A discussion on the 16th amendment an amendment that gives the federal government the power to tax a

We agree with Professor Jensen that we may not yet have seen the last of claims arguing, Pollock-style, that the direct apportionment clause blocks the federal government from enacting some future tax. The Kerbaugh-Empire Co. It could well be argued that the tax involved here [an income tax] is an "excise tax" based upon the receipt of money by the taxpayer.

The decision in Pollock provoked enormous popular outrage. Jensen Coleman P. Inequality was rising to the point that many Americans began to fear that our constitutional democracy might be lost, replaced by an economic and political oligarchy.

The very high top rates allowed the Congress to expand the tax base by reducing the personal exemption.

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Roosevelt 's secretary of state put together a coalition of progressive Democrats and Republicans. Commissioner, the United States Tax Court said: [I]t is immaterial, with respect to Federal income taxes, whether the tax is a direct or an indirect tax. The page tax code has expanded to more than 1, pages. Updated Sep 3, What Is the 16th Amendment? In evaluating the three taxes, consider the following criteria: "progressivity" vs. It is not necessary to uphold the validity of the tax imposed by the United States that the tax itself bear an accurate label. This was the period in American history in which powerful, nation-spanning corporations first took control of large swaths of the national economy. Democrats held the presidency, since Woodrow Wilson had been elected in , and controlled both houses of Congress. A small but growing deficit made it difficult for Cleveland to meet his pledge for tariff reduction. Chief Justice White, who as an associate justice had dissented articulately in Pollock, wrote for a unanimous Court. It should be up to the people, through their representatives, to decide whether to impose any other tax, such as an income tax, a wealth tax, a carbon tax, etc. In Penn Mutual Indemnity, the United States Tax Court stated: [60] In dealing with the scope of the taxing power the question has sometimes been framed in terms of whether something can be taxed as income under the Sixteenth Amendment. There would be differences among the states, as there are differences among the nations of Europe, in their programs, but with a weaker federal government, the same political forces that have created those programs in Europe, and at the federal level in the United States, would have created those programs at the state level if the federal government remained constitutionally limited in its ability to raise revenue. Upholding the income tax provisions of the tariff act of October 3, , Chief Justice White observed that the 16th Amendment did not give Congress any new power to lay and collect an income tax; rather, the 16th Amendment permitted Congress to do so without apportionment Then, three-fourths of the state legislatures would have to ratify it.

The Sixteenth Amendment removed the precedent set by the Pollock decision. First, the framers of the Constitution specifically limited the taxation powers that they accorded Congress.

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Roosevelt 's secretary of state put together a coalition of progressive Democrats and Republicans. Key Takeaways The 16th Amendment to the U.

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In , William Howard Taft, a Republican but arguably the least likely candidate to approve of an income tax, succeeded Roosevelt as president. In the House, the vote was For, 14 Against, and there were 55 abstentions. The Cold War might have played out differently. In addition, Republicans and some Democrats believed an income tax was needed in order to raise enough revenue to respond to the rapid growth in military power and sophistication of Japan, Germany, and other European powers. That is how it ought to stay. There would be differences among the states, as there are differences among the nations of Europe, in their programs, but with a weaker federal government, the same political forces that have created those programs in Europe, and at the federal level in the United States, would have created those programs at the state level if the federal government remained constitutionally limited in its ability to raise revenue. Given the enormous change in how this country regards the income tax, it is instructive to consider its origins. Even if the Sixteenth Amendment is not viewed as narrowing the definition of direct taxes, it at least introduces an additional consideration to analysis under the Apportionment Clause. Chief Justice White, who as an associate justice had dissented articulately in Pollock, wrote for a unanimous Court.

The War of led to taxes on housing, land and slaves. Most Americans disliked tariffs since they drove up the price of many goods. Even if the Sixteenth Amendment is not viewed as narrowing the definition of direct taxes, it at least introduces an additional consideration to analysis under the Apportionment Clause.

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16th Amendment