In 1913, federal income-tax rates started at 1 percent for those earning $20,000 (equivalent to $465,212 today) and peaked at 7 percent. Not many Americans earned enough to pay any income tax.
Today, the IRS employs 100,000 employees on a budget of $12 billion. Americans spend 6.1 billion hours per year complying with filing requirements, according to the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service.
In 2003, Libertarian Harry Browne estimated repealing the income tax would mean the average American family would be able to keep and spend the more than $10,000 per year that's going to politicians for them to spend.
The Founders viewed income as a measure of deserved achievement and taxing it as a penalty on ability and ambition.
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