Those dirty rotten taxes: the tax revolts that built America
In 1798, after Congress had passed its first direct tax on houses, the government cooked up a scheme to count and measure the windows on every taxpayer's house, in order to calculate how much to charge. But German settlers in eastern Pennsylvania would have none of it. They organized into small bands, armed themselves, and scoured the countryside for assessors who were seized, assaulted, and driven across county lines. When some of the rebels were arrested, an auctioneer named John Fries marched on the courthouse and freed them. President John Adams called out the militia. Fries was arrested, tried for treason, and sentenced to be hanged.It was hardly the first tax revolt in American history. From the Boston Tea Party to the Whiskey Rebellion to the Fries Rebellion, the late eighteenth century in America was full of armed violence in response to hated taxes. Yet, as Charles Adams recounts in this remarkable book, the Fries Rebellion was also far from the last of its kind.Throughout its history America has been home to a series of little-known tax rebellions. These rebellions have played major roles in the presidencies of George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and many of their successors. They have helped bring about the Civil war, the birth of the Ku Klux Klan, and, ironically, the birth of the Internal Revenue Service. When the old Internal Revenue Bureau was strengthened to control moonshiner tax rebels in the Appalachias, it started a "Second Whiskey Rebellion" that continues even today. Country singer George Jones' popular ballad recalls:G-Men, T-Men, Revenuers too, looking for the place where my pappy made his brew.Today, as long-overdue calls for abolishing or overhauling the IRS are finally being heard in the halls of Congress, Those Dirty Rotten Taxes teaches us that we are continuing a long and vitally important American tradition. We have overthrown the tyranny of British taxes, Federalists' taxes, the Tariff, and the Revenuers' system. Has the tyranny of the Income Tax finally had its day?
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Those dirty rotten taxes: the tax revolts that built AmericaUser Review - Book Verdict
In his dedication to Chairman Bill Archer of the House Ways and Means Committee, Adams (For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on Civilization, LJ 3/1/93), a Washington tax consultant, boldly declares his hostility to the prevailing U.S. income tax system. Adams divides U.S. history into five periods, running from Colonial times through the Cold War, and in every segment he argues that excessive taxation constitutes the root cause of all the wars, rebellions, and social turmoil that have beset the American people. The author laments the passing of the concepts of limited government in favor of a massive federal bureaucracy, governmental paternalism, supposedly high taxes, and runaway deficit spending. Adams scarcely conceals his sympathy for this country's long line of tax dodgers and resisters, and observes with equal satisfaction that today America's affluent evaders employ far less violent and more effective means to confound the IRS. A highly partisan yet provocative history of the U.S. tax system and its influence on the American people; recommended for public and academic libraries.--John Carver Edwards, Univ. of Georgia Libs., Athens
Review: Those Dirty Rotten Taxes: The Tax Revolts That Built AmericaUser Review - Goodreads
An interesting perspective of Americans' behavior towards taxation. Gets a bit hysterical now and then, and is replete with minor, but telling, errors.
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