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Since its creation in 1913, the income tax has been the subject of strident criticism. Many people see the income tax and other federal taxes as convoluted and unfair punishments for hard work. Some people have gone so far as to suggest a national sales tax (NST) to replace the current income tax system and related tax systems…
Among other things, the NST is not high enough to replace current revenues. The NST should remain a fringe argument against the federal income tax.
The NST would replace a number of taxes levied by the federal government. Principal among them is the income tax. The income tax sprung into being with the adoption of the 16th Amendment in 1913 (McNulty and Daniel 7). The tax taxes all income, however derived. The income that is taxed is subject to certain exemptions, deductions and credits depending on the class of person involved or the activity involved. For example, there is an additional standard deduction for the elderly and the blind (McNulty and Daniel 4). Additionally, there is a greater standard deduction for married people over single people (McNulty and Daniel 3-4). The government discerns among people and activities to encourage certain social behaviors. As McNulty and Daniel put on page 23:
The income tax raises revenue, subsidizes some people or activities, encourages or discourages behavior, redistributes wealth, stimulates or stabilizes the economy, maintains federalism and tackles social problems like pollution and urban decay.
The income tax is progressive - a defining feature of the system. People fall into different tax brackets based on their income. Higher income brackets are subject to higher marginal tax rates. ...
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