Is the Income Tax Necessary?

Is the Income Tax Necessary?

Federal Tax Revenue
Federal Tax Revenue

There is an ongoing debate among people who know, that the personal income tax is not needed. It is hard to believe, for the average american to conceive of this. After all, there is the old saying that, there is only 2 sure things in life, death and taxes. But, at the foundation of this country taxes were completely abolished.

For the entire first half of this nation’s existance, there was no federal income tax. In fact, it was unconstitutional. Even after the constitution was amended to include an income tax, only the very very wealthy were taxed. It took 50 more years for that personal income tax to trickle down to be being collected of the middle class.

Now in 2013, under the Obama administration, that tax is now collected from the very very poor as well. We have come full circle, to where the American Revolution started. Everything that the early Americans fought and died for, are now being imposed by our very own government.

But let’s not add emotion into this debate. Let’s look at the facts.

Federal Revenue Sources

Most Americans think, regardless of the news, that the federal government raises or lowers taxes based on how much money they need to spend to cover everything they do. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Revenue:

For the Fiscal Year 2012 Budget, the U.S. Federal government received $2.469 trillion in revenue. Income taxes contributed 47.2%, Social Security and Medicare taxes were 31.4%, corporate taxes were only 9.6%, and the remaining 11.8% was to come from excise taxes, estate taxes and other miscellaneous sources. Here’s the actual breakdown of tax amounts:

  • Income – $1.165 trillion.
  • Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes – $775 billion.
  • Corporate – $237 billion.
  • All other – $292 billion.

FY 2012 Budget Spending:

Spending came in at $3.793 trillion, more than the $3.7 trillion originally budgeted. Over half went towards Mandatory programs, such as Social Security, Medicare and Military Retirement programs. These expenditures are mandated by law, and cannot be changed without an act from Congress. A whopping $225 billion, or 5.9% of spending, was budgeted for interest payments on the national debt.

As a percentage the revenue looks like this:

  • individual tax: 47.4%
  • payroll tax: 35.6%
  • corporate tax: 7.9%
  • duties tax: 5.7%
  • excise tax: 3.1%
  • estate tax: 0.3%

But even at first glance you can see that the government only took in nearly $2.5 trillion, but spent nearly $3.8 trillion.

How Could an Income Tax be Abolished

Let’s first take a look at the sources of income before the 1913 16th amendment was passed.

“Before 1913, the federal government depended only on indirect taxes, i.e., tariff duties, corporation and other excise taxes, as its chief sources of revenue. Revenues came not from labor, but from taxes on goods—tariffs on imported products and excise taxes on items like alcohol, tobacco, firearms and margarine.

Before 1913, people could chose not to pay any and all federal taxes by choosing not to buy the goods.

In 1894, Congress passed a 2-percent individual income tax on those earning $4,000 or more a year, less than 1 percent of the population at the time. Everyone with an income over $4,000 was to pay the same, “flat” 2-percent tax rate.

However, barely a year after it was enacted, the Supreme Court declared the tax unconstitutional. In a 5-4 ruling in Pollack v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co., 158 US 601, the high court decided that the income tax, as a direct tax, was forbidden by Article I, Section 9, of the Constitution. This ruling prohibited direct taxes on individuals unless apportioned on the basis of the population of each state.

In 1909, Congress passed a corporation income tax and a proposed constitutional amendment to authorize Congress to enact an individual income tax.

Which was Amendment XVI and in 1913 they ratified the Amendment”

“Could America exist without an income tax? The idea seems radical, yet in truth America did just fine without a federal income tax for the first 126 years of its history. Prior to 1913, the government operated with revenues raised through tariffs, excise taxes, and property taxes, without ever touching a worker’s paycheck. In the late 1800s, when Congress first attempted to impose an income tax, the notion of taxing a citizen’s hard work was considered radical! Public outcry ensued; more importantly, the Supreme Court ruled the income tax unconstitutional. Only with passage of the 16th Amendment did Congress gain the ability to tax the productive endeavors of its citizens.” – Ron Paul

The Result of the Personal Income Tax

The government is now in areas it should not be, besides directly taking money from workers. It’s in the middle of parenting, healthcare, child rearing, psychiatry, psychology, religion, sociology. These are things that individuals only should be protected from intrusion from. Do you really want Senator Reid to be sitting in on your gynecological visit? But, that’s exactly what he’s doing. Do you want Senator McConell to be watching you change your baby’s diaper? But, that’s exactly what he’s doing.

This is no laughing matter. By allowing the government to inflate itself, through massive taxes and a very hefty tax burden, the government has grown and branched out into areas it is not supposed to be. Do you honestly want your government telling you that you have to pay for your elderly mother (in-law) to be put in a home? This is the same mother(in-law) that you have never gotten along with for 40 years. This is the same mother(in-law) that said you’d never amount to anything. Yes, we wonder why we have people “abandoning” their elder parents. It’s because parents like this exist. Shouldn’t a man be able to tell his elderly parent that mistreated him all his life to go to hell? Not with this massive government. They are not only forcing Jethro to pay for his evil mother Brumhilda, but he has to pay for the neighbor’s evil mom, the one down the road, and the one over in the next state.

What about the people who made a conscious decision that they don’t want kids? They want to concentrate on their career, never get married and just live a wealthy happy, single life. Not so with taxes. They are supporting everyone else’s kids and not having the benefit of the headaches that go along with it. All, because the government put it in the taxes. God forbid one of those single people say no. They’ll be seen as a social pariah.

All of these things, are now covered by government, with taxes. And what’s worse, they can’t afford to even pay for all of this. They have to borrow upwards of 50%-100% of the money for most programs now. Instead of saying, local government needs to work out whatever the citizens of that state want to pay for, they make it a national issue that eveyrone has to pay for, and can’t afford it.

Hey, I want a Jaguar. But guess what? No matter how much I try to borrow, no one is going to lend me the money. This should be the case for the federal and state government. They want to put Broomhilda in a rest home? Too bad. They can’t afford it.


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Ex law school student. I was kicked out for revealing I had a heart actually beating inside. I used to be in a modern dance company. I'm working on my 7 miracles to be proclaimed a saint by the pope. #1 is really hard, but once i get over that hump the other 6 will be a cinch.

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