Andrew Murphy
1/26/2010 05:01:10 am

This amendment allows Congress to have the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes. It is pretty much income tax. This gave Congress a lot more money.

Andrew Murphy
1/26/2010 05:01:40 am

The Founding Fathers had rejected income taxes (or any other direct taxes) unless they were apportioned to each state according to population. Nevertheless, an income tax was levied during the Civil War and upheld by the Supreme Court on the somewhat tenuous reasoning. When another income tax was enacted in 1893, the Supreme Court found it unconstitutional. In connection with the two Pollock case reviewed in 1895, the Court declared that the act violated Article I, section 9 of the Constitution.

During the following decade, however, the complexion of the Court changed somewhat, and so did public sentiment. There was great social unrest and the idea of a tax to "soak the rich" began to take root among liberals in both major parties. Several times the Democrats introduced bills to provide a tax on higher incomes but each time the conservative branch of the Republican party killed it in the Senate. The Democrats used this as evidence that the Republicans were the "party of the rich" and should be thrown out of power, forcing President William Howard Taft to acknowledge in political speeches that income taxes might be all right "in principle", but it was well known among close associates that he was strongly opposed to such a tax.

Cimone (:
1/26/2010 09:33:05 am

The Sixteenth Amendment states: "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration."
The purpose of the sixteenth amendment was so that the government to have money to run the country. The government might not have any money unless the people were to give it to them. I believe that this is a good idea because it keeps the country running and able to pay back debts for money that WE spend so it's only fair that they have to pay taxes.

1/26/2010 11:29:07 am

This amendment allows Congress to have the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes.

In 1895, in the Supreme Court case of Pollock v Farmer's Loan and Trust (157 U.S. 429), the Court disallowed a federal tax on income from real property. The tax was designed to be an indirect tax, which would mean that states need not contribute portions of a whole relative to its census figures. The Court, however, ruled that the tax was a direct tax and subject to apportionment. This was the last in a series of conflicting court decisions dating back to the Civil War. Between 1895 and 1909, when the amendment was passed by Congress, the Court began to back down on its position, as it became clear not only to accountants but to everyone that the solvency of the nation was in jeopardy. In a series of cases, the definition of "direct tax" was modified, bent, twisted, and coaxed to allow more taxation efforts that approached an income tax.

Finally, with the ratification of the 16th Amendment, any doubt was removed. The text of the Amendment makes it clear that though the categories of direct and indirect taxation still exist, any determination that income tax is a direct tax will be irrelevant, because taxes on incomes, from salary or from real estate, are explicitly to be treated as indirect. The Congress passed the Amendment on July 12, 1909, and it was ratified on February 3, 1913 (1,302 days).

Andrew Bates
2/3/2010 10:37:25 pm

In this historic 16th Amendment litigation, the Government has sued Bill Benson seeking an injunction prohibiting him from falsely telling people the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was not ratified and therefore people are not required to file an income tax return. The Government contends it is entitled to an injunction because Benson is promoting an abusive tax shelter, conduct made subject to a penalty per 26 U.S.C. Section 6700.

In 1894 Congress passed an income tax act very similar to the current income tax law. That law was challenged on the basis that a tax on income is a direct tax, the United States Constitution requires direct taxes to be apportioned, and the act passed by Congress was not apportioned. The United States Supreme Court agreed and held the income tax act was unconstitutional in Pollock v. Farmer's Loan & Trust Co., 157 U.S. 429, aff. reh., 158 U.S. 601 (1895).

In 1909 President Taft called a special session of Congress. Taft asked Congress to propose a constitutional amendment to overcome the Supreme Court's Pollock decision. Congress proposed the Sixteenth Amendment, which was then sent to the states for ratification by Secretary of State Knox. Certificates of Ratification were sent back to Knox, but the language on the certificates differed from the 16th Amendment language passed by Congress. Knox sent the certificates to the Solicitor of the United States and asked for a legal opinion as to whether the states had ratified the proposed Sixteenth Amendment.

The Solicitor noted the differences between what Congress proposed and the states ratified, and presumed, that because states do not have the authority to alter a proposed Constitutional amendment, that none did. He concluded, therefore, that the differences in language were nothing more than minor clerical errors in the preparation of the Certificates of Ratification. Knox then declared the 16th Amendment had been ratified.

In the absence of the 16th Amendment, the current income tax is an unapportioned direct tax, and is just as unconstitutional today as it was in 1894. Since 1985 Benson tells everyone who will listen about what he found, and urges people to exercise their First Amendment rights to rectify the situation. Benson's message is gaining acceptance in the marketplace of ideas. The Government now seeks to silence him.

Ruben >.<
2/3/2010 10:44:42 pm

The 16th Amendment was passed in 1913 as a ticket for the Federal government to pay for things like roads, bridges and stuff like that. Now politicians promise people YOUR money in return for their votes.

Because of the 16th amendment the government has grown into a big, bloating democracy. People have trouble paying their bills for necessities like phone,water and heat, because the politicians tax them too dag gone much. If the 16th amendment is abolished then people can get more of their money back but the government will have to find another way to fund things. The Democrats would no longer be able to control things in Washington. Libertarians say that private charity would be alot better. Helping the sick and clothing the sick should be a private matter and not up to the big government bureacracy. Private Charity could accomplish alot more things then the government ever could. Abolishing the Income tax will return not only the money back to the people, it would also return this country close to the government which it was founded on.

Cimone (:
2/3/2010 11:18:33 pm

During the Civil War the United States enacted an income tax that remained in effect from 1862 to 1872. The minimum rate in the 1862 law was 3 percent on income above a personal exemption of $600; the maximum rate was 5 percent on income above $10,000. Subsequent amendments raised the maximum rate to 10 percent on incomes over $5,000. An income tax was again enacted in 1894, after President Grover Cleveland had been elected on a platform that promised lower tariffs and other reforms sought by the farmers in the West and South. This law was, however, held to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, which forced its backers to seek an amendment to the Constitution that would give Congress the right to impose income taxes without apportionment among the states. In 1913 the 16th Amendment was ratified, and a new individual income tax with rates ranging from 1 to 7 percent on income in excess of $3,000 for a single individual was voted by Congress shortly thereafter. At the end of World War II, the lowest marginal rate was 23 percent and the maximum rate was 94 percent; the exemption for a single individual was only $500. Most states also have individual income taxes. To simplify compliance and administration, many states use a definition of taxable income that closely resembles the federal definition.
The European and U.S. income tax systems and the recommendations of advisers from those areas have strongly influenced the systems established by new and developing countries, especially former colonies, as well as systems such as Japan's that underwent major reform in the 20th century. For example, the quotient system of individual allowances and the shareholder credit system of integrating the individual and corporate income taxes, respectively, have been popular in former French and British colonies, and the income tax of the United States and American advisers have been instrumental in shaping the income taxes of Latin American countries. Japan's present tax system, developed in the early 1950s, is primarily based upon proposals made by a commission headed by American economist Carl S. Shoup.

Additional factors affecting the tax systems of developing countries include experience with inflation and other economic conditions and the particular attitudes and goals of the individual country. As a means of offsetting the effects of inflation, some Latin American countries introduced an adjustment into the measurement of income from business and capital. This practice is often called “indexing for inflation.” Reflecting a greater propensity to use governmental intervention to achieve economic objectives, many less-developed countries employ far-reaching tax incentives in the effort to spur investments conducive to economic development.

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