Woodrow Wilson signed the Income Tax into law one hundred years ago today. As direct taxation of Americans was prohibited by the Constitution, a constitutional amendment was necessary before what would become the Revenue Act of 1913 could be legally imposed. The income tax, and the enabling amendment, were sold to the voters as necessary for a tax on rich people that would mean lower taxes and cheaper goods (due to lowered tariffs) for everyone else. Only one percent of the population was subject to the tax then, and the tax rate was one percent. The voters need not worry, they were told, because regular people would never ever pay the income tax.
A Brief Income Tax Reader: