Income tax: The 16th Amendment was ratified 100 years ago today– What did the Founders say?
The Sixteenth Amendment says: “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”
This was ratified 100 years ago today on February 3, 1913, and to many, a huge power grab for the federal government. Many believe on this day, Washington DC took control of the fruits of our labor.
The founders had much to say about this topic, here are a few quotes:
Thomas Jefferson said during his 1st inaugural address:
“What more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow citizens–a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.”
Our fourth President, James Madison said:
If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.
There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.
Even one who I would consider to be a proponent of a big centralized government, Alexander Hamilton said:
If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare… The powers of Congress would subvert the very foundation, the very nature of the limited government established by the people of America.
It can also be pointed out that the income tax is clearly un-American. Pointing out that the 2nd plank of Marx’s Communist Manifesto was exactly that–an income tax. “A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.”
Shall we say, Happy Birthday?