This post is part of a series that will make more sense if it is read in order. If you haven’t read the earlier posts in this series, please click here to start with the first one. One reason I’ve broken this series into fairly small parts is that we have a tendency to rush through reading the Constitution and miss a lot of it. I hope the readers of this series will ponder the points in each session. I also hope you will comment on each post as we go along.
We’re slowly working our way through the Constitution and its amendments. Today, we’ll consider the Sixteenth Amendment.
Throughout this series on the Constitution, my comments will be in black normal font, and the text of the document will be in this color and italicized.
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
This simple little statement has caused immeasurable damage to our nation’s economy since it was ratified. I cannot fathom what was going on in the minds of our leaders in Washington at the time. William Howard Taft was President, and Republicans controlled both houses of Congress.
As so frequently happens, no one thought about the door that was opened for the future. The maximum rate of the first income tax was only seven per cent. Sounds harmless enough. Unfortunately, though, the rates went from one per cent up to seven per cent, setting up the precedent for graduated taxation.
Fast forward a century, and we have a situation in which around half of the adult population pays no income taxes at all. Of those who do, some pay fifteen per cent, and some pay nearly forty per cent. Is there really anything fair about taxing this guy one rate and that guy another and these people not at all?
By its very nature, a graduated income tax takes the most money from the hands of the people who would use it to build the economy—the entrepreneurs and other achievers. Every dollar taken from these people is a dollar that cannot be used to build a better mousetrap or discover a new medical procedure. Those dollars are then spent to support people who produce nothing to build our economy—welfare recipients, government bureaucrats, and the ruling elite. This is folly of an unbelievable magnitude.
If they were going to authorize an income tax, they should have made it a part of the Constitutional amendment that EVERYONE would pay the same percentage of his or her total income. That’s the only way it could ever be fair.
Better still would have been to pass a national sales tax. Everyone would pay the same rate and only on money spent. Money saved and invested would avoid taxation, building the nation’s money supply, which generates growth in jobs, dividends, and every other part of our economy.
Isn’t it time to repeal this amendment and replace it with something that would be both fair to all citizens and good for our national economy?
“We’ve given you a republic, if you can keep it.”
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