The Worst Amendment

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?


Benjamin Franklin, exiting Constitutional Convention:

“We’ve given you a republic, if you can keep it.”


For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.

For more information about his books, click on “Books” above.

Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.


About David N. Walker

David N. Walker is a Christian husband, father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years in the health insurance industry, during which time he traveled much of the United States. He started writing about 20 years ago and has been a member and leader in several writers' groups. Christianity 101: The Simplified Christian Life, the devotional Heaven Sent and the novella series, Fancy, are now available in paperback and in Kindle and Nook formats, as well as through Smashwords and Kobo. See information about both of these by clicking "Books" above.
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7 Responses to The Worst Amendment

  1. Taxes. Yuck. I understand their purpose, but . . . yuck.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt


  2. Karlene says:

    Sharon and Dave, this flat tax is a proponent in my house. I have professed this forever. The problem is, and the reason why they have never instituted this, (even though various politicians have mentioned it) is because the very, very rich businessmen, like Trump, are currently paying little to nothing.

    The current system is set up for those with businesses (and some with hundreds or thousands… Trump has 500) use everything for a write-off the next thing. He has money to buy and operate an airplane, fund a campaign, but is not disclosing his tax return because he is paying far less than the average working person. Far less than I am.

    The current system is not fair. I have many times through the years had to work two to three jobs to make ends meet during hard times, just to pay the mortgage and feed the kids, and then put my kids through college… yet my minimum wage jobs were added to my primary income and those were taxed at top dollars. I survived during the months, but at the end of the year every single dollar in my account went to taxes.

    I guess we should look at the justification… this tax would make the filthy rich to actually have to pay taxes. But… corporate America is not really for the people, but for themselves. They don’t want to pay 10%… they want the write offs that the rest of us don’t have, and want to pay little or nothing. The sad thing is, that nobody sees this. That’s why it’s so important for Trump to show his tax returns. Not so much as it’s important to an election, or the outcome, but more to show exactly why, what Dave is professing with a flat tax, is important because Trump is an example of the American Businessman and truth shall be told what is happening in big business. It’s not his fault he’s taking advantage of a broken system… why not? Get’s him richer. But, something needs to change.

    Thanks for your thoughts!


  3. Sharon K. Walker says:

    Very interesting ideas, but some people really could contribute nothing. For years there’s been discussion on changing our country’s tax laws, but most legislators seem to be scared to face this troublesome issue head-on.


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