Explores the moral dimension of tax policy and calls for a fundamental tax reform


Slaying Leviathan

The Moral Case for Tax Reform

206 pages; 6" x 9"


In the natural order, virtue and vice each carries its own consequences. On the one hand, virtue yields largely positive results. Hard work, patience, and carefulness, for example, tend to generate prosperity. Vice, on the other hand, brings negative consequences. Sloth, impatience, and recklessness, for example, tend toward suffering.

In Slaying Leviathan, Leslie Carbone argues that since the early twentieth century, U.S. tax policy has been designed to mitigate the natural economic results of both virtue and vice. When the government disrupts the natural order through taxation by creating incentives and disincentives that overturn these natural consequences, the government perverts its own function and becomes part of the problem—a contributor to social breakdown—rather than part of the solution or an instrument of justice.

Slaying Leviathan envisions an approach to tax policy rooted in natural justice. To achieve this goal, Carbone first traces the historical evolution of U.S. tax policy, from the 1765 Stamp Act to the 1997 tax cut. She then assesses the current American tax burden and George W. Bush’s tax cuts and explores the fundamental problems with U.S. tax policy. After providing a historical analysis of federal spending and of expanding governmental expectations, she offers a set of over-arching principles and instructions on how to apply them to tax policy proposals.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)

Leslie Carbone served as the director of Family Tax Policy at the Family Research Council, chief of staff to the late assemblyman Gil Ferguson of California, and a speechwriter for U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao. Her writing has been published in the Weekly Standard, the American Enterprise, the San Francisco Chronicle, and numerous other magazines and journals. She has lectured on more than 100 college campuses and has been interviewed on more than 250 radio shows. She lives in Fairfax, Virginia.


“If you are either a conservative or a libertarian bent and need an argument against tax increases and liberal tax policies to use on your progressive friends, Carbone’s book provides you with lots of ammunition. If you are a progressive seeking a way out of the wilderness in which you find yourself, you need this book as well.”
Personal Liberty Digest, www.personalliberty.com

“[Carbone] is the best and most articulate cheerleader in the country–and I’m glad she’s cheering and teaching history and moral economic behavior for the conservatives.”
www.intellectualconservative.com, October 2009

“The moral component of taxation is rarely discussed, but it should be. . . . With more voices such as [Carbone’s], maybe politicians and their enablers will learn that government cannot manipulate the economy to achieve biased outcomes without generating the resentment and class warfare they profess to distaste.”
www.familyfoundationblog.com, September 8, 2009

“An excellent addition to the voluminous literature condemning the leviathan that has become America’s tax system.”
www.thelibertypapers.org, September 8, 2009

Slaying Leviathan issues a devastating indictment of the absurdity that has masqueraded as tax policy for the last century. Carbone’s insightful book illustrates the moral damage wrought by the misuse of tax policy to overturn natural justice. Combining history with vision, economic reality with social and moral reasoning, and humor with outrage, Slaying Leviathan is important not only for the coming debate over tax reform but also for understanding the economic roots of modern moral malaise.”
Jack Kemp, former secretary of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Representative (R-New York)

Slaying Leviathan sounds a clarion call for reform of the labyrinthine and discriminatory tax system that has fueled the wanton growth of government in the United States for the past century. Leslie Carbone’s passionate attack on tax-and-spending proclivities of politicians and bureaucrats argues forcefully that fiscal policy choices are not just matters of economics, but of moral principle as well.”
William Shughart, Barnard Distinguished Professor of Economics, University of Mississippi

Slaying Leviathan clearly shows how freely competitive markets and moral principles are interdependent foundations of a free and humane society.”
David Theroux, president, Independent Institute

“Leslie Carbone’s argument for restoring virtue, justice, and common sense to fiscal policy is a vital contribution to the debate over taxes. Anyone who wants to understand the moral price of our tax system should read this book.”
Eli Lehrer, former senior editor of The American Enterprise

Related Books: