Posts tagged “16th amendment”
February 19, 2013
Progressives of 100 years ago hoped that the 16th Amendment and the introduction of federal income tax would be a blow to plutocracy, according to Sam Pizzigati, author of The Rich Don’t Always Win: The Forgotten Triumph Over Plutocracy That Created the American Middle Class, 1900—1970, in a recent article in The Nation entitled “Real tax reform: Give the rich a tax incentive to support pay increases for the rest of us.” In the first tax schedule following the Amendment, tax rates on the highest brackets were much lower than progressives wished for. However, World War I boosted tax rates for those with an income of over $100,000, a tradition that persisted through the Great Depression and the Eisenhower Era. Taxes on the richest were widely viewed as necessary to prevent concentration of wealth and the destruction to American society that it would bring.
Though the dismantling of tax progressivity is often blamed on Ronald Reagan, it was actually John F.