This weekend marks 100 years since the passage of a resolution from Sen. Joseph W. Bailey, D-Texas, that became the 16th Amendment to the United States Constitution. It authorized the federal government to levy an income tax. The resolution was passed unanimously in the Senate (77-0) and was approved overwhelmingly by the House (318-14).
The resolution was then sent to the states for ratification. On Feb. 2, 1910, South Carolina became the third state to ratify.
On Feb. 3, 1913, Delaware provided the three-fourths majority needed to amend the Constitution.
This highly significant centennial is a cause for great mourning, as it marked the beginning of a slow deterioration of America’s liberty and economic prosperity.
What motivated our legislators to create the income tax and the IRS? “Spreading the wealth” was as attractive to liberals then as it is now.
Though it sounds attractive to some, there is one hidden catch: Middle America foots most of the bill, not the wealthy. At its core, the highly unfair income tax is a favorite tool of socialists, punishing productivity in the name of “fairness.”
The income tax began innocently enough — a mere 1 percent on the first $20,000 of taxable income and 7 percent on incomes above $500,000 (that translates to $430,000 and $10,700,000 in today’s dollars).
By 1939, only 5 percent of Americans had to file tax returns. Today, income taxes are the government’s largest source of revenue, with more than 80 percent of Americans paying income taxes ranging from 10 percent to 35 percent.
Guess what? There’s nothing whatsoever to stop them from taking all of your money.
Before you think they wouldn’t, America’s wealthy faced taxes exceeding 90 percent during the wartime years of 1944-1953. This is pure confiscation.
Worst of all, the income tax necessitated the largest government bureaucracy of all time: the IRS, charged with enforcing the tax code. In the name of “justice,” citizens are intimidated out of their Fourth Amendment rights to privacy in a system that assumes guilt before innocence. Appeals are held in tax courts without juries. To get a jury trial, you must pay the tax and then sue the government. How un-American.
Patriotic Americans find these facts very disturbing. In fact, they are so disturbed that they are taking to the streets in a wave of never-before-seen conservative protests.
If you care about your country, I challenge you to join me in front of the Anderson County Courthouse on Friday at 6:30 p.m. as we “celebrate” 100 years of the income tax.
Jonathon Hill is a resident of Townville and organized the Anderson Post-Tax Day TEA Party on April 16. He works as a grassroots activist, not on behalf of any political party. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org