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[ Also see Gifts Government Taxation ]

Over-taxation cost England her colonies of North America.
      - Edmund Burke

Taxing is an easy business. Any projector can contrive new impositions, any bungler can add to the old; but to is altogether wise to have no other bounds to your impositions than the patience of those who are to bear them?
      - Edmund Burke

What it 't to us, if taxes rise or fall,
  Thanks to our fortune, we pay none at all.
    Let muckworms who in dirty acres deal,
      Lament those hardships which we cannot feel,
        His grace who smarts, may bellow if he please,
          But must I bellow too, who sit at ease?
            By custom safe, the poets' numbers flow,
              Free as the light and air some years ago.
                No statesman e'er will find it worth his pains
                  To tax our labours, and excise our brains.
                    Burthens like these with earthly buildings bear,
                      No tributes laid on castles in the air.
      - Charles Churchill

We have always considered taxes to be the sinews of the state.
      - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short)

There is one passage in the Scriptures to which all the potentates of Europe seem to have given their unanimous assent and approbation, and to have studied so thoroughly as to have it quite at their fingers' ends: "There went out a decree in the days of Claudius Caesar, that all the world should be taxed."
      - Charles Caleb Colton

Who nothing has to lose, the war bewails;
  And he who nothing pay, at taxes rails.
      - William Congreve

The law takes measure of us all for clothes,
  Diets us all, and in the sight of all,
    To keep us from all private leagues with wealth.
      - Crown

The taxes of government are heavy enough, but not so heavy as the taxes we lay upon ourselves.
      - Orville Dewey

Men's virtues I have commended as freely as I have taxed their crimes.
      - John Dryden

What a benefit would the American government, not yet relieved of its extreme need, render to itself, and to every city, village and hamlet in the States, if it would tax whiskey and rum almost to the point of prohibition! Was it Bonaparte who said that he found vices very good patriots? "He got five millions from the love of brandy, and he should be glad to know which of the virtues would pay him as much." Tobacco and opium have broad backs, and will cheerfully carry the load of armies, if you choose to make them pay high for such joy as they give and such harm as they do.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Idleness and pride tax with a heavier hand than kings and parliaments.
      - Benjamin Franklin

The taxes were indeed very heavy, and if those laid on by the government were the only ones we had to pay, we might more easily discharge them; but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly; and from these taxes the commissioners cannot ease or deliver us, by allowing an abatement.
      - Benjamin Franklin

Death and taxes are inevitable.
      - Thomas Chandler Haliburton (used pseudonym Sam Slick)

Millions for defence, but not a cent for tribute.
      - Robert Goodloe Harper,
        at a banquet for John Marshall, 1798; often attributed to C.C. Pinckey

Kings ought to shear, not skin their sheep.
      - Robert Herrick

No laws, however liberal, will release us from our self-imposed taxes.
      - Abbott Lawrence

The general rule always holds good. In constitutional states liberty is a compensation of the heaviness of taxation. In despotic states the equivalent for liberty is the lightness of taxation.
      - Charles de Montesquieu (Charles-Louis de Secondat)

Taxes are a universal burden in moral as well as in civil life. There is not a pleasure, social or otherwise, which is not assessed by fate at its full value!
      - Louis Charles Alfred de Musset

That in which every man is interested, is every man's duty to support; and any burden which falls equally on all men, and from which every man is to receive an equal benefit, is consistent with the most perfect ideas of liberty.
      - Thomas Paine

By heaven, I had rather coin my heart,
  And drop my blood for drachmas, than to wring
    From the hard hands of peasants their vile trash,
      By any indirection.
      - William Shakespeare

These exactions whereof my sovereign would have note, they are most pestilent to the hearing; and, to bear 'em, the back is sacrifice to the load.
      - William Shakespeare

We must not rend our subjects from our laws, and stick them in our will. Sixth part of each? A trembling contribution! Why, we take from every tree lop, bark, and part o' the timber; and though we leave it with a root thus hacked, the air will drink the sap.
      - William Shakespeare

Why tribute? why should we pay tribute? if
  Caesar can hide the sun from us with a
    Blanket, or put the moon in his pocket,
      We will pay him tribute for light; else, sir,
        No more tribute.
      - William Shakespeare

The repose of nations cannot be secure without arms, armies cannot be maintained without pay, nor can the pay be produced except by taxes.
      - Tacitus (Caius Cornelius Tacitus)

Taxation is the legitimate support of government.
      - Louis Adolphe Thiers

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Last Revised: 2018 December 9

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