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Tue Apr 19, 2022, 08:16 AM

A little history about taxation in America

Letters from an American:

Since the American Civil War, deciding who pays taxes—and for what—has been shorthand for who belongs in our nation and what we care about. Curiously, Biden’s policies echo those of the early Republican Party.

The Republicans invented our national income taxes during the Civil War. As costs for uniforms, guns, food, mules, wagons, bounties, and burials rose to as much as $2 million a day...By the end of the war, Congress had imposed 5% taxes on manufactured goods, and income taxes of 5% for incomes between $600 and $5,000, 7.5% for incomes from $5,000 to $10,000, and 10% for incomes of more than $10,000.

Shortly after imposing taxes, Congress stopped selling the “public lands”—Indigenous lands in the West—to land speculators to raise money and instead gave them away to poor men to farm. “Every smoke rising from a new opening in the wilderness marks the foundation of a new feeder to Commerce and the Revenue,” wrote newspaper editor Horace Greeley.


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