Withholding taxes from people’s paychecks began JUNE 9, 1943. Congress passed it as an emergency measure to get money to fight Hitler.
The idea came from Beardsley Ruml, treasurer of Macy’s and chairman of New York’s Federal Reserve Bank. Called the “pay-as-you-go” tax, so much money came in with so few complaints that it continued after the war.
John F. Kennedy told Congress, April 20, 1961:
“Introduced during the war when the income tax was extended to millions of new taxpayers, the wage-withholding system has been one of the most important and successful advances in our tax system in recent times. Initial difficulties were quickly overcome, and the new system helped the taxpayer no less than the tax collector.”
But Americans weren’t always so taxed. In his 2nd Annual Message, 1802, Thomas Jefferson wrote: “To proceed as we have begun in substituting economy for taxation.”
President Andrew Jackson stated in his 8th Annual Message, December 5, 1836:
“There is no such provision as would authorize Congress to collect together the property of the country, under the name of revenue, for the purpose of dividing it equally or unequally among the States or the people. Indeed, it is not probable that such an idea ever occurred to the States when they adopted the Constitution.”
In his Message to Congress, May 27, 1830, Andrew Jackson said:
“Through the favor of an overruling and indulgent Providence our country is blessed with general prosperity and our citizens exempted from the pressure of taxation, which other less favored portions of the human family are obliged to bear.”
The Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.