In a recent column, Taxes and Politics, Thomas Sowell writes:
Someone once said that taxes are the price we pay for civilization. That may have been true when he said it, but today taxes are mostly the price we pay so that politicians can play Santa Claus and get reelected.
That’s not the worst of it. We may think of taxes as just a source of government revenue. But tax rates are a big political statement on the left, whether they bring in any revenue or not.
After all, “the rich” paid that larger sum of taxes only because their incomes had risen. Their paying a higher share of all taxes doesn’t matter to the “progressives,” who see high tax rates as a way to take a bigger bite out of the incomes of higher-income people, not just provide more revenue to the government.
Tax rates are meant to make an ideological statement and promote class-warfare politics, not just bring in revenue.
The whole column is worth a read.