American Minute with Bill Federer
Income Tax: Civil War Emergency, Supreme Court declared unconstitutional “Class legislation…leads inevitably to oppression and abuses”; Woodrow Wilson made permanent; FDR expanded

Originally, the U.S. Constitution prohibited a direct Federal Income Tax on American citizens (Article I, Section 9):

“No capitation or other direct tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the census or enumeration hereinbefore directed to be taken.”

The Federal Government’s revenue was derived from Excise Taxes on specific items like salt, tea, tobacco, etc., and Tariff Taxes on imports.

Prior to the Civil War, most tariff taxes were collected at Southern ports, like Charleston, South Carolina.

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