How Did We Get Here 5

In this installment, David Cay Johnston explains the origins of the idea of democracy.

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Comments

Paying Taxes, Morality & Democracy

In this week's segment of How Did We Get Here, you described how the duty to pay taxes on a progressive basis to support a democracy developed a status as a moral obligation. I recognize your series is a historical overview, but don't you think that it's more relevant, and more persuasive, in current thinking to describe the duty, or lack of duty, to pay taxes as a matter of financial incentives (see, e.g., http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/magazine/10FOB-wwln-t.html?em )? Would you agree that the case exists for businesses to pay a progressive income tax as a matter of economic necessity?

Reply to Paul Ryther

This is indeed a series about historical developments,to give people an understanding of the history, theory and principles that underlie current policies.

For more about the questions you raise about today, read my books Perfectly Legal (on taxes) and Free Lunch (on subsidies to corporations and rich individuals).