As I write this morning, it is April 15th, Tax Day. I suppose that whether you have to pay more or are getting a refund this year, will largely determine if this is a happy day or not for you. I’ve been on both sides of this fence and know the emotions that prevail either way. And it’s definitely better not to owe more after paying all year!!!
I’m probably in a small minority group when I say that “I’m very happy for the opportunity to pay taxes as a citizen of the USA”! After all, consider the alternatives: We could have been born in North Korea or Communist China or Iran or Sudan or ………Fill in the blank.
Does that mean I’m totally happy with he way our government spends the tax money it collects from us? Obviously not! It’s a real mess because our politicians have been so irresponsible, but considering the alternatives, I’m still happy to be paying taxes here.
It’s easy to think our tax system has always been the this way but that’s not so at all.
Wikipedia gives of this brief history:
The US federal government imposed the first personal income tax on August 5, 1861, to help pay for its war effort in the American Civil War – (3% of all incomes over US$800) (equivalent to $22,300 in 2018). This tax was repealed and replaced by another income tax in 1862. It was only in 1894 that the first peacetime income tax was passed through the Wilson-Gorman tariff. The rate was 2% on income over $4000 (equivalent to $116,000 in 2018), which meant fewer than 10% of households would pay any. The purpose of the income tax was to make up for revenue that would be lost by tariff reductions. The US Supreme Court ruled the income tax unconstitutional, the 10th amendment forbidding any powers not expressed in the US Constitution, and there being no power to impose any other than a direct tax by apportionment.
In 1913, the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution made the income tax a permanent fixture in the U.S. tax system. In fiscal year 1918, annual internal revenue collections for the first time passed the billion-dollar mark, rising to $5.4 billion by 1920. The amount of income collected via income tax has varied dramatically, from 1% in the early days of US income tax to taxation rates of over 90% during WW2.
My personal preference would be for us to have a national sales tax in lieu of an income tax. That way everyone would pay something toward our national expenses which I believe is only right because all of us benefit. And, the wealthy would pay more because they buy more. In that way the system would still be “Progressive” as it is today.
Well there you have it, that’s my take on taxes.
I hope you’re getting a refund this year so you can enjoy April 15th, Tax Day. But in either case, remember we’re all privileged to live in this wonderful country. It’s a good day to wear a smile either way!
Thanks for reading All About Seniors….. see you next week!
Bill Milby is a Director of Visiting Angels® of Central Georgia, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
#taxday #april15th #mondaymotivation #american #money #blessed