“The Tax Was Most Popular Before It Was Laid”

On this date in 1913, from the New York Times:

The Chamber of Commerce has directed an inquiry into the administrative feature of the income tax after a debate in which it was said that the tax would not affect 99 per cent. of the citizenship. It was suggested that this deprived the bill of general interest, and that it was sure to be unpopular on account of the narrowness of its application.


The case is worse than this. It will tax the honest and allow the dishonest to escape. The administrative features which the Chamber is to investigate are so complicated that those who understand them will make their taxes light at the cost of those less well informed about the law. The income tax law may be considered good nevertheless by some, but even those who approve the tax despite its faults cannot contend that the same sums could not have been raised more certainly, more equitably, and with less trouble to both payers and collectors by a stamp tax.

The experience with the tariff shows how hard it is to reduce or remove a tax once laid. It always seems better and easier to devise ways to spend the money than to repeal the tax. This fact will be better appreciated as the years pass, and particularly when the time shall come when this extraordinary tax–as it ought to be–shall be needed for an emergency. Then it will appear that this resource has been utilized and that the tax must be doubled instead of imposed initially. The tax was most popular before it was laid. Its unpopularity will grow with its life.


  1. Despite all the propaganda one hears this time of year from the Main Stream Media about paying ones “fair share” and “taxes are what we pay for a civilized society” there are really only 4 major reasons why a government needs an income tax. The first 2 reasons are tied in with the fiat money system. 1. The Income Tax acts as a partial deterrent against inflation caused by the overprinting of money and credit issuing by taxing back and thus “mopping up” any excess spending liquidity in the system. And 2, the IRS,through the Income Tax, acts as a collection agency for the interest on the debt that is created by the modern fiat money system. It is a way to assure the collection of this interest to the bond holders as our modern fiat currency is mostly backed by sovereign debt bonds. In layman’s terms we have debt bonds created out of thin air backing paper money and credits created out of thin air buying real goods and services in the market. In essence buying tangible assets with a printing press,legal tender laws,a computer and the monopoly on the use of violence to back it all up. Nice racket. 3. By using Income Tax filing the government has,at it’s finger tips, the most intimate and personal financial information on it’s citizens. All numbered,cataloged and stored on computers and available at any time to most government agents who want to pry into your private financial life for any reason whatsoever. This flies in the face of our Constitutional Rights. What most people don’t realize is that once they attain “taxpayer” status they volunteer to give up their 4th and 5th Amendment Rights,among others,by obtaining and using a Social Security number and filling tax returns. In essence there is no right to privacy once a person reaches “taxpayer” status. And 4. The government through fear and intimidation has a ready way to control it’s citizens. The number of times in the past decades that the government and its minions have used the IRS as a weapon of intimidation is uncountable. For the first thing that the power elites in America do when they want to either intimidate,control or destroy their adversaries is to “go after their taxes.” In the end,as was stated in the above article,the unpopularity of the Income Tax will have grown with time to the point where it controls are very liberties and lives. In essence,the Income Tax is not about taxes for revenue purposes,its all about control. The control of a government’s citizens as a rancher or farmer would control their livestock.

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