Enmired in a civil war, the federal government of the United States was wanting for funds. The answer the government arrived at was to impose an income tax. Before this happened though, President Lincoln actually met with his cabinet to determine whether or not such a tax was constitutional. Lincoln’s hesitation should speak volumes.taxes scrabb

The first income tax was 3% and was only imposed on those who had incomes over $800, or around $20,000 in today’s money. This actually worked out to the income tax only applying to about 3% of the population in the north.

Things were not to last. The first income tax was repealed and  replaced with another one. All in all, the United States had an income tax for a period of ten years. From our modern-day perspective, we know that this is not the last of the income tax. There was a 2% income tax issued during peacetime in 1894, but it was struck down as being an unapportioned direct tax the following year by the Supreme Court in Pollock v. Farmer’s Loan & Trust Co. However, In 1913, the 16th Amendment was ratified and income tax has been a fixture of America’s tax system ever since.


The following is part of Satire for Liberty, a blog series by Suzanne Schaefer.

WASHINGTON, DC – In what has become the largest collective boycott ever recorded in the United States, and indeed, in the history of all of mankind, every one of the approximately 120 million American taxpayers nationwide has decided to boycott the IRS by refusing to file their taxes, sources confirmed Monday.

“We all just kind of decided not to do them this year,” explained Sara Freeman of Fishers, Ind., “I mean, what’s the point? It’s not like we get a say in where it goes. Plus, I’d really like to finish my basement.”

Tired of funding one of the largest, most inefficient institutions in the world, Freeman further explained why every single taxpayer felt it was no longer in their best interests to continue paying the government large amounts of their hard-earned money for its mediocre services.

“In theory our taxes go to worthwhile things from which we all benefit like transportation, national security, and healthcare, but really it goes to a gazillion aesthetically pleasing, supposedly necessary programs that don’t even work,” remarked Freeman. “Frankly, the negatives greatly outweigh the positives on this one. Plus, if the government crapped out tomorrow it’s not like humanity would go with it. Government does not make the world go ’round.”

Though still concerned about his nation’s ability to responsibly handle its massive budget, Tyler Wyatt of St. Louis, Mo. is even more anxious about the realities of some of the things his money is actually funding.

“Honestly, I’m really struggling with the fact that by funding the government I’ve been inadvertently enabling, continuing, and contributing to the coercion and killing of random people around the world with my tax dollars. Not to mention what its going to in the States,’ said Wyatt.

After a long, contemplative pause, Wyatt went on to cite the drug war, prison systems, and police as areas of concern. “Everyday there’s another story about some cop beating the life out of a defenseless person…Nah, man, I’m not paying for that shit.”

Yet, Wyatt is just one of a stunning 100% of American taxpayers who feel that they do not in fact appreciate or support the multitude of harm inflicted by their government. Rather, citizens everywhere have expressed the desire to use their money for other things.


We here at Students For Liberty want to share some of the many success stories of liberty worldwide, so we have launched a series of “Facts For Liberty” in an attempt to tell you just why we think that liberty is the way to solve many of the world’s problems.

The story we’re trying to tell here isn’t about how one reform suddenly turned everything alright – many of the countries mentioned still have many issues – but rather that a little good can come out of trusting each other and believing that the market and the communities are able to solve problems better than centralized agencies and politicians. Feel very free to share these facts on social media or print them out and use them on campus for tabling purposes.

Monaco: Has no Income Tax Gave and World’s highest GDP per Capita


Low taxes can be a good way to attract productive people to a country. This is the lesson learned in Monaco. It is one of the few developed countries without an income tax. Also, it has the world’s highest GDP per capita.

The following article by Senior Campus Coordinator Alex McHugh was originally published on PolicyMic:

A recent Gawker article makes the case for a maximum income. In response to confiscatory income tax levels in France, Hamilton Nolan figures we might as well go big or go home. After all, who needs more than $5 million? His proposal is to just cap income at $5 million and use the rest of all generated income for social programs. His argument refers mostly to income inequality and the fact that the super wealthy have an obligation to give back to those less well off.

While I admire his frankness, this idea and the very high tax rates that do the same with less gusto, are unworkable. Here’s why this plan would make your life (and more importantly everyone’s life) suck. It’s a simple thought experiment. Why $5 million? It’s easy to see where this gets messy by asking why Nolan caps it at $5 million. Surely, if no one needs that much, and you could live off the interest alone quite comfortably, the same would be true of $1 million. Or $500,000. Why not give everything we don’t need to the government? The argument goes that the more we turn over, the more gets pumped back to us in a more equitable way. The excess money from my income goes to my neighbor’s sick kid. Your excess income pays for my grandma’s hip replacement. The reason this doesn’t work is because all of those millions are not the same in the hands of the IRS as they are in the hands of the individual. It’s not that someone out there needs more than $5 million. It’s that much of that “excess” income that goes into the redistributive system never comes out again, or it comes out in ways we never would have chosen. If it all came back out to us, he might as well argue that we give everything over, and just have them give us our fair share back, or buy what we need for us. But he doesn’t propose this, because on some level, we all know that our tax dollars don’t necessarily flow back to us.