In 1895 Joseph Choate, a distinguished leader of the American Bar, arguing before the Supreme Court of the United States said: "The Act of Congress [the income tax law] which we are impugning before you is communistic in its purposes and tendencies, and is defended here upon principles as communistic, socialistic-what shall I call them -populistic as ever have been addressed to any political assembly in the world. . . . I have thought that one of the fundamental objects of all civilized government was the preservation of the rights of private property. "

While the great advocate no doubt exceeded the proper limits of the case by ascribing communistic motives to the enactors of the income tax law, few will doubt that its tendencies have increasingly become socialistic. With income tax rates rising to the staggering heights of almost 92 per cent in the top brackets, production for profit loses the significance that it had in days of old. As a matter of fact, revenue production is not the only purpose of the great increases in income tax rates. It is frankly admitted that the tax is also needed as a necessary brake on inflation or, in other words, a step in the ever widening pattern of economic planning.

Included in

Tax Law Commons