Quotations on Law, Taxes and Lawyers

On Law

No man is above the law and no man is below it, nor do we ask any man’s permission when we ask him to obey it.  ~ Theodore Roosevelt

Fragile as reason is and limited as law is as the institutionalized medium of reason, that’s all we have standing between us and the tyranny of mere will and the cruelty of unbridled, undisciplined feeling.  ~ Felix Frankfurter

Law is experience developed by reason and applied continually to further experience.  ~ Roscoe Pound

Laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind.  ~ Thomas Jefferson

Our nation is founded on the principal that observance of the law is the eternal safeguard of liberty and defiance of the law is the surest road to tyranny.  ~ John F. Kennedy

it ain’t no sin  if you crack a few laws now and then, just so long as you don’t break any.  ~ Mae West, in Every Day’s a Holiday (1937)

On Taxes

"Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes. Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands." ~ Gregory v. Helvering, 69 F.2d 809, 810 (2d Cir. 1934), aff'd, 293 U.S. 465, 55 S.Ct. 266, 79 L.Ed. 596 (1935).

Taxes, after all, are the dues that we pay for the privileges of membership in an organized society.  ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

To tax and to please, no more than to love and be wise, is not given to men.  ~ Edmund Burke

The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest amount of hissing.  ~ Attributed to Jean Baptiste Colbert

The United States has a system of taxation by confession.  ~ Hugo Black

I like to pay taxes.  With them I buy civilization.  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Unquestionably, there is progress.  The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages.  ~ H.L. Mencken

Be wary of strong drink.  It can make you shoot at tax collectors... and miss.  ~ Robert Heinlein

There is an ancient belief that the gods love the obscure and hate the obvious.  Without benefit of divinity, modern men of similar persuasion draft provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.  Section 341 is their triumph.  ~ Martin D. Ginsburg

Of course the truth is that the congresspersons are too busy raising campaign money to read the laws they pass.  The laws are written by staff tax nerds who can put pretty much any wording they want in there.  I bet that if you actually read the entire vastness of the U.S. Tax Code, you'd find at least one sex scene ("'Yes, yes, YES!' moaned Vanessa as Lance, his taut body moist with moisture, again and again depreciated her adjusted gross rate of annualized fiscal debenture").  ~ Dave Barry

If you make any money, the government shoves you in the creek once a year with it in your pockets, and all that don't get wet you can keep.  ~ Will Rogers

On Lawyers

To me a lawyer is basically the person that knows the rules of the country. We're all throwing the dice, playing the game, moving our pieces around the board, but if there's a problem, the lawyer is the only person who has read the inside of the top of the box ~ Jerry Steinfeld