MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘16th Amendment’

The Income Tax is Destroying the World Economy | Armstrong Economics

Posted by M. C. on May 18, 2019

https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/world-news/taxes/how-the-income-is-destroying-the-world-economy/

by Martin Armstrong

The first income tax was created in 1861 during the Civil War as a mechanism to finance the war effort. In addition, Congress passed the Internal Revenue Act in 1862, which created the Bureau of Internal Revenue, an eventual predecessor to the IRS. The Bureau of Internal Revenue placed excise taxes on everything from tobacco to jewelry. However, the income tax did not last and was not renewed in 1872. In the Springer v. United States 102 US 586 (1881), the Supreme Court upheld the income tax.

Justice Swayne wrote the opinion of the court. The central and controlling question in the case was whether the tax which was levied on the income, gains, and profits was Constitutional since it forbid any direct taxation. The court played games with the words to uphold the government. It wrote: “Our conclusions are that direct taxes, within the meaning of the Constitution, are only capitation taxes, as expressed in that instrument, and taxes on real estate; and that the tax of which the plaintiff in error complains is within the category of an excise or duty.” A Capitation tax is an assessment levied by the government upon a person at a fixed rate regardless of the property, business, or other circumstances. The reasoning used was clearly overruled later which necessitated amending the Constitution in 1913.

Moreover, the Revenue Act of 1862 created a federal estate and gift tax system. Following the end of the Civil War, those taxes were rolled back but the War Revenue Act of 1898 created another death tax to raise revenue for the Spanish-American War.

An 1894 statute was ruled unconstitutional in the case of Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan and Trust Company 157 U.S. 429 (1895) delivered by Chief Justice Fuller. He wrote for the court: ” Whether the void provisions as to rents and income from real estate invalidated the whole act? 2, whether, as to the income from personal property as such, the act is unconstitutional as laying direct taxes? 3, Whether any part of the tax, if not considered as a direct tax, is invalid for want of uniformity on either of the grounds suggested? — the justices who heard the argument are equally divided, and, therefore no opinion is expressed.”

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Guess who ends up paying those taxes meant only for the rich… | The Daily Bell

Posted by M. C. on April 15, 2019

https://www.thedailybell.com/all-articles/news-analysis/guess-who-ends-up-paying-those-taxes-meant-only-for-the-rich/

By Joe Jarvis

Imagine starting a small business in the USA in 1875.

Imagine working for yourself, or building a company from scratch. With no corporate taxes, and no income taxes, you kept the full rewards of your risk and labor.

It’s not surprising that in about 100 years the United States went from non-existent, to having the largest economy in the world.

Unparalleled economic freedom helped create the industrial revolution which spurred legendary economic growth from 1870 through the turn of the century.

For most of the 19th century, the main source of tax revenue for the federal government was tariffs—taxes on imported goods.

But in 1913, everything changed.

Around the world, communist and socialist philosophies were spreading. Marx was a hero. The Bolsheviks would come to power in Russia in just a few years. And America was caught up in the same craze.

There were all these rich people in America now, and the politicians wanted them to pay their fair share

In 1913, the 16th Amendment was added to Constitution, which allowed Congress to replace tariffs with an income tax as the main source of US federal revenue.

The first income tax code was just four pages long. And the top tax rate was 7% on income over $500,000—worth around $12 million today.

Plus, in today’s money, anyone earning under $76,000 per—most people—paid no income taxes at all. That’s how nice the tax code was…

But it didn’t take long for things to change. Tax rates went up, the exemption fell, and debts from the Great War mounted.

By 1918 the top earners handed over 77% of their income.

The top tax rate made it all the way to 94% by 1944 to pay for World War Two.

(Two years earlier, President Roosevelt proposed a 100% tax rate to fund the war, arguing “no American citizen ought to have a net income, after he has paid his taxes, of more than $25,000 a year.” – about $300k in today’s dollars.)

At the same time, the exemption fell to $500 (from $3,000) and the lowest tax rate spiked to 23% (a 23x increase) – meaning you coughed up 23% of your income over $7,000 in today’s dollars.

In just a few decades, the income tax went from barely skimming from the richest of the rich, to confiscating a quarter of the poorest people’s income…

They start off only targeting the rich. But inevitably, rates go up, and everyone pays.

The Alternative Minimum Tax is another great example. The AMT originally targeted 155 people who were making over what today would be $1.1 million per year, but weren’t paying any federal income taxes because of loopholes and deductions.

But the tax was never adjusted for inflation.

But by 2017, five million taxpayers were paying extra taxes because of the AMT, and more than half of them made less than $200,000 per year.

Same story with self-employment taxes…

Today, people who are self-employed pay double the payroll taxes as typical workers. The government forces them to cover both the employee and employer contributions to Social Security and Medicare…

Do you think if the people from 1913 could see America now, would they still vote for the income tax?

Probably not if they saw which people ended up with the burden…

Be seeing you

tax crime

 

 

 

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The Real History of the American Income Tax | AIER

Posted by M. C. on February 19, 2019

https://www.aier.org/article/real-history-american-income-tax

By Phillip W. Magness

The 70 percent income tax scheme of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the closely related wealth tax proposal of Sen. Elizabeth Warren would take federal taxation into historically unprecedented territory. You would not know that though from listening to the academic supporters of this newly fashionable cause of progressive taxation.

To advocates of these policies such as economists Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman, they simply seek to restore an allegedly lost progressive legacy of high income taxation from the early and middle twentieth century.

Piketty made this argument in the Boston Globe earlier this week, suggesting that the Ocasio-Cortez and Warren proposals simply correct a “historical amnesia” in place since 1980 when a succession of Republican presidents allegedly “turned their backs” on the true origins of income taxation.

Part of Piketty’s narrative rests on misleading statistics. He points to the high statutory tax rates of the mid-20th century, averaging 81 percent on the top income bracket between 1930 and 1980. Yet as we’ve discussed before, nobody actually paid those rates or anywhere close to them. The effective tax rate — that is, the portion of total income earnings that individuals actually pay to the government — was much lower in this same period. Using the early 1960s as a benchmark, it hovered just over 40 percent for $1 million earners despite an average statutory rate, absent deductions, of nearly twice that and a top marginal rate in excess of 90 percent.

But Piketty’s history is faulty on another count. According to his telling, income taxation itself was the original answer to spiraling inequality in the late 19th century:

Between 1880 and 1910, while the concentration of industrial and financial wealth was gaining momentum in the United States and the country was threatening to become almost as unequal as old Europe, a powerful political movement in favor of an improved distribution in wealth was developing. This led to the creation of a federal tax on income in 1913 and on inheritances in 1916.

Even Piketty’s basic historical narrative, however, does not hold up to scrutiny.

The Forgotten Origins of the Federal Income Tax Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Your Vote Hasn’t Mattered Since 1913 | The Daily Bell

Posted by M. C. on October 8, 2018

https://www.thedailybell.com/all-articles/news-analysis/why-your-vote-hasnt-mattered-since-1913/

By Joe Jarvis

1913 was a bad year…

  • The Federal Reserve system was implemented, cementing centralized federal control over the banking and monetary system…
  • The 16th Amendment allowed the federal government to collect income taxes, ensuring a steady supply of big government funding…
  • The 17th Amendment took control of the Senate away from state governments.

You could say it was the beginning of a new United States of America… which hardly resembled the old structure.

It was the beginning of taxation without representation… The complete reversal of everything Americans fought for and achieved during the American Revolution.

It began the era of the American Empire. A centralized government, large enough to do whatever it wanted without restraint.

Too large for the people to control through representative democracy.

We still have a chance to be represented in state governments. But secession is a topic for another day… Read the rest of this entry »

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