Critics of course speak of the market risk of a fluctuating stock market. It's worth noting, therefore, that for all 30 year periods in the United States dating back from 1802 until the present, stocks have outperformed bonds 99.5 percent of the time. And overlooked in the discussion of market risk is what seems to me to be the much greater political risk of increased taxes, delayed retirement, and reduced benefits. With a private system, the citizen controls the assets. With a public system, the politicians are in control, and I know of no country where that is not a risk.

Apr. 15, 1998 - from the collection Vital Speeches of the Day, published by the Cato Institute
Douglass, Frederick
Men may not get all they pay for in this world, but they certainly pay for all they get.

Durant, William
A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within. The essential cause of Rome's decline lay in her people, her morals, her class struggle, her failing trade, her bureaucratic despotism, her stifling taxes, her consuming wars.

1944 - from Caesar and Christ
Finlay, J. Richard  
Until the nation rouses itself from its dreamy state of complacency and adopts a more mature approach to its governance, one of the highest taxed people in the industrialized world can look forward to paying yet one more tax: that of a lower C$, brought on by leaders who have not yet awakened to the political realities of a 21st-century economy.

from a column in the Financial Post
Forbes, Steve
The average U.S. family today pays more in federal, state and local taxes than for food, clothing, transportation and housing - combined. No wonder two incomes in a family still cannot do the job one income could in previous generations. This is unacceptable in a free society, both morally and fiscally.

Jul. 15, 1997 - from an essay in the Wall Street Journal
Franklin, Benjamin
... in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

Nov. 13, 1789 - from a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy
The more the people are discontented with the oppression of taxes; the greater need the prince has of money to distribute among his partisans and pay the troops that are to suppress all resistance, and enable him to plunder at pleasure.

Jun. 2, 1787 - from a speech before the Constitutional Convention
Fraser Institute  
By and large, the US experienced an across-the-board increase in the number of taxpayers who donated to charities from the previous year. ... Canada, on the other hand, continued its own worrisome trend in which the proportion of taxpayers donating to charities is continuing to decline.

Dec. 2000 - from "Canadian & American Monetary Generosity"
Once more, the Canadian provinces rank dead last, without exception, in terms of the average dollar value of charitable donations when compared with US states.

Dec. 2000 - from "Canadian & American Monetary Generosity"
The estimated combined cost of federal, provincial, and municipal regulations reached 83.4 billion dollars in 1995-96, which translates into a burden of $11,272 for a family of four.

Nov. 14, 1998 - quoted in The National Post
Friedman, Milton
... a reduction in taxes would have the same stimulative effect as an increase in spending, yet it would avoid the long-term adverse effect of increasing the role of government in the economy.

Jun. 1992 - from an interview published in The Region, a publication of the Woodrow Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
Frum, David  
Right now, the [actuarial] troubles of [the Canada Pension Plan] and the federal retirement system are tedious, abstract subjects. But in about a dozen years, the abstraction will be squeezed flat out of them, as taxes remorselessly rise to honour the easy promises made by glad-handing politicians when the Baby Boomers were young. ... the obligations of present and future taxpayers to the post-2011 retirees have already exceeded any reasonable - and most unreasonable - definitions of the taxpayers' ability to pay.

Aug. 28. 1999 - from "Taxpayers overpaid by $30B", published in the National Post newspaper

This [Canadian] Liberal government seems to be obsessed by the fear that unless carefully watched, somebody somewhere in Canada might start making money. Even now, after a decade of redistributing ourselves into poverty, this government's policies seem to be premised on the assumption that it is better for all of us to fail together than for any of us to succeed. ... the consequences of confiscation ought by now to be clear to us all: recession, devaluation, falling standards of living, the deterioration of public and private services, backwardness, stagnation and immiseration.

Oct. 21, 2000 - from "No more excuses from the Grits", published in the National Post
Canada devalued its dollar from 89˘ to 66˘ in the 1990s because this forced reduction in labour costs was the only way our over-taxed economy could remain competitive with the surging American dynamo. We might have used the prosperous years since 1996 to re-engineer our economy in ways that would have encouraged young techies to stay home and that would have stimulated capital investment. Instead, the Chretien government has persisted in treating the tax issue as a selfish concern of the well-to-do.

Jan. 01, 2000 - from "Global warming, No; land claims, Yes", published in the National Post newspaper
Gingrich, Newt
Only the staunchest defender of the big government status quo could claim that a tax cut of any size is a selfish action.

Globe and Mail, The
Federal taxes account for 17.8 per cent of GDP this year, compared with 15.2 per cent in 1984 and 16.2 per cent in 1989. The Caledon Insitute calculates that federal and provincial income taxes rose from an average of 15.3 per cent of family income in 1980 to 20.2 per cent in 1997 - a jump of almost one third. The federal tax burden on individuals and families in 1999 is the heaviest in 40 years. That's why proposals to increase real per capita spending should be denied for now.

Oct. 9, 1999 - from its editorial page
Godfrey, Arthur
I'm proud of paying taxes. The only thing is--I could be just as proud for half the money.

Gramm, Phil
I was walking down the steps of the Capitol and a reporter came up to me and said, "Congressman Gramm, in your 1,350 page budget how did you decide what programs ought to grow and what programs ought to be cut?" I said, "I used the Dicky Flatt test..." I looked at every program in the federal government. And then I tried to think of an honest-to-God working person in my Congressional District. And I often thought of a printer from Mexia [Texas] named Dicky Flatt. And I thought about Dicky Flatt because he works for a living. He is in business with his wife, his momma, and his brother and brother's wife. They have a print shop. They sell stationary and school and office supplies. They work until 7 or 8 o'clock every week night, and they're open on Saturday. And whether you see Dicky Flatt at the PTA or the Boy Scouts or his church, try as he may he never quite gets that blue ink off the end of his fingers. I looked at each program and I thought about Dicky Flatt and I asked a simple question: will the benefits to be derived by spending money on this program be worth taking money away from Dicky Flatt to pay for it? Let me tell you something, there are not a hell of a lot of programs that will stand up to that test.

Aug. 18, 1992 - from his speech at the Republican National Convention, quoted in The Quotable Conservative, Evans and Berent, Adams Media
Grant, R.W.
If you need what others earn, No longer need you steal it! Government now does the job, And people hardly feel it!

1963 - from Tom Smith and His Incredible Bread Machine
Conservatives rail against the 'bad' art of [photographer Robert] Mapplethorpe or [performance artist Karen] Finley, and the debate quickly degenerates into a food fight over artistic taste. But the issue here is not bad art versus good art; the real issue is whether the individual should be compelled to support any art.

1999 - from The Incredible Bread Machine, published by Fox and Wilkes
Hand, Learned
Anyone may so arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible. He is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes.

Heinlein, Robert Anson
Taxes are not levied for the benefit of the taxed.

Jefferson, Thomas
To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical.

1779 - from Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which became a model for the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
Jonas, George  
[Former liberal prime minister of Canada Pierre Elliot] Trudeau's vision of Canada as a sheltered multicultural workshop ruled by philosopher princes, policed by human rights commissions and run by assorted social engineers has dominated our country for the last 31 years under both political parties. He must, therefore, take his share of the blame for our high taxes, shrinking dollar, stubborn unemployment, crumbling social services, continuing bi- and multicultural hostilities, gender-warfare, declining family values and diminishing civil liberties.

Oct. 18, 1999 - from "Left wing, charming, and wrong", published in the National Post newspaper
Keynes, John Maynard
The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that still carries any reward.

King, W.L. MacKenzie  
The promises of yesterday are the taxes of today.

Leishman, Rory  
... UNICEF ... suggests that a family is living in poverty if it has a household income after taxes that is less than half the average for all households of the same size in the country as a whole. By this measure, the percentage of children living in poverty ranges from 26 per cent in the United States to only 1.1 per cent in the Czech Republic. However, given that average incomes are almost six times greater in the United States than in the Czech Republic, it follows that a family in the United States might be wealthy by Czech standards, but have less than a poverty-line income according to the UNICEF measure. Yet UNICEF also insists that hardly anyone is poor in the Czech Republic. This is absurd.

Dec. 17, 1999 - from "Major hike in welfare benefits would do more harm than good", published in the London Free Press
Madison, James
In the general course of human nature, a power over a man's subsistence amounts to a power over his will.

1788 - from Federalist Paper 79
Margolis, Eric  
The Liberals are the party of big government. Under their patron saint, Pierre Trudeau, the federal government went from consuming 30% of national income to 53%. When government devours more than half of a nation's economic output, government no longer serves taxpayers, taxpayers serve government. Other countries call this socialism. In Canada, it's termed 'justice and compassion.'

Nov. 26, 2000 - from "Does Canada Need its Bloated Federal Government?"
Seventy percent of taxes Canadians pay on average - 70% - go to support the vast federal government in Ottawa. Provincial governments, which very ably conduct the real business of running Canada, get only a paltry 30%.

Nov. 26, 2000 - from "Does Canada Need its Bloated Federal Government?"
Marx, Karl
There is only one way to kill capitalism - by taxes, taxes, and more taxes.

Mencken, Henry Louis
Every invasion of the plain rights of the citizen has a lawyer behind it. If all lawyers were hanged tomorrow, and their bones sold to a mah jong factory, we'd all be freer and safer, and our taxes would be reduced by almost a half.

Nankivell, Neville  
There has been an explosion of user fees at all levels of government since the mid-1990s, when federal departments led the way as part of Ottawa's deficit-reduction programs. ... However there's legitimate and growing concern over user fees that are in effect a form of disguised taxes, imposed without adequate public scrutiny and consultation. The Canadian public's general tax fatigue is also rightly producing resistance to user fees when there's no discernible improvement in the delivery and quality of the service paid for - and quite often the reverse.

Jul. 08, 1999 - from his column in the Toronto National Post
National Post, The  
... the tobacco 'settlement' was a merger between Big Government and Big Tobacco, not an exercise in public health. In return for prosecutorial immunity, the tobacco companies have essentially agreed to collect an extra few dimes in taxes on each pack of cigarettes. The gargantuan dollar amount simply reflects the nominal value of years of tax hikes. Of course, politicians declared the settlement to be a victory against tobacco companies. That's a lot easier to sell to the public than just another tax grab.

Aug 28, 1999 - from its editorial
According to data collected by the Canadian Manufactureres and Exporters association, productivity gains in U.S. industry have exceeded those in Canada by 25% in the last five years. A big part of the U.S. advantage can be traced to after-tax profit margins, which were 30% higher. Thanks to this extra money, U.S. business investment in new technologies and equipment was, in relation to national GDP, 33% higher in the United States than in Canada. If the current trends are projected forward to 2010, Candians could face a living standard that is only half that of our southern neighbour.

Sep. 3, 2001 - from its editorial "Counter-productive"
Increasingly absurd attempts to make cigarette packaging unattractive are a smokescreen for the fact that no government really wants to ban tobacco -- taxing it is too lucrative. Tax is the true addiction. In the United States, the famous 12-figure tobacco industry "fine" is simply an amortized tax hike.

Dec. 18, 2000 - from its editorial "WHO's in charge here?"
O'Reilly, Bill
We are rapidly becoming a society that wants the government to redistribute income from those who have to those who don't have. They do this in Sweden and other countries with some success. But there are problems with quasi-socialism because the government cannot legislate responsibility. Remember the ant story you were told as a kid? The one that said most of the ants worked feverishly during the summer storing up food for the winter, but the grasshopper slept all day. Then winter came, and the industrious ants were fat and happy, while the lazy grasshopper went hungry. ... The difficulty here is that millions of Americans do work hard and make little progress. So they are in the same boat as the irresponsible, and the government can't weed them out.

Feb. 14, 2001 - from "A taxing situation", published by Creators Syndicate Inc.
O'Rourke, P.J.
We've been nice to the liberals for too long. They're thugs. The liberal dream is to control people, to oppress and exploit them for some 'higher' goal. ... [L]iberals are always championing laws and social programs which are theoretically good for a class of people while being provably disastrous for people themselves: racial quotas, busing, welfare, my goddamned taxes. ... The core of the liberal belief is that the mass is more important than the man.

1994 - from "The Carribean Refugee Crisis", published in The American Spectator Magazine
O'Sullivan, John
In the past thirty years, American judges have desegregated the entire school system; ordered the release of hundreds of violent criminals from allegedly overcrowded prisons; levied taxes in order to increase educational spending; removed a legislative prohibition on ethnic and gender quotas and then made such quotas mandatory; redrawn electoral boundaries and then laid down the rules for drawing them up in future; set aside the laws of fifty states on abortion by making it a federal civil right; declared nude dancing to be protected speech under the First Amendment ('What,' I always wonder, 'is the girl saying?'); compelled local authorities to put low-income housing in middle-class areas; and much, much else that was formerly thought to be in the domain of electoral politics.

Feb. 16, 1999 - from his lecture to the Centre for Policy Studies in London, England
Paine, Thomas
If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised to furnish new pretences for revenue and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey, and permits none to escape without a tribute.

1792 - from The Rights of Man: Part II
Pareto, Vilfredo
The plutocracy has invented countless makeshift programs, such as generating enormous public debt that plutocrats know they will never be able to repay, levies on capital, taxes which exhaust the incomes of those who do not speculate, sumptuary laws which have historically proven useless, and other similar measures. The principal goal of each of these measures is to deceive the multitudes.

1920 - from The Transformation of Democracy
Postrel, Virginia
Inflated wages make marginal workers unemployable ... high taxes and stringent employment regulations block immigrant entrepreneurship, and generous welfare benefits discourage work anyway.

Aug. 9, 1999 - from "Socialists need tall fences", published in Forbes Magazine

Reagan, Ronald Wilson
Why is it inflationary if the people keep their own money, and spend it the way they want to, [but] not inflationary if the government takes it and spends it the way it wants to?

1981 - from a speech at a White House reception, quoted in The Quotable Conservative by Rod Evans and Irwin Berent
Have we the courage and the will to face up to the immorality and discrimination of the progressive tax, and demand a return to traditional proportionate taxation? ... Today [1964] in our country the tax collector's share is 37 cents of every dollar earned. Freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp. [The Tax Foundation in the U.S. reported that in 1994 the average share paid in taxes was 49 cents.]

Oct. 27, 1964 - speech at the Republican National Convention
Reed, Lawrence
Examples of injurious laws motivated by egalitarian sentiments are legion. A classic case was the 1990 hike in [U.S.] federal excise taxes on boats, aircraft, and jewelry. Its sponsors in Congress presumed that only rich people buy boats, aircraft, and jewelry. Taxing those objects would teach the rich a lesson, help narrow the gap between the proverbial "haves" and "have-nots," and raise a projected $31 million in new revenues for the treasury in 1991. However, a subsequent study from the Joint Economic Committee of Congress showed that the rich did not line up by the flock to be sheared. Total revenue from the new taxes in 1991 was less than $17 million. Especially hard-hit were workers in the boating industry, where 7,600 jobs were wiped out. In the aircraft industry, 1,470 people were pink-slipped. In jewelry manufacturing, 330 joined the jobless ranks. Outlays for unemployment benefits to those who lost their jobs came to $24 million. To advance the cause of economic equality by punishing some, Congress succeeded in nothing more than making America a little bit poorer.

Nov. 7, 2000 - from "The Quackery of Equality", published by the Mackinac Center
Laws that aim to redistribute wealth prompt the smart or politically well-connected "haves" to seek refuge in tax shelters and other economic havens here or abroad, while the politically powerless "have-nots" bear the full brunt of economic decline.

Nov. 7, 2000 - from "The Quackery of Equality", published by the Mackinac Center
Reynolds, Alan
... we tax generosity within families -- even as we encourage people to deduct gifts to strangers.

May 1, 1997 - criticizing death taxes in "Death to Destructive Taxes -- Good Economics", in the Wall Street Journal
Roepke, Wilhelm
Very many people imagine that taxation of the higher income brackets merely implies restriction of luxury spending and that the purchasing power skimmed off from above is channeled into "social" purposes down below. This is an elementary error. It is quite obvious that larger incomes (and larger wealth) have so far mainly been spent for purposes which are in the interests of all. They serve functions which society cannot do without in any circumstances. Capital formation, investment, cultural expenditure, charity, and patronage of the arts may be mentioned among many others.

1957 - from A Humane Economy
Rogers, Will
The difference between death and taxes is death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets.

Roosevelt, Franklin D.
 One sure way to determine the social conscience of a Government is to examine the way taxes are collected and how they are spent. And one sure way to determine the social conscience of an individual is to get his tax-reaction. Taxes, after all, are the dues that we pay for the privileges of membership in an organized society.

Oct. 21, 1936 - from a campaign speech delivered in Worcester, Massacheusetts
Rothbard, Murray
Only the State obtains its revenue by coercion.

It is easy to be conspicuously compassionate if others are being forced to pay the cost.

Smith, Adam
Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things.

1755 - from a lecture, quoted by Dugald Stewart
Sobran, Joseph
Politicians never accuse you of 'greed' for wanting other people's money - only for wanting to keep your own money.

Spectator, The
The argument about minimising the role of the state in large areas of national life has most definitely not been won. While everyone is happy (in private if not in public) when his taxes are reduced, everyone complains at cuts in spending. The idea that people should take over responsibility for their own lives wherever possible is still considered reprehensible.

1988 - from an editorial
Thatcher, Margaret
Conservative governments which increase taxation lose elections.

Dec. 22, 1997 - from a speech at the International Conservative Congress, as quoted in National Review
Tyrrell, R. Emmett
The best way to restrain the politicians' impulse to spend and to expand government's reach is to keep the surplus modest. That means lowering taxes.

Jul. 2, 1999 - from his column "Who cares about high taxes?"
Some years ago the World Bank released a report on the cost of low tax rates for government revenue. It found that countries with the lowest tax rates, for instance Hong Kong, had the revenue to increase government spending three times as fast as countries with high tax rates. The key is to have the overall economy grow faster than government. Hong Kong managed it and Ronald Reagan managed it.

Mar. 2, 2001 - from "The evolution of tax cuts", published by Creators Syndicate Inc.
He that eats till he is sick must fast till he is well.

Jewish proverb
One way to reduce taxes is to hold elections every year because there never seem to be tax increases in an election year.

Death and taxes will always be with us - but at least death doesn't get worse.

It's getting so that children have to be educated to realize that 'damn' and 'taxes' are two separate words.

Vidal, Gore
The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along, paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return.

Webster, Daniel
An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, the power to destroy

1819 - from his brief in McCulloch v. Maryland
Will, George F.
In a 500-channel environment, [the rationale that government must subsidize alternative programming] is as absurd as public television's recent slogan 'If PBS doesn't do it, who will?' Who? The History Channel, Discovery, Arts and Entertainment, Bravo, the Outdoor Channel, the Travel Channel, Nickelodeon, CNN, and scores more. And all of them do something public television does not--they pay, as opposed to consume, taxes. The public television lobby still argues that no matter how many choices the market offers, government must offer other programming. The lobby also argues, with antic illogic, that such programs as Sesame Street serve sizable audiences but no private, taxpaying broadcast entity would be interested in broadcasting them. Still, 'concern' for 'children' is the card that presumably trumps all others nowadays, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting plays that card vigorously in defense of its subsidies.

Aug. 1, 1999 - from his column "Who needs public broadcasting"
It is repellent to hear the political class complacently discussing tax cuts as if they are just one of three options for using the surplus, in no way morally superior to spending or debt reduction. The nation's economic product is not the government's property. The gusher of money that comprises the surplus did not well up, like oil from Spindletop in 1901, because government punched a lucky hole in the ground. The money got into the government's hands because the government extracted it from productive Americans, using tax rates that are too high because they extract too much. Judged by their projected results--large, chronic surpluses--the rates do not establish a reasonable relationship between pressing public needs, as distinct from political appetites, and the private sector's wealth-creating capacity.

Feb. 18, 2001 - from "Rational semi-exuberance", published by the Washington Post Writers Group