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At How the U.S. Federal Income Tax Became D.C.’s Favorite Political Weapon

My home Internet goes away sometime this weekend. I felt a wave of liberation when I finally achieved that (after three tries but without typical Comcast arm wrestling). No doubt I’ll have many other reactions later as the often inconvenient realities set in.

In the meantime I’m weaning myself from “news” and poly-ticks.

But Alex at sent a link to another of their great in-depth pieces on the history of tyranny in the U.S.: The 16th Amendment: How the U.S. Federal Income Tax Became D.C.’s Favorite Political Weapon.”

Well worth a read, as always.


  1. Bil T
    Bil T February 1, 2019 9:08 pm

    The 16th and 17th Amendment’s was the opening salvo in the progressive’s war against the citizenry and States Rights.

  2. Mike
    Mike February 2, 2019 12:31 pm

    What’s the difference between a toll/user fee, tariff and a tax? Semantics.

    “Before the advent of the income tax, the U.S. government relied exclusively on tariffs and user fees to finance operations.“

    The act that gives the US Federal government the power to tax could be repealed tomorrow. The reality is that doing away with the Federal power to tax wouldn’t save you money or shrink the size of government. Doing away with Federal taxes would just mean they would collect their Dane gelt in some other way.

    Use of all federal lands/buildings/waterways would cost. Picture boaters having to install GPS trackers, so they can be billed a toll per mile for boating on every federal waterway. User fees would be charged on all federal services. Imagine having to pay the TSA guy up front to grope you before flying or getting a bill for your part of the cost of deploying troops anywhere. Tariffs on everything imported or exported so everything you buy that’s imported would cost more and exports would decline causing job losses. Add to this the cost of all tolls/user fees/tariffs would factor in the price of all the programs the Federal government already provides. Then when the programs are expanded the toll/user fees/tariffs would also be increased.

    Then there’s the trickle down to the state/municipal level. Don’t think the costs to state and municipal governments wouldn’t be passed down in taxes. Remember, they would be subject to the federal toll/user fee, tariffs too. In the end the net savings would be zero. But on the plus side, you would have that nice warm feeling of not having to pay tax.

    At the end of the article the author closes with:

    “After all, tax rebellions are in the American people’s DNA. And with the U.S.’s fiscal situation deteriorating annually, bold measures will need to be taken.”

    There is a word that describes a person who complains about something but fails to put forth a reasonable solution. That word is whiner.

  3. larryarnold
    larryarnold February 2, 2019 9:21 pm

    Doing away with Federal taxes would just mean they would collect their Danegelt in some other way.

    They could try.

    Locally, if everybody where I live (instead of having them hidden in mortgage payments or rent checks) had the choice of forking over $1,000+ in “Independent School District” user fees every year, whether they had kids in school or not; or sending their own kids to a much better, and less expensive private school for 12 or 13 years; the public school system would shut down next month.

    Pay a bill for troops in Somalia? My congresscritter will vote to bring them home, or look for another job. User fee for TSA? Delta, you want my business, get them out of my way.

    No system is perfect, but the problems with income tax are that most people don’t see the payments coming out of their wages, and they don’t get to choose where the dollars go.


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