'April Is the Crudest Month"—T. S. Eliot
The Income Tax — Root of All Evil, l>\
Frank Chodorov, The' Devin-Adair Company,
23 K. 26tli St., New York in. N. V, 1954,
116 pp., J2.00.
.V/e//i to Man, by Bernard N. Ward, < .I'.A..
I'll,- Ceextien I'rint'-i-s. Ltd., Caldwell, l,le,t„>.
1952, 359 pp.. sl.oo.
Both writers contend lhal the federal
income lax is basically wrong, thai it
plays into the hands of Marxism hy
writing Point Two of the Communist
Manifesto into our Constitution, and
thai the Sixteenth Amendment should
be repealed. Thus, both men slorm big
government at its foundation.
"THE INCOME TAX—ROOT OF ALL EVIL"
Frank Chodorov is an uncompromising individualist, editor of The Freeman
and associate editor of Human Events.
One of America's most entertaining stylists, Chodorov—like his friend the late
Albert Jay Nock has the knack of
raising even the mosl serious subjects
te> the amusing level of a dinner conversation. The reader, after he has had
several hours of Chodorovian entertainment, will be surprised to find that be
has learned a greal deal in the way of
history, contemporary issues, and political philosophy.
After a passing glance' al a great-
grandpappv of the income lax in lhe
lime of Rehoboam, son of Solomon. Mr.
Chodorov discusses lhe moral and religious has,- upon which our Constitution was laid. Then lhe general lines of
his treatise arc outlined.
"That as a consequence of ibis law
our government is being transformed
into one alien lo the American tradition.
"That social and individual values are
likewise undergoing transmutation.
"Thai, in short. America is no longer
the America of the Declaration of Independence.
"Finally, and most important, we shall
suggest a mean- for reversing tin- trend
and restoring the 'good' of our tradition."
Then for the next 108 pages, the Income Tax Amendment finds itself in the
ring wilh one of lhe most brilliant men
in American letters. Starling with the
Constitution as it was framed in 1789.
Mr. Chodorov traces the history of federal taxation.
In 1913. recently imported Marxist
class-envy social dogma, do-gooder instincts, and the hungry glances, representatives of poorer slates were casting toward the rich eastern ones combined to write the Sixteenth Amendment to the I nited State'- Constitution.
Even the strongest supporters of ihe In-
come Tax Amendment argued and believed lhal il would never exceed a few
per cent. The Income Tax Amendment
was strongly supported by lln- Populist-.
who were opposeil lo lhe tariff duties
upon which tlie federal governmenl depended for nearly half its revenue.
Paradoxically, after adoption of lhe
Sixteenth Amendment, tariffs continued
to rise, thus illustrating a political
maxim thai government will never, on
ils own initiative, relinquish any significant clement of power.
Four years after adoption of the Six
ii.-iiili Amendment, the I nited States
government had junked lhe Monroe
Doctrine and was involved in a foreign
war. using conscripted soldiers. The
growth of the federal governmenl was
steady, reaching great acceleration with
lhe advent of the \ew Deed. An inter-
ventionisl foreign policy led lo involvement in an even greater foreign war.
again using conscripted soldiers. World
War Two-and-a-Half in Korea and inter-
miltenl echoes all over the globe' feel
lowed in due course. And today our
federal governmenl is a monolithic
structure which has taken over many of
lhe functions of the stales, municipalities, and private citizens plus lhe lion's
-hem- of lhe- lax revenues previously
available to the lower echelons of government.
See runs lhe author's account. He con-
lends lhat thc income lax set our country on the path lo absolutism. "Freedom
is the absence of restraint. Governmenl
cannot give freedom, il can only take it
away. Tbe more power lhe governmenl
exercises, lhe less freedom will the i
pie enjoy. And when government has ;i
monopoly of power, the people have me
freedom. Thai is the definition of abso-
luti-in monopoly of power.'
"MAN TO MAN"
Bernard Ward views the income tax
with lhe jaundiced eye of a Certified
public accountant who has for many
years helped American taxpayers
weather their annual ordeal wilh forms
\. V. V.. and P. I). Q. He wrilcs wilh
the sympathy of one who has just pulled
Junior out of the other end of the wash-
The most lolling criticism of the income lax here is leveled at lhe almost
inescapable inequities and injustices attendant upon the administration of the
federal taxing program. Mr. Weird's i-
a telling indictment, built on actual case
after case, Many cases are. in,Iced, pa
thetic in the hardships and injustices
worked on individuals who. having DO
effective appeal, just had lo pay up. lln'
author also feels for the general wear
and tear on all taxpayers whom he
calls "income-poops' including those
who manage to file returns lhat don't
Hard words are leveled al the income
"Throwing people in the jug for public debts lias descended to low art and
become a national pastime. In lhe olden
days, before income taxes were thought
of. lhe Federal governmenl used to eon-
cern itself wild those of our citizenry
who broke- the peace, moonshiners, traitors, counterfeiters, deserters, and so
forth. Now, it is subjecting all of our
citizens lo lhe hazard of going lo jail-
having their reputations besmirched,
their personal affairs disrupted, their
children left home to wonder if. am'
later lo learn lhal. Dad was a jailbird
Witnesses King on lhe witness stand;
lax cheaters implicating innocenl per-
-on-, under oath, as accomplices; Federal informers blackmailing people; hu*t
bands and wi\es becoming involved i"
domestic squabbles over their in, tun1'
lax affairs: the gagging of millions bj
threat of reprisal againsl them and still'
ing ihe voices of liberty and democracy!
using the power of money and law W
GOVERNMENT A THIEF?
i es. your government through thi
law can steal your money from you an"
actually steals it many, many times. CsS
you throw the governmenl in jail? No-j
You only damn il under your breath.
Another contention made is that I''1
Income Tax Amendment has procured '
widespread practice of fraud and disr'"
gaid for law. Certainly, one of the i"""1
damaging things lo law and order is '
sel of laws againsl which there is w id'"
spread opposition and which results ,[1
extensive attempts al evasion on lhe \'"[
of normally law-abiding citizens. Il '"
axiomatic lhat laws against which thefi
is large popular resistance cannol '"
enforced equitably, even with the ni»"
extreme penalties prescribed. Thus u*
Diocletian Decree of death penally '"'
disobedience of the price control I*1*
in ancient Home failed lo prevent ev**
ion, so greal was the popular resistant*;
In a long chapter entitled "Fraud.
Mr. Wend records many cases in wh' .
"income-poops" have' come up "'''
whal they thought were sure-fire w.i1
lo heat the game. They didn't. Tl""
chapter plus ihe delightful illustrate"'
by Rodolphe LaRiviere- is highly an"':
ing ami is wedl worth lhe price of *"
mission. Yet more sober reflect".'1
prompts one to ask whal is wrong I
ally when ordinarily decent and
abiding people yield to the tempt""",
to be dishonest. Running through ,
many of these cases is some sort of ''''
^ *«t th
FACTS FORUM NEWS, March