The Corner

Why Have Taxes at All?

Michael Kinsley reminds today why every fourth column or so of his is worth reading. His warning about inflation includes this gem:

If the deficit doesn’t matter, why have any taxes at all? And if there is some point at which the deficit does start to matter, and become dangerous, when is that point if $1.6 trillion isn’t it?

I know, it’s not a new question. My favorite Republican Progressive, Sen. Albert Beveridge of Indiana, asked in a 1898 speech: “If the government can make money with a stamp, why does the Government borrow money? If the Government can create value out of nothing, why not abolish all taxation?” The question is still worth asking because liberals never offer a convincing answer.

Steven F. Hayward is a visiting professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and a fellow of the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. He writes daily at Powerlineblog.com.

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