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Property Should Not Be Overtaxed

As the elections approach in the United States, it is good for Catholics to have arguments to reject many socialist points in the platforms of the candidates for President.

Let us not forget that private property is one of the foundations of an organic and free society. Pope Leo XIII confirms this truth as he teaches that the State cannot overtax property, thereby asphyxiating and atrophying growth and prosperity.


Pope Leo XIII

Private property must not be drained and exhausted by excessive taxation. The right to possess individual property does not derive from human laws, but from nature. Public authority cannot, therefore, abolish it. What it can do is to regulate its use and bring it into line with the common good. For this reason, the public authority works against justice and humanity when, under the name of taxation, it disproportionally overburdens private property.

Leo XIII, Encyclical Rerum novarum, of May 15, 1891,
Petropolis: Vozes, 1954, § 67, pp. 33-34.


Posted May 7, 2016