The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. A tax upon house-rents, therefore, would in general fall heaviest upon the rich; and in this sort of inequality there would not, perhaps, be anything very unreasonable. It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
Why Adam Smith, in Wealth of Nations, of course.
What socialist implemented a progressive income tax in the US? That red commie Theodore Roosevelt, that's who.
Another socialist ran our country from 1953-1961, did you know. Here's the marginal tax rates for the lowest paid and highest paid Americans during that time.
1952-1953 - 22.2% 92% Census
1954-1963 - 20% 91% Census
That's 92 percent! That commie, Dwight D. Eisenhower, what was he thinking, reigning over a time of economic prosperity? Of course he oversaw that socialist government expenditure of funds for US highways. Of course in those days, large corporations paid the largest chunk of the taxes collected. Now individuals do. And that's part of the problem.
My favorite example: blue states like New York, New Jersey, California, etc., pay a lot more in federal taxes than anything they receive. Meanwhile states like Mississippi, Alaska, North Dakota receive a lot more in federal funding than they pay. Socialism!