Peter Schif: Supreme Court’s potential ruling threatens to nationalize assets, erode private property rights, and fuel a communist revolution.

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“If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the government, and allows it to redefine income to include any unrealized appreciation in any asset, then it will grant the Federal Government a new power to nationalize the entire asset stock of the nation. In hyperinflation, the only refuge people have is the ability to hold real assets and never sell them. But if the Federal Government can claim unrealized inflationary gains as being taxable income, then almost all Americans will be forced to sell their assets just to pay their tax liabilities. But with all assets up for sale at once, the most likely buyer will be the Federal Government itself, which will pay in near worthless paper. In one decision, the Supreme Court would have rendered the Constitution meaningless, effectively illuminated private property rights, and provided the Federal Government with the legal mechanism to pull off a communist revolution without having to fire a single shot.

This potential abuse was not even discussed during oral agreement, and the current tax under review is not nearly this draconian. But it’s the legal principal that matters. Once the Supreme Court opens the door, it’s just a matter of time before the government barges through.”

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