Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty

The Ratification of 16th Amendment and the Assault on Freedom

February 3, 2010 by  

I don’t want to worry you, but historically this is a bad week for freedom.

Among the worst events, 97 years ago this week a progressive income tax was made possible in the United States. Prior to this time the Federal Government paid all of its bills (including the salaries of congressmen, presidents, federal judges, et al) from the levies and duties it collected. There was no tax on individual citizens.

For more than 150 years the country was spared a progressive income tax because (a) the Constitution specifically forbade one and (b) the courts upheld the Constitutional prohibition.

But neither was able to deter the domestic advocates of this plank right out of the Communist Manifesto forever, unfortunately, and on Feb. 3, 1913, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified. A federal income tax and the authority to enforce it—the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)—soon followed.

Today, almost a century later, the average American toils for nearly five months to earn the money to pay the federal behemoth. It’s still not enough to balance the books, however, as the national debt is growing by $1.4 trillion a year.

—Chip Wood

Chip Wood

is the geopolitical editor of He is the founder of Soundview Publications, in Atlanta, where he was also the host of an award-winning radio talk show for many years. He was the publisher of several bestselling books, including Crisis Investing by Doug Casey, None Dare Call It Conspiracy by Gary Allen and Larry Abraham and The War on Gold by Anthony Sutton. Chip is well known on the investment conference circuit where he has served as Master of Ceremonies for FreedomFest, The New Orleans Investment Conference, Sovereign Society, and The Atlanta Investment Conference.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “The Ratification of 16th Amendment and the Assault on Freedom”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at

  • bbstacker


    Normally, for comedy like this, you pay a cover charge:

    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) intends to purchase sixty Remington Model 870 Police RAMAC #24587 12 gauge pump-action shotguns for the Criminal Investigation Division. The Remington parkerized shotguns, with fourteen inch barrel, modified choke, Wilson Combat Ghost Ring rear sight and XS4 Contour Bead front sight, Knoxx Reduced Recoil Adjustable Stock, and Speedfeed ribbed black forend, are designated as the only shotguns authorized for IRS duty based on compatibility with IRS existing shotgun inventory, certified armorer and combat training and protocol, maintenance, and parts.

    molon labe

  • Tim

    The 16th amendment was unlawfully ratified, it is fraud. The proof is there. Even if it was ratified the Supreme Court ruled it did not change anything, the question, if no one paid a tax on their labor before, why are we paying now. Paying taxes on your labor, income is not labor and labor is not income, is illegal.

  • http://gmail Ken

    Rule of 70

    At the beginning of life we pay no taxes and at the end of life we should not have to pay taxes. The Rule of 70 is simple. At the age of 70 we no longer are required to pay taxes or even file a tax return. We should be unburdened from stress and free to live our final years in peace. Most of us have worked 40-50 years to fund the establishment and it’s time to enjoy our remaining years unshackeled.


  • Beba

    The 16th Amendment was not ratified. There is proof of that everytime the IRS is taken to court and loses. When asked to show what tax law they are referring to when trying to not only de-fraud Americans for tax evasion but imprison them for a crime they did not committ, they come up empty handed. If the law was passed why cant they prove it? How low can this governement go!!!

  • Fred

    I know someone whom the IRS wanted to audit. This person asked for an appointment with the Regional Director IRS, Atlanta Office. They got the appointment and when in the Directors office, they asked if they could record this conversation. The Director complied and the recorder was turned on. The individual then said there was only one question to be asked. Is there a law that requires me to pay income tax? The Director started off in another direction and the individual stopped the Director and said, this is a yes or no question. This went on several times and finally the Director relented and stated, no, there is no law that requires you to pay income tax! The individual turned off the recorder, thanked the Director and walked out of the office. Two copies were made of the tape and have been secretly hidden for several years and this individual has not filed income tax nor been contacted by the IRS.

  • Michael

    Revolution, now…!!

    • Arthur De Pasquale

      A revolution would be in order. The best way to stop this governments spending habits is not to pay income tax, period! Why do we take the burdon of wars all over the world? For peoples freedom? But we have less freedom so that they can have our freedom?
      Unless this government goes the way of only spending what the British spend on world help we are doomed. Match only what the British spend on helping people around the world would do much to curb our government spending.
      Haiti has been in trouble for 50 years, that I know of. Send them a fishing line. They have done nothing for themselves.


    Thank you Chip, for the insight. Like myself, most of us were sent to Public school ie day enternment camps, for the better part of the day then loaded with home work that didn’t prepare us for life at all. So why would be know a thing about the inner workings of the Constitution and the purposes of these things. I have bothered to take an interest in John Taylor Gatto and its a beginning into much that explains even more.

    I don’t care for abuse, neither do I want to practice it, because it is is does not help better our lives it is futile. I wish we would all do some digging and find out for ourselves the real skinny. I think your writting directs us and adds some inspiration to the continued process of teaching ourselvs ourside of the day camp that is school.

    I have a long way to go, obviously, to get the jist of history and why our nation has ended up with this reprehensible mock “healthcare plan” named for its dispot.

    Again thanks, very much for taking the time and effort to share your knowledge with us here.

  • Harry

    I would like to recommend a book that I just finished, “Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black and White,” by David Barton. It is well written, well researched, and Constitutionally correct. I am a retired History Teacher and after reading it I had to repent for all the lies I taught my kids. God help me!

    And thanks Ken, I like that Rule of 70.

  • Chelsie

    I really wish more people would take a look at the 16th & 17th amendments. So many people are in that zombie state of mind that the Government only tells the truth and is only out to help us. 90% of the people I talk to think the reasoning that these are illegal is because it was “taxation without representation” which is an obvious lie to cover up the truth.

    My mother is 62 right now and she thinks the income tax is not only necessary but good and that people who claim it’s unconstitutional are misinformed. I think I’m going to try to repair some of the damage done by school and read the book Harry suggested. I always wondered why history class was so boring. Seems like most of it was omitted from class.

    America needs an overhaul but I’m afraid of what might come of that as well. There’s so many people who think religion should be a part of government (if the education system was truly about education and we learned what a logical fallacy was in grade school rather than college, there would be no religion.). I’m more willing to continue paying illegal taxes than I am willing to deal with zealots trying to force the tooth fairy upon me. As much as I want a revolution, I fear it just as much. Things are just not right in this country.


Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.