Friday, November 25, 2005
The specter of tyranny by the majority looms over American democracy, and nowhere more so than in the area of taxation. Since the inception of the income tax, critics have warned of class warfare and of the masses "soaking the rich," thereby shifting most of the burden of paying for government onto a small group of wealthy taxpayers. That tyranny, however, has failed to materialize. Sometimes, however, the reverse occurs: The minority convinces the majority to support tax policies that favor the wealthy and even contradict their own interests, as occurred recently with the temporary repeal of the estate tax.