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Slaying Leviathan: The Moral Case for Tax Reform by Leslie Carbone

December 3, 2009 by  

Slaying Leviathan: The Moral Case for Tax Reform by Leslie Carbone

America’s income tax system is a visionless policy that has reduced a free people to moral slaves, squabbling over goodies. This is Leslie Carbone’s view as posited in her book, Slaying Leviathan: The Moral Case for Tax Reform.

The book is a history lesson of American tax policy. Beginning with the Stamp Act and other oppressive taxes the British foisted upon the colonies that spawned the Revolutionary War, Carbone describes the abusive tax systems that government has used to suppress, create disincentives and exploit its subjects.

She pulls no punches in describing the unconstitutional nature of the income tax system and the effect it has had on all aspects of life. While she notes the first income tax and the first Internal Revenue Service (IRS) were created in 1862, she lays the blame for the unconstitutional attack on freedom at the feet of Congress. She falls into the politically correct trap of blaming Congress rather than placing blame where it belongs: President Abraham Lincoln and his efforts to centralize government.

“That legislation was the most comprehensive, far-reaching tax measure up to that point in United States history,” Carbone writes, “Every manufactured article was subjected to excise taxes, as were gross receipts of railroads, ferryboats, steamships, toll bridges and advertisers. It imposed an inheritance (death) tax, license fees and stamp duties. Finally, it raised and graduated the income tax, imposing a rate of 3 percent on annual incomes from $600 to $10,000 and a marginal rate of 5 percent on amounts about $10,000.”

Carbone does an excellent job of laying out an argument that the tax system of the 20th Century destroyed justice in the name of fairness. She also provides examples of IRS abuses, such as violating the privacy of unconvicted people through “economic reality audits”—enacted in 1995—in which taxpayers, rather than their tax returns, were audited.

Today’s system is designed to—in President Barack Obama’s famous words—spread the wealth around through higher taxes on the wealthiest wage earners and reducing or eliminating the tax burden on lower income Americans through tax breaks and credits.

But what the system has done, she says, is lead to a breakdown of America’s moral society.

“Progressive taxation and redistributed spending policies encourage laziness among both those who are taxed and those who are given,” Carbone writes. “Those who are taxed at increasing rates are discouraged from work because they receive diminishing fruits from their labors. Those who receive are discouraged because they receive without having to work at all. Beyond the daily laziness of simply not working, or working less, there is the more dangerous moral laziness of not taking responsibility for one’s own life. Finally, there is the disincentive to marriage, as it can leave beneficiaries ineligible for so-called entitlements.”

Indeed, the marriage penalty—in which married couples are taxed at a higher rate than if the couple filed individually—is cited by Carbone as one of the primary causes of the breakdown of the familial unit and a scourge on American society.

Finally, Carbone presses her case that the tax system cannot be reformed, but must be torn down and rebuilt.

She then lists the reform plans that have drawn the most interest in recent years: flat income tax, national sales tax (also called the Fair Tax) and the value-added tax. She lists the pros and cons of each, and also covers other areas that need reform.

If you are of either a conservative or libertarian bent and need an argument against tax increases and liberal tax policies to use on your progressive friends, Carbone’s book provides you with lots of ammunition. If you are a progressive seeking a way out of the wilderness in which you find yourself, you need this book as well.

Bob Livingston

is an ultra-conservative American and author of The Bob Livingston Letter™, founded in 1969. Bob has devoted much of his life to research and the quest for truth on a variety of subjects. Bob specializes in health issues such as nutritional supplements and alternatives to drugs, as well as issues of privacy (both personal and financial), asset protection and the preservation of freedom.

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  • Gene Baldassari

    The income tax is the cruelest form a wealth confiscation ever devised by man. It is true that there is no chance of repairing the current system. That’s why it must be eliminated. If legislators insist that it must be replaced, it should be with a national retail sales tax. HR 25 – The Fair Tax – would accomplish this goal. This bill, with over 55 co-sponsors, would eliminate the income tax, replace it is a sales tax, and eventually provide the political motivation to eliminate the 16th amendment.

  • Brenda

    I definitely agree that the Income Tax should be repealed! It has risen to a level that is totally destructive to the average American. However, I tend to lean towards the flat tax. If a fair level of flat tax were to be set that EVERYone has to pay (12% or 15%??)…I think it would be more difficult for Congress to “mess” with it, and raise it. It seems like a Nat’l Sales Tax would be very easy for them to decide they need to increase it! It’s too much like what they already have. No doubt, they would attempt to increase the flat tax as well…but just the concept and name of “Flat Tax” seems to lend itself to a more stable and less flexible tax rate than a sales tax.


      FLAT TAX

      The book Flat Tax said 23% Tax on all Income.

      I have yet to get an answer to one Simple Question.

      How do you cover a 3600B Budget witht 23% of A Total National Income of 10,000B?

      .23 X 10,000= 2300B = 1300B defciit on 3600 Budget(spending in Bush last year)

      PLEASE TELL ME, ANYONE. I await!


      Durn Lazy soldiers protecting my security.

      Food Stamps=Laziness?

      Many thousands of soldiers get Food Stamps.

      Over one-half of those on Federal Welfare are employed. Lazy Lazy!

      No one cries out when very rich get monthly SS check and Medicare !!!

      Check how many permanent Winter dwellers in very elegant Fountaineblu Hotel on Collins Avenue in Miami Beach receive a monthly SS check!!!!!!

      How many with income over $200,000 get a check?
      How many with income over $500,000 get a check?
      How many get a check for less than $500?

      Try getting that information out of SS administration. Ho Ho

      • Brian

        Those soldiers that draw foodstamps are a national disgrace. Their pay should be raised to the point that they do not qualify for food stamps. No Armed Service Member should EVER have to depend on food stamps to feed his/her family.

        Most of those people who draw Social Security and Medicare (NOT Medicaide) have paid into those systems for their working lifetimes and have every right to reap the benefits they were forced (by the Federal Government) to pay for.

  • Doug Hartlove

    Note to Brenda – the current income tax code started as a flat tax in 1913 & look how it has been manipulated. With the FairTax everyone will know if Congress tries to raise the rate by just looking @ their cash register receipt. I graduated from the Flat Tax to the FairTax. You must add payroll taxes to the Flat Tax & in relying on this dwindling number of people in the income tax base you are doing nothing to strengthen Social Security & Medicare. The consumption base is twice the size of the income base & is increasing thereby strengthening our entitlement programs that so many people depend upon.


    Federal Expenditures
    Social Security-21%
    Safety Net-11%
    Interest 8%

    20% consists of many thousands of items.

    What to cut?


    National Sales Tax

    No big deal

    Just add on 33% + to each item you buy.

    3600B= Budget
    9000N- Consumer Consumption

    Want that?


    Rich Pay most of The Taxes.

    2008 Internal Revenue–

    Richest paid 30% and MIddle Class paid about the same 30%.


    That is not a Progressive Tax System.

    Cherry Pick.

    Yes! Rich paid most of Income Taxes because they made most of the money.

    Yet! They paid a very very small percent of Income in Payroll Taxes.


    Gene check these numbers(from few years ago)

    Total National Income=10,000 Billion
    Total National Consumer Consumption=9.000 Billion

    2009 Expenditures 3600 Billion

    3600 + is what percent of 10.000 and 9.000??


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