So now it seems that Bush has decided to resurrect another really bad idea. Tax farming
. That is to say private firms collecting taxes for the state. Why were tax collectors hated in Jesus' time so much? Well it's not just that they were funding an occupying army, they were also taking a slice off the top for themselves. Tax farming was also practiced in Czarist Russia, but even the czars saw this policy to be exploitive and ended it during the reign of Alexander II
. So there you have it, the Bush administration, slightly more regressive than nineteenth century autocrats... Classy.
Edited for additional content on Alexander II