In 1774, we paid taxes to England. I don’t think there were income taxes, and there weren’t any income taxes in the US until 1914, so Nordquist is way off here.
I would argue that we should eliminate income taxes once again, and find another way to fund government. I would start with the types of taxes we had back in the 1800s – excise taxes and tariffs. I would lay on top of that a national luxury sales tax, such as the one Australia has. If all this was not enough, after chopping out most of military spending, I would tax wealth above some reasonable amount – maybe $100 million?
With the myriad ways the very rich have of avoiding individual taxes, and that corporations have of sheltering profits, the current tax system is absurd. The changes the Republicans want to make make it more absurd.
You’re right that it’s the quality of taxes that’s important, not the quantity.