Ninety-four years ago this week the United States Constitution suffered its worst-ever addition when the 16th Amendment, which permits a progressive income tax, was ratified by Congress. In just one sentence, a mere 31 words long, our relationship with those who would rule over us was changed dramatically.
A graduated federal income tax became legal for the first time in our country’s history on Feb. 25, 1913, thanks to 16th Amendment. Prior to its ratification the courts had repeatedly ruled that a progressive income tax—that is, the more you earn the greater percentage the government would take—was unconstitutional.
Thanks to a virtual conspiracy among the rich and powerful and their lackeys in Congress, Americans were persuaded that a graduated income tax (a key plank in the Communist Manifesto, by the way) would “soak the rich” and shower benefits on the poor. Instead, as many warned at the time, the tax and those who enforce it have done incalculable harm to the spirit of freedom and independence that once typified this country.