The 100th Anniversary of the Income Tax

While you wait for your 1099s to arrive in the mail and schedule an appointment with your expensive accountant, take a moment to reflect on the 100th anniversary of the 16th amendment, and all the terrible, terrible decisions of all the voters who ratified it and brought this pain upon you.

Dan Mitchell writes on the lessons we should learn from that mistake:

The most obvious lesson is that politicians can’t be trusted with additional powers. The first income tax had a top tax rate of just 7 percent and the entire tax code was 400 pages long. Now we have a top tax rate of 39.6 percent (even higher if you include additional levies for Medicare and Obamacare) and the tax code has become a 72,000-page monstrosity. 

But the main lesson I want to discuss today is that giving politicians a new source of money inevitably leads to much higher spending.