"Rather than contributing to the commonweal, the wealthy fed off it. They avoided paying rents for the public lands they or their forebears had expropriated. Cicero's aristocratic wife, for instance, paid no taxes or fees for public forest lands whose timber she marketed for personal profit. Senators paid no taxes and little of the other costs of governance. The money they lent to the state was paid back to them with interest from funds the state raised by taxing less privileged populations at home and abroad. This system of deficit spending -- of borrowing from the rich and payign them back by taxing poor commoners amounted to an upward redistribution of income."
- from "The Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People's History of Ancient Rome," by Michael Parenti PhD.