Saturday, May 30, 2015

Was the 16th Amendment Ever Ratified?

Innovations in taxation are usually justified by war, as emergency measures,  but once established, it is very hard to get rid of them. There was a "temporary" income tax during the Civil War. The Revenue Act of 1861 was explicitly  set to expire in 1866. But before it did, it was replaced by the Revenue Act of 1862, which was a progressive tax. This was followed by the Revenue Act of 1864 that did not expire until 1873. It was replaced by the Wilson-Gorman Act of 1894, which also included an income tax. This was the first peacetime income tax in the United States.

Cartoon from Harpers Source: Wikimedia

Then the 16th amendment was passed shortly before the first World War.

Those who proposed the 16th amendment to the United States constitution may have done so because they hoped it would not pass. It may have been introduced as a way to bypass direct legislation on the subject, and it was believed that such an amendment would be defeated in the more conservative states. But they were hoist by their own petard.

There are convincing arguments to the effect that the 16th amendment to the United States constitution was not ever legally ratified, but such arguments are only heeded now by a small minority, and everyone who has any power to change things consider them part of the lunatic fringe.

Here is a link to an article that discusses the facts:

To learn the established responses to these arguments and the way the government disposes of these issues, we have only to read the following wikipedia article.

At this point it is clear that it is not going to be possible to overcome the the machinery that is currently in place to enforce the income tax with legal arguments alone. It is so well established that whatever irregularity there may have been in its passage no longer has any practical importance.  Any attempt to roll back the clock on government encroachment  that is based merely on words and not actions will be ineffective.

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