GEN. CLARK: Well, first of all, they were not efficient in terms of stimulating the kind of demand we need to move the economy back into a recovery mode, a strong recovery and a recovery that provides jobs. There are more effective ways of using the resources. Secondly, the tax cuts weren?t fair. I mean, the people that need the money and deserve the money are the people who are paying less, not the people who are paying more. I thought this country was founded on a principle of progressive taxation. In other words, it?s not only that the more you make, the more you give, but proportionately more because when you don?t have very much money, you need to spend it on the necessities of life. When you have more money, you have room for the luxuries and you should?one of the luxuries and one of the privileges we enjoy is living in this great country.
No, General, this country was founded on the principle of no federal income tax at all. We had to pass a Constitutional amendment, within the last century, in order to levy it.
[Update on Thursday morning]
There’s a debate ongoing in the comments section, but in the meantime, Professor Volokh has some thoughts.