SOURCE: Washington Post
Calvin Coolidge's Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon briefly accepted public disclosure of tax bills in exchange for a lower top rate. The fact that the ultra-rich, like him, were shown to pay lower effective rates, ended the practice.
SOURCE: The Atlantic
by Dorothy A. Brown
The history of the married-filing-jointly tax return is one of affluent white families securing advantages through the tax code that working class families, including most Black taxpayers, were unable to realize. After the expansion of income taxation during World War II, this disparity became a significant source of inequality.
by George K. Yin
They should and history shows why.
SOURCE: AHA Today
by Robin Einhorn
Instead of class struggle, sectionalism might be the best way to understand the history of the income tax in the United States.
SOURCE: Center for American Progress
by Eric Alterman
The Tea Party has roots that date back to the passage of the income tax amendment.
SOURCE: Bloomberg News
Heather Cox Richardson is a professor of history at Boston College and the president of the Historical Society. The opinions expressed are her ownThe government has the right to “demand” 99 percent of a man’s property when the nation needs it.That was the argument made by a Republican congressman in 1862 to introduce a novel idea: the federal income tax.The Civil War was then costing the Treasury $2 million a day. To pay for uniforms, guns, food, mules, wagons, bounties and burials, Congress had issued hundreds of millions of dollars of bonds and paper money. But Republicans had a horror of debt and the runaway inflation that paper currency usually caused.Taxes were the obvious answer. A conservative Republican newspaper declared: “There is not the slightest objection raised in any loyal quarter to as much taxation as may be necessary.”...
A new book, Their Fair Share: Taxing the Rich in the Age of FDR, explores how the modern progressive income tax emerged from the Great Depression and World War II. Washington Wire posed a few questions to its author, historian Joseph Thorndike, who is director of the Tax History Project at Tax Analysts, a visiting scholar at the University of Virginia, and a fellow of the George W. Bush Institute.What gave you the idea for this book? It’s hard to work in Washington without developing a more-or-less permanent sense of déjà vu. That’s especially true when it comes to tax policy, where so many of today’s arguments are just retreads of yesterday’s. I wanted to search out some of these earlier debates, since I think they have a lot to tell us.But why the Roosevelt years? The tax system we have today is basically the same one FDR built during the 1930s and 1940s. He had a lot of help, of course, especially from Congress. But FDR’s decisions – and his ideas about fairness – are very much with us today....
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