Secrets #8: Income Taxes are new for America

Most people are so used to paying income tax that they never think about it. Well, actually most people complain about it, but they are unaware of how new income tax actually is.

This country was actually founded to escape from excessive taxation. “Taxation without Representation” was the motto. And, America did not have any income tax until 1913. But those days when independence was highly valued are over. Now, it’s best for the government if people pay taxes without protest and make no effort to reduce them.

From 1776 to 1913, there was no income tax. That’s 137 years. It’s much longer than the 96 years since. It doesn’t seem that we will get rid of income taxes any time soon. But I wonder if we could use technology (especially the internet) to create a more efficient government, instead of just a bigger one.

Since 1913, income tax rates have gone up and down, depending on the economy and the people in office. Everyone seems to think that taxes are too high, and that probably won’t change. Right now the highest tax rate is 35%. In the past, the highest tax rate was 92%, so perhaps now they are not too high.

It would be great to see a drive to create a government that can get more done with less money and fewer people. Government and innovation are seldom used together, but perhaps the ever-increasing economic challenges throughout the world could fuel a new approach to government.

This is the eighth post of a series: Secrets the Government doesn’t want you to Know.