“Suppose for a moment, that all taxes of every name could be abolished instantaneously, and the Governments, like the Israelites, live on manna for forty years. What harm would ensue? What industry would decline? Who would be impoverished? What stimulus to work and save and grow rich would be weakened thereby? Would not wages, and profits, and rents, all be lifted thereby, with no damage to anybody? A child can see that Taxes from their very nature are a burden, are a subtraction from income, are a minus and not a plus. Who, then, except from sinister motives, can imagine and represent, that Taxes are a good in themselves, a positive blessing, a spur to the progress of Society?”
Arthur Latham Perry, Principles of Political Economy (1891).