Hit & Run

J.D. Tuccille on the Government's Power To Destroy

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The Course of Empire: Destruction, by Thomas Cole
Thomas Cole/Public Domain

"The power to tax involves the power to destroy," wrote then-Chief Justice John Marshall in 1819. The man lacked vision. As we've seen time and again, and was emphasized this month with all of the subtlety of Joe Biden on a bender, government can destroy in all sorts of ways beyond taxation. In fact, writes Reason's J.D. Tuccille, everything the coercive and yet incompetent institution touches is put immediately at risk of collective disaster from stupid or petulant political decisions.