I woke up this morning to Steve Liesman on CNBC explaining the theme of tonight’s State of the Union Address. You see, since 1980 middle class wages have gone up only 50% in inflation adjusted terms whereas for the top 1% of earners income has gone up by 210%. Something clearly must be done. How can such a disparity be? This is unfair. Can’t the government “solve” this?
On February 3, 1913 Delaware ratified the 16th Amendment to the Constitution which created the income tax. It was a dark day for America yet some see it as a day to be celebrated, or ahem, “commemorated.” Professor Ajay K. Mehrotra at Indiana University is one of these people. In an essay in Bloomberg he explains to us that the income tax was not born from any effort ”radically” redistribute of wealth, but in fact from a high minded progressive effort more interested in “balanc(ing) fiscal duties and civic responsibilities.”
Unfortunately, the government isn’t helping answer the question.