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Opinion
Published Sun, Feb 03, 2013 09:59 AM
Modified Sun, Feb 03, 2013 10:00 AM

Letter: An anniversary you won’t be celebrating

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100 years of taxes

Most anniversaries are celebrated with joy and jubilation. But on Feb. 3, I doubt that anyone will be celebrating this anniversary – after all, it is the 100th anniversary of the 16th Amendment of the U. S. Constitution, the amendment that gave the federal government the right to impose the dreaded income tax. And it was ratified on Feb. 3, 1913.

In 1913, the collection of income tax was not intended to be collected from the masses, only from the rich, only those making $20,000 or more. How much did the average American family make in 1913? I would suspect that, just as today, it would depend upon where in the country you lived. Some resources claim average salaries as low as $750 a year and some as high as around $3,000 a year. In either case, the average family in the United States was living far, far below the threat of paying income tax. And, that was the intension of the government back then. The government was very concerned that the “little people” be able to feed their families, pay their bills and save for retirement.

The Internal Revenue Service now processes more than 145 million tax returns each year. The Internal Revenue Code is now more than 3.4 million words. If printed 60 lines to a page, it would fill more than 7,500 letter size pages.

So, Perhaps while we fill out tax returns this year, we should fill our glass with our favorite drink and ... (you fill in the blank!)

Mele Perrego

Clayton

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