The ultimate problem with a governments power to tax is when that power is unlimited. Today lawmakers, politicians, and bureaucrats, especially at the national level, are not incentivized to approach programs and services as though taxes were finite. If taxes were capped at 10 percent, that the national and local political discord would shift to a focus on how to spend the available revenue, and how to best stimulate growth to increase tax revenue for new programs, etc.
If the power of taxation is put in unlawful and selfish hands, he or she might be able wipe out an entire economy because of he or she's unwise decisions. However, if placed in the right hands, it may bring prosperity to the economy and make life better for others.
Any power that someone can wield has the power to destroy. It is irrelevant what the power is as long as it is a power over another person. This means that the power to tax can destroy. You can tax someone behind their means to live which would make them die from no food.
The power of taxation without representation is definitely the power to destroy. The power to tax people is an incredible responsibility that should be reserved for those with others best interest at heart along with limitations. If one man has power to determine the tax rights of thousands or even millions, he could destroy the entire community of tax payers.
I believe the power to tax is the power to destroy, but it is also the power to create a better society. It all depends on what kinds of taxes are applied to whom, and at what rate. By taxing fairly, the government can provide services that are hard to get in the private sector. However, excessive or unfair taxes do indeed destroy a society.
Excessive taxes can act adversely on a business or individual which will cause the business to fail, or the individual to fail to be able to pay the tax demanded. This effectively destroys the economy by reducing employment opportunities, or throwing a person in prison for failure to pay. Instead of "pay as you go," the taxes that are levied on the population can vary from year to year depending on the popularity of whom we elect into office, and the corollary objective of working with a state or federal budget. Therefore, if the person sponsoring the tax wants to limit the growth of a sector of business or to reduce the ability of a segment of population in order to meet his own (or his party's) goal, he has the power to destroy.
The statement is presented backwards. What is the power to tax without the means to compel payment? Think of mobs that trash up businesses that don't pay for their "protection". Is the government a mob? In some ways, yes; however, we are a part of it and we have representatives, so in many other ways, no.
Ben Franklin said it best when he revealed two certainties in America: death and taxes. In our case, we have taxation with representation. Our lawmakers define what our taxes are and voters elect their representatives to government. If the power to tax is the power to destroy, then American citizens are destroying themselves. Taxes are a necessity for the common good, whether they are income taxes, tariffs or excise taxes.