American Minute from William J. Federer
On APRIL 15, 1865, President Lincoln died. He was shot the night before in Ford’s Theater. On APRIL 15, 1912, the Titanic sank. It struck an iceberg the night before. In 1954, APRIL 15 became the deadline for Income tax returns.
Though the Constitution banned a Federal Income Tax (Art.1,Sec.9), Lincoln passed an emergency income tax to pay for the Civil War. It was repealed in 1873.
An income tax was attempted in 1894, but the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional in Pollock v Farmers’ Loan.
In 1913, with World War I threatening, Woodrow Wilson promoted the 16th Amendment, which was a one percent tax on the top one percent richest people.
In 1942, with World War II, Franklin Roosevelt passed “the greatest tax bill in American history.”
John F. Kennedy stated April 20, 1961: “In meeting the demands of war finance, the individual income tax moved from a selective tax imposed on the wealthy to the means by which the great majority of our citizens participate in paying.”
In 1988, President Reagan said: “I believe God did give mankind unlimited gifts to invent, produce and create. And for that reason it would be wrong for governments to devise a tax structure that suppresses those gifts.”
William J. Federer is a nationally recognized author, speaker, and president of Amerisearch, Inc, which is dedicated to researching our American heritage. The American Minute radio feature looks back at events in American history on the dates they occurred, is broadcast daily across the country and read by thousand on the internet.