Ninety-Nine Years of Evil

Civil Liberties Economics History News Politics

Today is the 99th anniversary of the signing of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution. It enshrined into law an idea that stands in total contradiction to the driving force behind the American Revolution and the whole idea of freedom itself.

The great “old right” commentator Frank Chodorov once described the income tax as the root of all evil. His target was not the tax itself, but the principle behind it. Since its implementation in 1913, he wrote, “The government says to the citizen: ‘Your earnings are not exclusively your own; we have a claim on them, and our claim precedes yours; we will allow you to keep some of it, because we recognize your need, not your right; but whatever we grant you for yourself is for us to decide.’”

He really does have a point. That’s evil. When Congress ratified the 16th Amendment on Feb. 3, 1913, there was a sense in which all private income in the U.S. was nationalized. What was not taxed from then on was a favor granted unto us, and continues to be so.  ………

 

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