California: The Value of Positive Pain

Ever since the Federal Government adopted Financier Beardsley Ruml's ingenious invention of tax withholding back in 1943, the system has been about as unassailable as motherhood. Government officials love it, since paycheck deductions help disguise the size of the tax collector's take. Most taxpayers also approve of withholding as a relatively painless way of parting with their pelf. Only a non-politician of rare courage or naiveté—or both—would dare challenge it. Sure enough, a non-politician par excellence, California's Governor Ronald Reagan, did precisely that last week as he marked the end of his first 100 days in office with a...

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