On This Date in History: You don’t need me to tell you what today is…it is tax day. But it wasn’t always the day when Federal Income Tax is due. In fact, there hasn’t always been an income tax. Originally, the founders had envisioned a national government funded by tarriffs and fees on commerce. But, the extreme cost of the Civil War far overburdened the treasury so Congress passed the Revenue Act of 1861 to place a tax on citizens to finance the war. But, Congress did something that it doesn’t do too often, which is to repeal a tax. The Revenue Act was repealed in 1871, once the finances of the nation were back in order. Congress found itself a little short of money again and so once again decided to tax the citizens on their income in 1894, but that tax was struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional. The problem was that the tax was a flat tax on all individuals but was not apportioned accordingly to each state as it related to each state’s population. Well, when Congress want’s money, its not going to let a little thing like the Constitution get in the way…all you need to do is to amend the document. In 1909, President William Howard Taft proposed a Constitutional Amendment and the Congress passed a resoluton for such an amendment later that year. On February 25, 1913 Secretery of State Philander Knox announced that the required 75% of states, 36 at the time, had their legislatures ratify the amendment and it became law.
Now, over the years there have been those who claim the amendment was a fraud. That the states never ratified it. Part of the claim is that there were grammatical and spelling differences between the documents and that what each state voted for was not identical in every way to the one written as the 16th Amendment. That argument has been shot down numerous times and here is a scholar’s explaining the flaws in the argument. There was even one ruling that said that an amendment to give Congress the authority to tax was never even necessary but that the 16th Amendment removed the obstacle of apportionment. (think its Penn Mutual case) Most recently, actor Wesley Snipes tried to not pay his income taxes based on such advice. He was convicted. Typically, these arguments of the 16th Amendment being invalid also go along with the idea that the Federal Reserve system is unconstitutional. Here is a scholar who explains why that is wrong. Now, I have heard these arguments from those who also make the claim that the contrails we see overhead are really chemtrails. I have yet to find any credible evidence to support any of these claims.
Accept it…you have to pay your taxes. The due date was originally March 1. But, after reform in 1918, the date got pushed to March 15 until the 1950’s when another wave of reform ended the patronage system and instead used career employees. Since 1954, this date in history has been known as tax day and I suspect that it will be for the foreseeable future since there doesn’t seem to be any big push to change the day and I don’t know of any reason to do so. However, taxes have been an issue with this nation since before its creation and, in fact, was a big reason for the independence movement in the first place.
Weather Bottom Line: Not a great day around here on Tuesday. Told you the low would be pokey and we’ll probably still have a lot of clouds around on Wednesday too with cool temperatures…perhaps around 50 or so for a high. There could be some areas of drizzle as well, particularly in the morning. The storm system out west that was threatening Thunder Over Louisville is appearing more and more to be our friend. We start to come out of the bucket on Thursday with lots of sunshine and the mercury moving toward 60. Then we get toward 70 on Friday as the system out west starts to come out and draw up warmer air so we add another 10 degrees. Saturday, we’re really getting into the southerly flow and we get toward the middle 70’s. This of course sets us up for t’storms on Sunday but so what…the big festivities will be done with and thats great because there’s not much worse than a chilly and cloudy Thunder Over Louisville.