1913 was a very unlucky year – an entire country lost its freedom

As we opened the new year (2013) I was thinking about how precarious life has become in this new age. A majority of the voters thought enough of Obama to reelect him last year. It would seem that there is a broad spectrum of support for taxing other people in the interest of “fairness”. The same seems to be their desire when it comes to spreading the healthcare costs to other people even in the face of doing so at a cost of people’s belief’s and individual freedom. And so it goes.

How did it all start? This little article from earlier last year gives some giant size hints. The ratification of the Sixteenth amendment is the crowning achievement of the progressive movement at that time in an effort to spread the money around. Remember this though: At its inception, there was supposed to be a permanent cap of just 1%.

Well, Happy New Year boys and girls. The progressives are not quite done picking your pockets just quite yet. I hope we somehow survive the next four years as a nation. Maybe the cold hard reality of seeing all your hard-earned money may convince enough people to pull the balance back the other way. It’s going to be tough though. Everybody loves Santa.


Woodrow Wilson became the 28th President of the United States. Democrats controlled both houses of the Congress.


Wilson and his party were known as Progressives and he was the champion of many Progressive reforms that had been bubbling under the surface of America. According to the historian John M. Cooper:

In his first term, Wilson successfully pushed a legislative agenda that few presidents have equaled, and remained unmatched up until the New Deal.This agenda included the Federal Reserve Act, Federal Trade Commission Act, the Clayton Antitrust Act, the Federal Farm Loan Act and an income tax. Child labor was curtailed by the Keating–Owen Act of 1916, but the U.S. Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional in 1918. He also had Congress pass the Adamson Act, which imposed an 8-hour workday for railroads.Wilson, after first sidestepping the issue, became a major advocate for the women’s suffrage. Although Wilson promised African Americans ‘fair dealing…in advancing the interests of their race in the United States” the Wilson administration implemented a policy of racial segregation for federal employees.

The U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Department of Labor was established by splitting the duties of the 10-year-old Department of Commerce and Labor. The creation of these two progressive organizations were marginally constitutional and have created millions of man-days of waste in both commerce and labor since their creation.

In 1913, Wilson did something that had not been done since Adams was President.


He requested a joint session of Congress to urge them to reform the tariff acts.  The Revenue Act of 1913 passed the House, 281 to 139, on May 8, 1913. Wilson used his patronage powers to guide it to Senate passage 44 to 37, on September 9, 1913. Politically it was considered a major triumph for President Woodrow Wilson.

Something far more important happened in the passage of this law. That “something” was the inclusion of something called an “income tax”.

The Act also provided for the institution of a federal income taxes a means to compensate for anticipated lost revenue because of the reduction of tariff duties. The most recent effort to tax incomes (Wilson-Gorman Tariff of 1894) had been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court because the tax on dividends, interest, and rents had been deemed to be a direct tax not apportioned by population. That obstacle, however, was removed by ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment on February 3, 1913.The Act provided in part that: subject only to such exemptions and deductions as are hereinafter allowed, the net income of a taxable person shall include gains, profits, and income derived from salaries, wages, or compensation for personal service of whatever kind and in whatever form paid, or from professions, vocations, businesses, trade, commerce, or sales, or dealings in property, whether real or personal, growing out of the ownership or use of or interest in real or personal property, also from interest, rent, dividends, securities, or the transaction of any lawful business carried on for gain or profit, or gains or profits and income derived from any source whatever.

The incomes of couples exceeding $4,000, as well as those of single persons earning $3,000 or more, were subject to a one percent federal tax. Further, the measure provided a progressive tax structure, meaning that high income earners were required to pay at higher rates.

It would require only a few years for the federal income tax to become the chief source of income for the government, far outdistancing tariff revenues.

Less than 1% of the population paid federal income tax at the time. The act was applicable to incomes for 1913, 1914, and 1915.

Every election since that time has really been about one thing: who will control all the money the government takes from the people who actually create wealth

I suppose you could argue it is about a number of other issues as well and you would be partially correct. But once Congress figured out a way to control the distribution of the national wealth and income, there was no turning back.

Make no mistake about what elections are about. The party that controls the money controls the agenda. The last voice you have left is your vote. Giving that vote to a person of either party that wants to redistribute your wealth in a manner inconsistent with your beliefs is just plain stupid.

America is still the best country on the face of the planet. But we should never forget that an unfettered government will kill that dream more surely than any external enemy. As we remember the birth of the “income tax” system we currently suffer under, remember how it was done. The Obama care health program will be another link in the chain that burdens what is left of a free society. Left in place, a hundred years from now the people of the future will sadly look back on how yet another progressive program destroyed what was man’s best hope of freedom on this planet.

Mister Mac


So far…

3 thoughts on “1913 was a very unlucky year – an entire country lost its freedom

  1. wow. i’ve read TONS of books, articles, and watched HOURS of videos discussing just such issues, but in one tiny little article you’ve provided such a concise, simplistic, easy to understand and regurgitate explanation of the federal income tax… And this was 3 years ago. Of course there is more to all of this, which you alluded to but this was tremendous and I thank you.

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