What Do Taxes Pay For?


"Taxation is the price which we pay for civilization, for our social, civil and political institutions, for the security of life and property, and without which, we must resort to the law of force."

Report of the Committee Appointed by the Governor To Take Into Consideration the Financial Affairs of the State in Journal of the House of Representatives, State of Vermont (October Session 1851 (1852) addressed “To the Legislature of the State of Vermont 1852 Vermont committee. Appendix p369.


Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. put it more concisely:

“Taxes are what we pay for civilized society." 

Compania General de Tabacos de Filipinas v Collector 275 U.S. 87, 100(1927) (Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.)