I was watching Ken Burn’s great civil war documentary and in it there was a line about income tax being created to pay for the civil war by Lincoln. That took me aback so I had to look it up and it turns out it’s true. There was no income tax until 1862 and it was used to pay for the war and then they just never got rid of it. Before 1862 there was very little tax by the feds. The only things they taxed were gold, silverware, jewelry, and watches and those taxes were created to help pay for the war of 1812. So it seems that throughout our history, taxes and military spending seem to go hand in hand. The problem that we now face is how do we know when wars are necessary? The only source we have telling us that these wars are needed are people who profit from the creation of war. During the build up to the Iraq war, the majority of talking heads on all the news networks were all former generals telling us that Iraq had WMD and they were poised to use them on us. These same generals benefit from war through increased defense spending so it was like having the creator of the furbee come on TV and say how the furbee was essential to our national security. Total conflict of interest, yet no one cares. The question is, why. Why don’t we care about war? Why don’t we care that hundreds of thousands of innocent people have been killed for no reason? We clearly care that we pay taxes. We just don’t care that if we didn’t fight these wars, we could pay less taxes and more easily pay off our debt. It is so strange to me that there was an entire movement based on government spending that didn’t even bring up what we spend the majority of our government dollars on. We need to start coming to the realization that war and taxes have gone hand in hand since the early years of our nation. If we decrease the amount of wars we are involved in, we decrease the amount of taxes we pay. I have attached a link on the history of income tax in our country, enjoy!
Taxing for War: The Reason Income Tax Was Created