The Greedy Hand

by Don Boudreaux on January 9, 2013

in Adam Smith, Other People's Money, Taxes

Here’s a letter to Fox Business anchor Melissa Francis:

In your interview yesterday with the Heritage Foundation’s Curtis Dubay you expressed concern that Americans might soon be hit with a European-style value-added tax (VAT).  Your concern is justified.  As Adam Smith observed long ago, “There is no art which one government sooner learns of another than that of draining money from the pockets of the people.”*

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
and
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA  22030

* Adam Smith, An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1981 [1776]), p. 861.  (Specifically, this quotation is from Book V, chapter 2.)

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