The Sixteenth Amendment Analysis

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In a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy in the year 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote, “Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Just over two hundred and twenty five years later, his statement still holds its validity. Before the Sixteenth Amendment was ratified in
The right for the government to tax income (the 16th) is less damaging to society than the right to keep and bear arms (the 2nd) because the Sixteenth Amendment applies to everyone, income tax is a vital component to the running of the United States, and income tax allows Americans to make a positive contribution to the country.
America is known for its diversity.
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These statistics make the situation seem as if a large portion of Americans “ride for free” and do not need to pay their fair share towards the government. In reality, the previously stated data includes people who should not be paying taxes to begin with as a result of their “age or economic circumstances” (Greenstone and Looney). The only circumstance in which someone does not need to file an income tax return is if he or she is dependent on another taxpayer or if his or her income does not exceed a certain amount. If a worker’s income fails to meet the minimum taxable income requirement, he or she still “pay[s] taxes on income via the payroll tax” (McMaken). Even senior citizens who receive Social Security benefits must pay income tax unless the benefits are their only form of income. In short, a vast majority of those who receive an income must pay the income tax, meaning that most adults are impacted by this amendment. The right to…show more content…
This can be proven by simply examining tax data from any year. In 2013, taxpayers “reported earning $9.03 trillion in adjusted gross income,” and about $1.23 trillion was paid in income taxes (Greenberg). So, on what exactly is the government spending this money? Essentially, the government contributes this revenue to over ten different programs and funds. In her article entitled “What Your 2015 Income Tax Dollars Paid For,” author Jeanne Sahadi breaks down the distribution of this income tax money. She explicates that the typical household “paid $13,000 in income taxes to the federal government.” Of this $13,000, over half went to support health programs, the Pentagon, and the military. Approximately fourteen percent was spent on debt interest, and nearly eight percent was expended on unemployment and labor programs. Other categories include: veterans’ benefits, agriculture, education, community, environmental, and international affairs programs, and transportation and science funding. These various programs and funds work to improve the lives of citizens across the nation. For instance, money contributed towards health programs such as Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program provide 72 million “low-income children, parents, elderly people, and people with disabilities” with health or long-term care (“Policy Basics”). On the
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