Paul Harvey on the Income Tax


In researching the forthcoming book on Paul Harvey, I was deeply impressed by the writing Mr. Harvey did back in the 1950s. Here are two examples that we cite in the book. First, on the Income Tax:

But you know it was for us, the American people, to become the first in recorded history voluntarily to surrender our rights to private property? Oh, yes we did. With an innocent sounding constitutional amendment, the 16th, which says that “Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived.”

And we forgot to put any limits on the extent to which we could tax ourselves. Conceivably, we could be taxed out of all private property . . . we could awaken one morning and find that the government owns the farm and the house and car and has a mortgage on the church—legally!

Historically, whenever any nation has taxed its people more than 25 percent of their national income, initiative was destroyed and that nation was headed for economic eclipse.

And here’s Paul Harvey warning us about the runaway growth of government:

At first there appears to be nothing wrong asking government to perform some extra service for you . . . but . . . if you ask government for extra services, government, in order to perform its increasing function, has to get bigger . . . right?

And as government gets bigger, in order to support its increasing size, it has to . . . what? Tax the individual more. So the individual gets littler.
And to collect the increased taxes requires more tax collectors so the government gets bigger and in order to pay the additional tax collectors it has to tax the individual more and the government gets bigger and the individual gets littler. And the government gets bigger. And the individual gets littler.

Until the government is all-powerful and the individual is hardly anything at all.

Until the government is all-powerful . . . and the people are . . . cattle.

At the risk of appearing self-serving, I must tell you there is a great deal in this book that American’s need to be reminded of at this moment in history.