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John Locke vs. Respondent #33256048 on John Locke

- May 12, 2009

I am coding an open-ended survey question asking people why they support or oppose the estate tax.

Respondent #33256048:

bq. that money has already been taxed when earned and when it is invested and a return on that investment is earned…. it is being double and triple taxed. John Locke, in his Two Treatises of Government, states that income tax is immoral…

John Locke:

bq. It is true governments cannot be supported without great charge, and it is fit every one who enjoys his share of the protection should pay out of his estate his proportion for the maintenance of it. But still it must be with his own consent- i.e., the consent of the majority, giving it either by themselves or their representatives chosen by them; for if any one shall claim a power to lay and levy taxes on the people by his own authority, and without such consent of the people, he thereby invades the fundamental law of property, and subverts the end of government. For what property have I in that which another may by right take when he pleases to himself?

[Hat tip to Steven Kelts for the Locke passage.]