MSNBC anchor Martin Bashir used his “Clear the Air” segment Tuesday to make the argument that raising taxes on the wealthy is precisely what the Founding Fathers would have wanted. He supported his claim by citing the clause in Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution that bans Congress from granting titles of nobility.
Bashir’s reasoning went something like this:
It’s time now to “Clear the Air.” And with Republicans declaring that class warfare has been started by President Obama, after he suggested that Warren Buffett should at least pay the same amount of tax as his secretary, I was reminded of an American history class that I took in my final year of high school in London.
During one lesson, we were introduced to Article 1 and Section 9 of the American Constitution and were told that this was one of the most important clauses designed to end the aristocratic and class-ridden approach to society that had defined Great Britain during the 18th century.
There is no class warfare because the battle is over and the middle classes have lost. And that’s why asking Mr. Buffett to pay the same amount of tax as his secretary is not class warfare, it’s actually the faint echo of a constitution that was intended to prevent the kind of social divisions that are all too apparent today.
Meanwhile, NewsBusters‘ Ken Shepherd clarified that Bashir did not offer evidence to support the notion that Alexander Hamilton or any of the other framers of the Constitution supported an income tax, let alone a progressive scheme of income taxes based on the premise of “prevent[ing]… social divisions.”
Indeed no federal income tax implemented until the Civil War, and that tax was repealed 10 years later. It was only with the ratification of the 16th Amendment in 1913 that income taxes received iron-clad constitutional authorization.
Do you think the Founding Fathers would support President Obama’s push to raise taxes on those considered “wealthy?”
Bold emphasis added by The Blaze.