A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 13, 2012
“There is no such thing as a good tax”

’There is no such thing as a good tax” is a popular anti-tax saying; Oklahoma Senator Thomas Gore (1870-1949) said in 1935 that “all taxes are, at best, necessary evils and burdens.” A 1932 book stated “A distinguished economist has said that there is no such thing as a good tax,” but the name of this economist is not known. “There is no such thing as a good tax” also appeared in a 1934 volume on the annual conference of the National Tax Association.

“There is no such thing as a good tax” has been widely attributed to Winston Churchill (1874-1965) since at least 1990, but there is no evidence that he either coined or popularized the saying.


About.com Quotations
Tax Quotes
Funny Tax Quotes That Unravel the Mystery of Income Tax

By Simran Khurana, About.com Guide
(...)
Winston Churchill
There is no such thing as a good tax.

Google Books
The Federal Fiscal Emergency
By Roland Post Falkner
New York, NY: National Industrial Conference Board, Inc.
1932
Pg. 41:
It can readily be agreed that no form of taxation is entirely satisfactory to the taxpayer and is cheerfully accepted by him. A distinguished economist has said that there is no such thing as a good tax, that all taxes are unpleasant, ...

Google Books
Proceedings of the Annual Conference on Taxation
National Tax Association
Volume 27
1934
Pg. 202:
There is no such thing as a good tax, in the sense that it is perfectly good. The best you can say of any tax is that it is less bad than anything else that can be suggested.

20 July 1935, El Paso (TX) Herald-Post, “Bad Taxes and Worse Taxes” (editorial), pg. 4, col. 1:
LET’S assume just for the sake of argument that all taxation is evil; that there is no such thing as a good tax. Certainly none of us likes taxes.

17 October 1935, San Antonio (TX) Express, “F. D. Tax Policies Flayed by Gore” by Associated Press, pg. 3, col. 8:
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oct. 16.—Senator T. P. Gore, Democrat, Oklahoma, assailed some of the new deal tax policies of the Roosevelt administration in an address before the National Tax Association convention here today.

In a talk bristling with humorous jibes, some of them apparently aimed at Representative Josh Lee of Norman, who may oppose Gore in the next Senatorial race, the Senator declared there was no such thing as “a good tax.”

“Some are better than others, some are worse, but there is no such thing as a good tax per se,” Gore said. “All taxes are, at best, necessary evils and burdens.”

8 January 1941, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), pg. 8, col. 6:
Philadelphia Record:
To the taxpayers, there is no such thing as a good tax.

Google Books
McIver of North Carolina
By Rose Howell Holder
Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press
1957
Pg. 92:
The aversion had got a double dip in the distilled bitterness of Reconstruction abuses. Taxes, for whatever purpose, were an evil. There was no such thing as a good tax.

Google Books
The Great Economists;
A history of economic thought

By Howard Drake Marshall
New York, NY: Pitman Pub. Corp.
1967
Pg. 55:
There was no such thing as a good tax! All taxes must inevitably limit individual initiative and hamper the proper functioning of the private sector of the economy. The best one could do was to devise the least harmful tax system possible.

Google Books
The Greatest Quotations of All-Time
By Anthony St. Peter
Bloomington, IN: Xlibris
2010
Pg. 607:
There is no such thing as a good tax. Winston Churchill

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Friday, April 13, 2012 • Permalink