Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 50.djvu/623

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PRINCIPLES OF TAXATION.

From subsequent details of the experiment, a highly sensational story might be manufactured, but that could have absolutely no scientific value. We must eschew all such temptations, and never allow the thought to be dimmed that Science has a mission to perform in the world as great as the universe and as sacred as truth. She is in duty bound to yield all benefits of doubt; and she commits moral and intellectual suicide, falling to the level of the common "insanity" described by Lord Bacon, when she insists upon a single iota not supported by "evidence."

[To be continued.]

 
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PRINCIPLES OF TAXATION.
By DAVID A. WELLS, LL. D., D. C. L.,
CORRESPONDANT DE L'INSTITUT DE FRANCE, ETC.
VII.—RULES OR MAXIMS ESSENTIAL TO AN ADMINISTRATION OF RIGHTFUL TAXATION UNDER A CONSTITUTIONAL OR FREE GOVERNMENT.

A PRESENTATION and discussion of the rules or maxims of administration which are in conformity with the foregoing exposition and discussion of the origin and sphere of taxation, and the limitations on the exercise of this great power which are essential to the existence and continuance of a constitutional and free government, are next in order for the proper development and understanding of the general subject under consideration. Under such a government — one happily characterized and defined by President Lincoln as "of the people, by the people, and for the people" — the following rules or maxims governing the administration of its lawful taxation would seem to be almost in the nature of economic axioms:

First. No tax should he imposed by a state or government except by the consent of the people from whom it is to be collected, given either directly or by their authorized representatives in Congress, Legislature, or Parliament assembled.

Second. All taxes or enforced contributions levied by the state in virtue of its sovereignty should be solely (singly) and exclusively for public purposes.

Third. The sphere of taxation should be limited to persons, property, and business exclusively within the territorial jurisdiction of the taxing power.

Fourth. Taxes should be reasonable, regular, and not arbitrary as respects method, time, and place of assessment and payment, and, above all, proportional.

Fifth. Taxation should not be employed as an agency or for