by Simon Black
“There is nothing sinister,” wrote Judge Billings ‘Learned’ Hand, “in so arranging one’s affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible.”
The year was 1947, and Hand was a high level federal judge for the US Second Circuit Court; he was writing an opinion in a complicated case in which the Internal Revenue Service was suing a taxpayer over a complex structure to reduce their tax.
Judge Hand sided with the taxpayers, writing “Everyone does so [tries to keep their taxes low], rich or poor. . . for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands.”
But this standard of paying what the law demands was thrown out a long time ago. Now it’s all about paying what the social revolutionaries demand.
And they want their pound of flesh.