Justice John Marshall: Power to Destroy

Posted by admin on Friday, March 18, 2016

Chief Justice John Marshall Quote saying the government has the ability to destroy with taxes and must exercise care in how they tax. Chief Justice John Marshall said:
The power to tax involves the power to destroy Quote

“The power to tax involves the power to destroy” — Chief Justice John Marshall


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This famous quote from Chief Justice John Marshall recognizes the immense authority that is granted by a government’s ability to levy taxes. By stating that “the power to tax involves the power to destroy”, Marshall was acknowledging that taxation provides a means to potentially undermine or ruin individuals, organizations, industries, or even governments.

If taken to an extreme degree through excessively high tax rates or extremely broad tax bases, the ability to tax theoretically allows obliterating the taxed entity through financial hardship.

Therefore, Marshall’s quote serves as a warning that the power conferred by taxation must be judiciously applied and reasonably limited, as its misuse could border on governmental overreach and abuse of power through fiscal policy alone.

In essence, he is emphasizing that taxation is a tool that should be wielded responsibly due to the potential for significant harm if mishandled.

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