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The 16th Amendment and Federal Income Tax Turns 100 -- Is it Time for a Change?


Sunday marked the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 16th Amendment which established a federal income tax. Since its adoption in 1913, the income tax for the top bracket has skyrocket from seven to 39.6 percent, along with a jump in the total pages of tax code from 400 to 73, 954.

Jay Starkman writes in the Wall Street Journal that the income tax was actually first implemented to raise money during the Civil War, but repealed in 1872 because the revenues were no longer needed. The concept was however resurrected in 1894 by populist frequent presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, bounced around couts and Congress for another 19 years before 36 individual states had adopted the tax leading to an amendment pushed by newly elected President Woodrow Wilson in 1913.

On 'Real News' Tuesday Will Cain ran down the debate history on income taxes, and joined a discussion with the panel on what options are there for income tax reform, and whether or not we can live without it.

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