Indian Revolutionaries Move from Salt Raids to Tax Resistance
Excerpts from the
SALT RAIDING IN INDIA TO BE ENDED
Far More Serious Menace Now — Tax Resistance
(AP) — In
Peshawar, beset by a three-fold threat of civil resistance, wild tribesmen
and communism, Britain made the
outstanding move in the strategy that is advancing her arm across the map of
…Peshawar City itself today was quiet, as was most of the rest of India, in
nearly every center of which Mahatma Gandhi’s “day of silence” was as usual
made the order of .
Salt raiding came to a virtual end with
’s enmasse attack upon the Wadala
depots, in which police and military charged 15,000 volunteers and 150 or
more persons were injured. There were no reports of the use of firearms. The
officers belabored the raiders with their bamboo staves. Troops stood by but
did not charge the raiders. This kept the casualties to a minimum.
Some of the congress members were turned back, others broke thru the
embattled salt zone and made off with handfuls of the contraband product.
the coming of the rainy season ended
The raiding was succeeded by a far more serious menace, tax resistance. To
meet its eventualities, the government put forth a new regulation providing
grave penalties not only for refusal to pay taxes, but for inciting to tax
Government agents began at once to attempt tax collecting, but in most cases
found the natives had departed from their lands. The situation was viewed
with great anxiety, as continued maintenance of the tax strike would
seriously hamper government revenues at the end of .
Over at the The Volokh Conspiracy, guest-blogger
Kirk Stark has been writing up some posts based on the book
War and Taxes that he co-wrote along with Steven
Bank and Joseph Thorndike.
This is only tangentially related to tax resistance, but gives some insight
into the politics behind the puzzle of why the Iraq War was accompanied by
tax cuts, whereas other American wars have been accompanied by tax increases.
Some commentators have called this unprecedented and outrageous.
War and Taxes
“The basic objective of our book is to evaluate the historical claims
implicit in these comments. Is it in fact true that ‘President Bush is
bucking history’ and that ‘we have always accepted heavier burdens as the
price those at home pay to support those under fire on the front?’
Unafraid to make bold, daring historical claims, our answer is… yes and
The Evolution of GOP Attitudes toward Wartime Taxes
“For more than a century — from the founding of the Republican Party
through the war in Vietnam — Republican leaders consistently supported
high wartime taxes. Indeed, support for higher wartime taxes was a
defining feature of being a military hawk among the
Taxes and Defense Spending as a Percentage of GDP
“…in my view there is a strong parallel between Lyndon Johnson and George
Bush with respect to the war financing question.… Johnson refused to
pursue a tax increase to help pay for the war in Vietnam in
despite the urging of his economic advisors, because he feared doing so
would endanger political support for his cherished Great Society programs.
Similarly, President Bush has no interest in paying for the war in Iraq
out of new taxes because doing so would necessarily involve repudiating
his own chief domestic priority — the
and tax cuts. Thus, in both cases, we
see an administration seeking to preserve its own domestic policy agenda
at the expense of future taxpayers.”
Is Rangel’s Call for a Draft Tax-Driven?
“House Ways and Means Chairmen Charlie Rangel has been one of the few
politicians to dare call for reinstituting the draft during the current
Iraq conflict. A veteran of the Korean War, Rangel has long advocated the
draft as a way to supplement the troops in Iraq and elsewhere and to
spread the sacrifice more equally. He also has said that it would have
kept us out of the war in the first place. Nevertheless, a draft — and in
particular a controversial draft — arguably would also serve another
purpose: It would help advance Rangel’s tax policies.”
Are the Renewed Inflation Fears a Harbinger of War Taxes?
“…can [we] expect politicians to justify the adoption of war taxes as a
response to inflation if the rise in energy and food prices spreads more
generally? Highly doubtful. One big change in the past quarter century
since Vietnam has been the increased importance of the Federal Reserve
Board…. to a large extent, it has been successful in keeping inflation
relatively low even in the face of rising deficits. Tax is now considered
too crude an instrument for the job. Nevertheless, it would not be
surprising to see at least some anti-inflation rhetoric used in support of
tax increases if the Fed falters and to see renewed support for more
narrowly-tailored measures such as tax indexing as a general
The Volokh Conspiracy is a conservative group blog
with a focus on legal issues. It’s one of the last conservative blogs I can
still stand to read. Even so, it has its awful moments. I find it
less-exasperating if I filter out David Bernstein (whose commentary on the
Middle East is a predictable and uninformative litany of why Israel is good
and those who disagree are evil), Jim Lindgren (who seems determined to post
the daily Republican talking point about Obama from now until they run out of
spin), and their annoying “Sunday Song Lyric” (why do people do this?).
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