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No taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant.

George Washington (1732-1799) American military leader, Founding Father, US President (1789-1797)
“Farewell Address” (17 Sep 1796)
Added on 31-Oct-16 | Last updated 31-Oct-16
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When people ask, “Why should the rich pay a larger percent of their income than middle-income people?” — my answer is not an answer most people get: It’s because their power developed from laws that enriched them.

Ralph Nader (b. 1934) American attorney, author, lecturer, political activist
“Public Citizen Number One,” by Debra Saunders, San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle (13 Oct 1996)
Added on 10-Oct-16 | Last updated 10-Oct-16
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Same sex marriage isn’t gay privilege, it’s equal rights. Privilege would be something like gay people not paying taxes. Like churches don’t.

Ricky Gervais (b. 1961) English comedian, actor, director, writer
Twitter (5 Feb 2014)
Added on 16-Jun-16 | Last updated 16-Jun-16
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Added on 18-Apr-16 | Last updated 3-Aug-22
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I’m not really rich. I’m something far more noble I’m a job creator. [Heavenly chorus] Sort of the same way Patagonian tooth-fish became Chilean sea-bass. [Heavenly chorus] But y’know what, just by suggesting, just by bringing it up, that he is going to tax me more, Comrade Obama has created an atmosphere of uncertainty that makes me skittish about creating more jobs, yeah, I have been so freaked out that today at breakfast I could barely butter my gold. You see, you poor people, you don’t get how much “uncertainty” gives us job creators the willies. It’s terrifying — like when you find out your private island has natives; or when your wife notices the maid’s kid looks just like you; or when the limo driver tries to start a conversation. So tax me at a higher rate if you like, you’re practically firing yourselves. Because I’ll tell you something, I have been so shitting in my pants about this uncertainty thing, that yesterday I let go a dozen essential workers at my compound, including my Tivo programmer, my manscaper, the liposuctionist, my gardener’s personal trainer, my dog whisperer, the lookalike I hired to foil assassination attempts, my private farmer, the lady who dispenses hand sanitizer after our pre-show prayer circle, the girl I pay to mistake me for Jon Hamm, and the guy who takes care of the shark tank. Which reminds me, I’m gonna have to let go two sharks!

William "Bill" Maher (b. 1956) American comedian, political commentator, critic, television host.
Real Time with Bill Maher (23 Sep 2011)
Added on 24-Feb-16 | Last updated 24-Feb-16
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I really don’t know what you do about the “taxes are theft” crowd, except possibly enter a gambling pool regarding just how long after their no-tax utopia comes true that their generally white, generally entitled, generally soft and pudgy asses are turned into thin strips of Objectivist Jerky by the sort of pitiless sociopath who is actually prepped and ready to live in the world that logically follows these people’s fondest desires. Sorry, guys. I know you all thought you were going to be one of those paying a nickel for your cigarettes in Galt Gulch. That’ll be a fine last thought for you as the starving remnants of the society of takers closes in with their flensing tools.

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
“Tax Frenzies and How to Hose Them Down,” Whatever blog (26 Sep 2010)
Added on 15-Oct-14 | Last updated 15-Oct-14
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The legal right of a taxpayer to decrease the amount of what otherwise would be his taxes, or altogether avoid them, by means which the law permits, cannot be doubted.

George Sutherland (1862-1942) Anglo-American jurist, Supreme Court Justice (1922-1938)
Gregory v. Helvering, 293 U.S. 465, 469 (1935)
Added on 9-Sep-14 | Last updated 9-Sep-14
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But I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that makes you “pro-life.” In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking. If all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed — and why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not “pro-life”. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.

Joan D. Chittister (b. 1936) American Benedictine nun, author and lecturer
Interview with Bill Moyer, “NOW” (PBS) (12 Nov 2004)
Added on 8-Jul-13 | Last updated 20-Jan-22
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Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency, but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher, aphorist
Letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy (13 Nov 1789)

See Bullock.
Added on 3-May-13 | Last updated 15-Apr-20
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Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841-1935) American jurist, Supreme Court Justice
Compania General De Tabacos De Filipinas v. Collector of Internal Revenue, 275 U.S. 87, 100 (1927) [Dissent]

Full text is "Taxes are what we pay for civilized society, including the chance to insure.

References are also found (without citation) to a 1904 speech, "Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society" (this variation is quoted by the IRS above the entrance of their headquarters).  Bartlett's (1980) cites the above wording, but incorrectly claims it was in 1904.

In Felix Frankfurter, Mr. Justice Holmes and the Supreme Court (1938), Holmes is quoted as rebuking a secretary's query about hating to pay taxes:  "No, young feller. I like to pay taxes. With them I buy civilization."

More information here.
Added on 16-Apr-10 | Last updated 10-Apr-17
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