The Search For A Better Tax System

In the words of Benjamin Franklin, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death
and taxes" (Tyson 6). Today, every American citizen who earns money in the United States knows the truth in this statement. However, federal taxation has not always been the complicated, intimidating, and paycheck draining process we have come to accept today. Prior to 1913 people lived and worked relatively free from the hassles of federal income taxes (Tyson 8). With the exception of the Civil War income tax, signed in by Abraham Lincoln in 1861 (abandoned ten years later), most of the revenue collected by the federal government was levied on goods such as liquor, tobacco, and imports ...

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for about 85 percent of federal government revenue (Tyson 8).
In contrast, the states generate only about thirty percent of revenue from personal income taxes, relying instead on taxes generated mostly on sales transactions (Murray 2). In 1932 Mississippi introduced the first sales tax (Murray 1). Since then, all but Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon have adopted a sales tax (Murray 1). Sales taxes have grown rapidly and since 1970 they have become the single largest source of state tax revenues (Murray 2).
Americans have a long history of hating taxes, probably something inherited from our founding fathers. Many immigrants first came to America seeking freedom from taxation. The American revolution was fought to get out from under what was felt to be an unfair and burdensome tax system imposed by the British. Unfortunately, in the following century, the violent whiskey rebellion in the south gave birth to the Internal Revenue Board (Adams 117). The IRB ...

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(Adams 117). In other words, It costs jobs by taxing too much. "You take away funds needed to create new business and employment" said Smith (Adams 117).
Third, a tax is bad that encourages evasion (Adams 118) As taxes rise so does the temptation for evasion and avoidance. We usually think of tax evaders as criminals. However, early in our countries history, a rich and powerful merchant named John Hancock was the colonies most notorious tax evader (Adams 29). He was wanted by the British tax ministry for evading what would be millions of dollars in taxes today. He "enraged the British tax bureau by signing the Declaration of Independence first" (Adams 29)
During World War II, taxes ...

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The Search For A Better Tax System. (2004, September 29). Retrieved March 19, 2019, from
"The Search For A Better Tax System.", 29 Sep. 2004. Web. 19 Mar. 2019. <>
"The Search For A Better Tax System." September 29, 2004. Accessed March 19, 2019.
"The Search For A Better Tax System." September 29, 2004. Accessed March 19, 2019.
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Added: 9/29/2004 02:56:31 PM
Category: Government
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1330
Pages: 5

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