A Really Rotten Anniversary

By:  Chip Wood
02/19/2013
       
A Really Rotten Anniversary

It was 100 years ago this month that the 16th Amendment to the Constitution officially became the law of the land. Since this is the one that authorized the federal government to implement a graduated income tax in the United States, you’ll understand why I say that February 3, 1913, was a very bad day for liberty.

It was 100 years ago this month that the 16th Amendment to the Constitution officially became the law of the land. Since this is the one that authorized the federal government to implement a graduated income tax in the United States, you’ll understand why I say that February 3, 1913, was a very bad day for liberty.

One of the many complaints against King George in the Declaration of Independence was that “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.”

But the amount of colonists’ “substance” that was taken by British authorities was the equivalent of a gnat’s nibble, compared to what our rulers in Washington seize from us every day. I think it’s safe to say that without a graduated income tax — a key plank in The Communist Manifesto, by the way — there is no way that we would have the gargantuan government we face today.

By the time the income tax was imposed on us, the rules had already been rigged so the super rich could hide their wealth in foundations and family trusts. The income tax would keep most of us from ever hoping to compete with them, while giving government the funds it needed to offer a gullible public all of the bread and circuses it could want.

But it wasn’t just the legalization of the income tax that made 1913 a truly terrible year for freedom. That was the same year that the Senate foisted the Federal Reserve System on us. In the past century, its money-creation policies have caused the U.S. dollar to plummet.

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