One Hundredth Anniversary of the 16th Amendment

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Drape the windows and doors in black!  Today is the one hundredth anniversary of the ratification of the 16th Amendment that allowed the implementation of the Federal Income Tax.  Last week I prepared my income tax returns.  I usually have fairly complicated returns, but I am always amazed that after thirty years as an attorney I still come across sections of the returns and instructions that are literally incomprehensible.  All those who have a similar reaction are in good company.  Leo Mattersdorf prepared the tax returns for Albert Einstein.  Einstein made this remark during a lunch one time to Mattersdorf:

One year while I was at his Princeton home preparing his return, Mrs. Einstein, who was then still living, asked me to stay for lunch. During the course of the meal, the professor turned to me and with his inimitable chuckle said: “The hardest thing in the world to understand is income taxes.” I replied: “There is one thing more difficult, and that is your theory of relativity.” “Oh, no,” he replied, ”that is easy.” To which Mrs. Einstein commented, “Yes, for you.”

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8 Responses to One Hundredth Anniversary of the 16th Amendment

  • The MacNelly cartoon is a classic. I miss that guy.

  • Taxpayers get yearly Fed. and State income / expense reports rounded to the nearest dollar as well on April 15th, speaking of working together, – and paper ballots for all elections.

    The 1040 here was fun.

  • “The MacNelly cartoon is a classic. I miss that guy.”

    As do I. He died much too young.

  • There is nothing the matter with income taxes as a means of raising revenue, provided marginal rates are not set so high that people elect leisure over work and incremental increases in marginal rates thus induce a fall in revenue. Ultimate marginal rates between 1932 and 1981 were excessive even by the lights of the likes of Bradford deLong. The complication generally arises from Congress making use of tax preferences to reward their favorite constituencies. Our problem right now is not the income tax per se, it is corruption and rent-seeking. The Republican congressional caucus chose the ultimate marginal rate and revenue neutrality as the hill to die on rather than cleaning out the favors as the hill to die on. That was wrong.

  • Free men submit their finances to the government to be taxed. Government uses free men’s tax money to redefine the human being. Why must free men submit their God to the government to be redefined?

  • There are people who believe that the income tax is unconstitional & advocate not paying. I’d like to know if those people end up in prison, and how they get away with not paying, if they in-fact do. I have met far, far, far too many people who don’t understand the difference between gross & net pay, and who do not understand that the refund they get is them paying too much to the government.

  • It is important on tax day and every day to remember that the government does not own your soul or your body or your tax dollars. Taxes belong to the taxpaying citizen even as taxes are administered by the administration. The only tax money the government owns is its own compensation or paycheck. Eminent domain must be taken for public use as is stated in the Fifth Amendment. Government has been taking private property for public purposes, a change not ratified by 2/3 of the states and decided outside the will of the people. Roe v Wade cannot be funded by tax dollars, as Henry Hyde legislated, because abortion was not voted for by Congress, nor is the HHS Mandate, added by unelected officials after the Affordable Health care Act was passed by Congress. The HHS Mandate, abortion and government insurance policies cannot be funded by tax dollars because tax dollars remain the possession of and the property of the individual taxpayer even when being administered by the administration, and these issues have not been placed before the people who own the tax money. The government belongs to each and every person in joint and common constituency. Obama works for me and Obama works for you. Obama is claiming a mandate from the people, over and over again to spend our tax dollars in the way he sees fit, but this is confiscation and infliction of tyranny, nasty totalitarianism as Donald McClarey says. Obama is using the power of the state to scourge people into submission.
    The 4th paragraph of the Fourteenth Amendment reads: “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.” The HHS Mandate has not been “authorized by law”, nor has abortion been “authorized by law” to be added to the public debt. This is why Chief Justice Roberts said the ACA was a tax and the White House said that it was a penalty on the very same day.
    If, the government owned the public and/or the republic, then, the government would own the public tax dollars.

  • The Income Tax verifies two truths: one, you cannot trust politicians with power; and two, when politicians have access to more money they spend it all, plus some more money.

    The top income tax rate in 1914 was 7%. It’s now 39.6%, plus Obamacare add-ons. The first Internal Revenue Code was 400 pages long. In 2013, it’s over 72,000 pages. I’s okay. Twenty-First Century public skool graduates are speed readers.

    In 1913, the national debt was virtually zero. Today, it’s over $16 trillion and skyrocketing (adding $1,400,000,000,000.00 a year for the foreseeable future). In other words, idiot politicians (I repeat myself again) spent $16,000,000,000,000.00 more than massive income taxes receipts: most of the debt incurred in the past ten years.

    The Internal Revenue Service isn’t the worst evil the morons are spawning. The geniuses (they replaced the gold – barbaric relic – standard with the PhD – credentialed cretin – standard) at the Fred are running America to economic and societal Hell via inflation.

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