Slaying Leviathan: The Moral Case for Tax Reform

Overview

In the natural order, virtue and vice each carries its own consequences. On the one hand, virtue yields largely positive results. Hard work, patience, and carefulness, for example, tend to generate prosperity. Vice, on the other hand, brings negative consequences. Sloth, impatience, and recklessness, for example, tend toward suffering.

In Slaying Leviathan, Leslie Carbone argues that since the early twentieth century, U.S. tax policy has been designed to mitigate the natural ...

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Slaying Leviathan: The Moral Case for Tax Reform

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Overview

In the natural order, virtue and vice each carries its own consequences. On the one hand, virtue yields largely positive results. Hard work, patience, and carefulness, for example, tend to generate prosperity. Vice, on the other hand, brings negative consequences. Sloth, impatience, and recklessness, for example, tend toward suffering.

In Slaying Leviathan, Leslie Carbone argues that since the early twentieth century, U.S. tax policy has been designed to mitigate the natural economic results of both virtue and vice. When the government disrupts the natural order through taxation by creating incentives and disincentives that overturn these natural consequences, the government perverts its own function and becomes part of the problem—a contributor to social breakdown—rather than part of the solution or an instrument of justice.

Slaying Leviathan envisions an approach to tax policy rooted in natural justice. To achieve this goal, Carbone first traces the historical evolution of U.S. tax policy, from the 1765 Stamp Act to the 1997 tax cut. She then assesses the current American tax burden and George W. Bush’s tax cuts and explores the fundamental problems with U.S. tax policy. After providing a historical analysis of federal spending and of expanding governmental expectations, she offers a set of over-arching principles and instructions on how to apply them to tax policy proposals.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“If you are either a conservative or a libertarian bent and need an argument against tax increases and liberal tax policies to use on your progressive friends, Carbone’s book provides you with lots of ammunition. If you are a progressive seeking a way out of the wilderness in which you find yourself, you need this book as well.”

“[Carbone] is the best and most articulate cheerleader in the country–and I’m glad she’s cheering and teaching history and moral economic behavior for the conservatives.”

“The moral component of taxation is rarely discussed, but it should be. . . . With more voices such as [Carbone’s], maybe politicians and their enablers will learn that government cannot manipulate the economy to achieve biased outcomes without generating the resentment and class warfare they profess to distaste.”

“An excellent addition to the voluminous literature condemning the leviathan that has become America’s tax system.”

Slaying Leviathan issues a devastating indictment of the absurdity that has masqueraded as tax policy for the last century. Carbone’s insightful book illustrates the moral damage wrought by the misuse of tax policy to overturn natural justice. Combining history with vision, economic reality with social and moral reasoning, and humor with outrage, Slaying Leviathan is important not only for the coming debate over tax reform but also for understanding the economic roots of modern moral malaise.”

Slaying Leviathan sounds a clarion call for reform of the labyrinthine and discriminatory tax system that has fueled the wanton growth of government in the United States for the past century. Leslie Carbone’s passionate attack on tax-and-spending proclivities of politicians and bureaucrats argues forcefully that fiscal policy choices are not just matters of economics, but of moral principle as well.”

Slaying Leviathan clearly shows how freely competitive markets and moral principles are interdependent foundations of a free and humane society.”

“Leslie Carbone’s argument for restoring virtue, justice, and common sense to fiscal policy is a vital contribution to the debate over taxes. Anyone who wants to understand the moral price of our tax system should read this book.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597974172
  • Publisher: Potomac Books
  • Publication date: 8/31/2009
  • Pages: 206
  • Sales rank: 1,382,430
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Leslie Carbone served as the director of Family Tax Policy at the Family Research Council, chief of staff to the late assemblyman Gil Ferguson of California, and a speechwriter for U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao. Her writing has been published in the Weekly Standard, the American Enterprise, the San Francisco Chronicle, and numerous other magazines and journals. She has lectured on more than 100 college campuses and has been interviewed on more than 250 radio shows. She lives in Fairfax, Virginia.

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Table of Contents

Section I

1 A Vision for Fiscal Reform 3

Section II

2 Taxes and Revolution 13

3 A Newborn Nation 21

4 Early Quarrels 39

5 The Income Tax versus the Constitution 49

6 The Century of Taxes 59

7 Taxes in the Twenty-First Century 67

Section III

8 Destroying Justice in the Name of Fairness 75

9 Taxing Virtue 95

Section IV

10 Where Taxpayers' Money Goes: The Answer Nobody Knows 109

11 Gradual and Silent Encroachments 113

12 Bail-Out Nation 131

13 The Moral Hazard of Spreading the Wealth 133

Section V

14 Principles of Sound Fiscal Reform 143

Section VI

15 Tax Reform Plans 151

16 Conclusion 161

Notes 165

Selected Bibliography 179

Index 183

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