It seems to me from this Theodore Roosevelt quote that he was arguing for both a progressive income tax and national service. A progressive income tax where Americans are taxed based on their ability to pay taxes.
The more money you make an earn on your own, the more in taxes that you would pay. For people in poverty they would pay the less if any in income taxes and people in the middle would pay a moderate level of income taxes. Which is the income tax system that America has right now, if you exclude the tax deductions and benefits that benefit corporations and wealthy individuals greatly. While middle class Americans other than being able to deduct their home mortgage interest and their state sales taxes, as well the child tax credit, tend to pay the U.S. Government (or Uncle Sam) what they owe by law in taxes. I believe its safe to say like its also safe to say that it snows in Minnesota in January, that Teddy Roosevelt wouldn’t be a fan of the modern American income tax system.
And then you look at the TR quote where he’s saying that as much that has been given must, much will be expected in return. Again, I believe he’s arguing for progressive taxation there, but he’s also arguing for national service and public service. That its a real privilege to live in and be born in America and we simply have the advantages that a lot of other people if not most people who are born and raised in other countries which is why we have the economic as well as personal freedom that we do, that we should be expected to give back to the country, because so much has been given to us. Not just in taxes but in public and national service to make the country a better place. Whether its military service, foreign service, law enforcement, becoming teachers, or volunteering for charities , that we should give back because so much as been given to us.
As strange as this might sound there is a lot of TR in the wealthiest and most successful of American families. The Bush Family has always believed in public service. The Roosevelt’s obviously, the Kennedy Family, the Rockefeller Family, the Carnegie Family, and many others. These great families believe that other Americans who didn’t grow up with the same advantages as they did and perhaps didn’t have any advantages at all, believe that the underprivileged deserve an hand up to help them have a better life in America. And not just through public policy, but through private charity and other non-profit organizations that serve the needy in America. Which is also a major part of Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy.