It’s a grim centennial.
“First, what is it you want us to pay taxes for? Tell me what I get and perhaps I’ll buy it.”
“Comrades, I beg of you — do not resort to compulsory taxation. There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.”
– Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress.
How did they get the 16th Amendment ratified? By selling it as a tax on “the rich.” If you look at the tax rates on the bottom and top brackets, it largely was a tax primarily on “the rich” initially. Then the US got involved in WWII and suddenly a lot of people found themselves subject to the income tax. Funny how that happens.
The Alternative Minimum Tax was also passed as a tax on “the rich,” only today it catches millions of middle income families. The politicians never indexed the AMT for inflation. Funny how that happens.
So, whenever you hear politicians talking about taxing “the rich,” it’s only a matter of time before you’ll suddenly find the tax applies to you. Funny how that happens.
Actually it was really sold by those wanting prohibition. As noted here a third of the federal government’s income was coming from taxes on liquor before the Income Tax era, making prohibition impractical.
Of course once Congress found how easy was it was to get money to spend by raising taxes…
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