From the June 2000 Idaho Observer:
Constitutional Income: Do You Have Any?
Book Review by Don Harkins
Based upon the 6-page position paper written by Senator Brown (D-Neb.), the man who wrote the 16th Amendment, the debates at the time as memorialized in Congressional Record, newspaper articles, diary entries and other anecdotal material from the 1890s until the Income Tax amendment was passed in 1913, the answer, in the case of the wage earner, is no.
According to the impeccable research of Phil Hart in his book Constitutional Income: Do You Have Any? the people were getting justifiably upset at how steel barons such as Jay P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie were becoming so rich and powerful they were able to influence federal policy to favor their power and greed-driven aspirations. The people of this nation wanted to even the playing field and appealed to their legislators to pass laws that taxed income.
Income was understood at the time to be corporate profit. Income was never defined to include wages.
Hart carefully documents the inarguable proof that wages are not income by chronologizing the evidence as it unfolded at the time. He also documents how, through parliamentary treachery, the Republican Party was able to engineer the 16th Amendment to become exactly what it has become today: A mechanism to plunder the wage-earning class.
Constitutional Income is a fascinating read that has broken new ground for income tax protestors. Where most anti-income tax arguments rest on the the jurisdiction issue or the 16th Amendment ratification issue, Hart proves from words right out of the horses' mouths that, regardless of jurisdiction or whether or not the 16th Amendment was properly ratified, wages, by definition and intent, are not income.
You can visit the website at: www.constitutionalincome.com and order the 400-page book online for $25, or by sending a check or money order to: Constitutional Income, 615 Front Street, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814. Quantity discounts are available and can be arranged by calling The Idaho Observer at: (208) 255-2307
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