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Income Tax Turns 100 This Year

In a column this weekend at Investor's Business Daily, Paul Kengor, political science professor at Grove City College in Pennsylvania, says progressives/liberals "should be celebrating right now." Kengor then explains why:

"In fact, President Obama and fellow modern progressives/liberals should be ecstatic all this year, rejoicing over the centenary of something so fundamental to their ideology, to their core goals of government, to their sense of economic and social justice — to what Obama once called "redistributive change."

"And what is this celebratory thing to the progressive mind?

"It is the progressive income tax. This year it turns 100. Its permanent establishment was set forth in two historic moments: 1) an amendment to the Constitution (the 16th Amendment), ratified February 3, 1913; and 2) its signing into law by the progressive's progressive, President Wilson, October 3, 1913.

"It was a major political victory for Wilson and fellow progressives then and still today."

Kengor later addresses the status of the income tax in 2013:

"Here in 2013, 100 years henceforth, the wealthiest Americans — the top 10% of which already pay over 70% of federal tax revenue — will be paying more in taxes this year than any time in the last 30 years.

"For progressives, this is justice. But it is also bittersweet: As progressives know deep inside, it still isn't enough. For them, it's never enough.

< . . . .>

"Democrats such Obama complain about Republican intransigence in raising tax rates but, truth be told — and as any liberal really knows — if not for Republican resistance, progressives would rarely, if ever, cut taxes."

He concludes, saying "the progressive income tax turns 100. For progressives, getting it implemented was a huge triumph. Their success in making it a permanent part of the American landscape is a more stunning achievement still."

Kudos to Professor Kengor for this 'must read' essay, and to IBD for publishing it.


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