Taxes Exceeds the Power of Rome

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The tax system of the ancient Roman Empire, from the time the Republic began in 509 BC throughout the empire that Octavian established in 27 BC, operated with efficiencies and inefficiencies (DeLorme). Taxation extends benefits to citizens in the form of public works as well as costs if the governing bodies impose excessive, unequal or unfair taxes. Taxpayers see the tax collector as a necessary evil, but when the taxing power falls under the control of one emperor or a few powerful people, these people use their position and the revenue generated as personal gain (DeLorme). The average taxpayers of Rome were peasant farmers who seen these actions as a unfortunate situation that they could not do anything about. Peasant farmers were unable to form political pacts or treaties among individuals or groups to protect themselves because military control of Roman legions was under the tight control of the emperor. It is important to consider the military power or Roman legions were directly under the control of the emperor and owed their own personal allegiance and income to the emperor (DeLorme). Ancient Rome provides a long history of rent seeking and the necessity and abuse of taxation by those directly in power. With emperors drunk on power, increasing taxes on Roman tax payers led to the weakening and fall of the Roman Empire.
Taxation has been widespread throughout time and among societies as the action by which governments must raise money. Citizens or taxpayers talk about the idea and make efforts to avoid, or at times, avoid the taxes. The heavy burden of taxation falls differently among socioeconomic classes. With a progressive tax, the burden is expressed as a percentage of income, tax rate increases as the taxable base amou...

... middle of paper ... ancient to modern times. With the misuse of high taxations on farmers and government corruption,help led the weakening of the Roman Empire that reached its demise in the fifth century. The Roman government practiced rent-seeking behaviors with tax collectors taxing the peasants and farmers at the same rate as the wealthy and misusing the money for their own entertainment. With the misuse of taxation the farmers were taxed off their land, the population decreased, and the military weakened (DeLorme). Today USA, for example, will not collapse under over-taxation because of the many checks and balances in its political structure. The US federal tax system is mildly progressive as it levies a higher percentage tax on the citizens with the most income according to the ability to pay theory. The Roman Empires obsession on wealth resulted on a structure taxation system.
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