No one should be surprised that corporations are taking advantage of provisions in the U.S. tax code that allow them to keep more of their money by moving their operations offshore, as Burger King Worldwide announced it was planning to do when it acquired Tim Hortons. The Founding Fathers recognized something today’s government elites do not, that there is a limit to the onerous level of taxation that can be born.
In his opinion in the landmark McCulloch v. Maryland Supreme Court case that granted Congress “implied powers,” turned the “necessary and proper” clause on its ear and began neutering State sovereignty on behalf of the banksters, Chief Justice John Marshall recognized the destructive nature of taxation.
“An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation,” he wrote.
In “Rights of Man,” Thomas Paine noted, “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 pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute.”
And those are the exact forces at work in the U.S. that have produced the highest corporate tax rate in the world.
Both James Madison and Thomas Jefferson also noted the destructive nature of taxes.
In Federalist No. 39, Madison wrote, “[T]he most productive system of finance will always be the least burdensome.”
In a letter to Joseph Milligan, Jefferson wrote, “To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”
The elites in Congress and their statist supporters apparently missed these lessons.