Are taxes as inevitable as death?

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Jon Park

Henry County GOP Chairman

Ronald Reagan once said “Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the democrats believe every day is April 15.”

As we mark the passing of another Tax Day it is interesting to note that until 1862 there were no significant taxes paid by individuals. 

The war of 1812 brought us the first sales tax to help pay for that war, but when the debt was paid off in 1817, are you ready for this? Congress did away with those taxes. 

In 1862, the Civil War gave us the nation’s first income tax , with the establishment of the IRS.  Again the income tax was eliminated in 1872.

In 1895, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the income tax was unconstitutional.

Then in 1913 the 16th Amendment to the Constitution made the income tax a permanent fixture in the U.S. tax system.

Taxation has long been a back and forth debate.  President Calvin Coolidge said “I want the people of America to be able to work less for the government, and more for themselves”

It has been a long standing belief that when the American people are in control of their hard earned money the economy prospers.  President John F. Kennedy spoke a lot on this principle, once saying “Lower rates of taxation will stimulate economic activity and so raise the levels of personal and corporate income as to yield within a few years an increased – not a reduced – flow of revenues to the federal government.”

The debate continues. Can we simplify the process? Can we turn back the monster that is the IRS?  The Flat Tax?, The Fair Tax?  Can we go back to the 1700’s policy of paying the debt and stop paying the tax?  Alas, no.

While the quote “…but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” may be attributed to Benjamin Franklin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin Franklin), in 1789. It was first written in Daniel Defoe’s The Political History of the Devil in 1726. 

Taxes have been around for a long time, and they are not going away any time soon.

But the tax deadline, April 15th has passed. You can breathe easier, now, as long as you did not have to file for a tax extension…

Oh, wait.  Tax Freedom Day is April 21st this year. You will work 111 days to pay your local, state and federal tax obligation.

Keep working