The Laffer Curve from the 1920s reflects the truism that a 77 percent tax rate produces the same amount of revenue as a 7 percent tax rate. Once the tax rate exceeds twenty-five percent, less will be collected.
The first progressive rates took place before the income tax. The British invented the income tax, promising to give it up when the war ended. It didn’t happen. In the Colonies, all taxation was seen as evil. Adams says “socialism comes by seduction, but communism comes by rape.”
Lecture 9 of 10 from Charles Adams' The Rosetta Stone to the US Code: A New History of Taxation.