The History of U.S. Federal Taxation

While many modern liberals, such as Obama, express open disdain for the Constitution and the “negative liberties” contained therein, every so often you will me one that actually attempts to use the Constitution to justify today’s ever-expanding federal government and an equally increasingly progressive income tax to attempt, in vain, to fund it. Its apparent to me that a history lesson is order.

A federal income tax was originally not part of the Constitution. Article 1, section 2, clause 3 of the Constitution allowed only for “direct” taxation that would then be re-distributed to the states based on population. Attempts to  It is important to remember that at the time of it’s signing, this new constitution that allowed a federal government with a limited role and limited taxation was a response to a failed attempt, the Articles of Federation, that illustrated our founders’ hesitation and fear of a large federal government. An attempt for a federal income tax that wasn’t apportioned to the states was ruled unconstitutional in 1895 and a non-apportioned federal income tax did not become a part of the Constitution until the 16th amendment was ratified in 1913.

Our founding fathers viewed private property rights as an integral part of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and thus knew that due to its coercive nature, taxation is a special exception to the right to private property and therefore its utilization should be limited to assist in the most legitimate roles of the federal government. States were given more freedom in terms of taxation because our founders knew that there is typically a higher degree of accountability within local government. And since citizens have the ability to move freely, when citizens of…oh, I don’t know…lets just say California…feel their private property rights are being unjustly oppressed that can move to…oh, I don’t know…Texas.

Liberals either don’t understand the Constitution and our founders’ efforts to limit federal government or they openly disdain the Constitution and therefore hope to change it.


One Response to The History of U.S. Federal Taxation

  1. Justicus says:

    I think many people have disdain for the Constitution. Not just liberals, but, many Americans. Taxes are a very volatile subject in American history. American colonists fought a revolution over this very issue. “No taxation without representation,” I believe was, and is still today, a battle cry. I believe our country has gone away from its founding ideals. However, this is inevitable, especially over the generations. Progressives have always tried to institute their policies in the United States. Some of their policies have been welcomed, i.e, the end of slavery, women’s right to vote, etc. However, such things should already be established, for God has made everyone equal. In any case, it is within my humble opinion, government should not overly burden its citizens with taxes. Government’s role, within the framework of the Constitution, is to provide for the “general welfare” of its citizens. In this sense, it needs to provide for national defense, infrastructure, health, and education. How is it do so without taxes? Well, it can tax citizens for these things, but it can be proportionally among the states. After many years of internal debate, I have settled on a flat tax. This may or may not be proportional, I believe it is proportional on wealth. If you tax the population, let’s say, a 5% flat tax rate, (this is dependent on an income cap, let’s say people who make over 40k per year), that is proportional to what they make. A millionaire would be paying 5% of their earnings, compared to someone making $ 40,000 a year paying 5%. It would be comparable to their earnings. In the end, there is no solution to the problems that plague mankind, except for divinity, and that is God. Everything on earth is trivial compared to the power of God.

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