Tag Archives: Charles Adams

Cook v. Tait 23: The evolution of citizenship, taxation and citizenship taxation

This post references the following two posts on the CitizenshipSolutions.ca site.

The post referenced in the above tweet discusses the evolution of U.S. tax law since 1924.

The post referenced in the above tweet discusses the evolution of U.S. citizenship law since 1924.

The discussion at Citizenship Solutions begins with:

As Charles Adams argued in his classic book, “For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes On The Course Of Civilization“, as go the taxing practices of a nation, so goes the nation. Given that taxes are a certainty, tax laws are a certainty, and those laws speak volumes about the “state of the nation” and the “values of the nation”. Tax laws evolve on an almost daily basis. The changes in tax laws reflect changes in societal values.

(See the videos of Mr. Adams which are referenced in the above tweet.)

In 1924, the Supreme Court of the United States, per Justice McKenna ruled in Cook v. Tait that U.S. “citizenship taxation” was constitutional. Since that time Cook v. Tait has been cited to justify the constitutionality, although not necessarily the propriety, of “citizenship taxation”. Note that “citizenship taxation” contains both the words “citizenship” and “taxation”. As a result, Justice McKenna’s decision along with the relevant statutes, may tell us a great deal about what “taxation” and “citizenship” meant in 1924.

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