Skip to main content

For Find Out Friday - Week 33 How Did We End Up with Income Tax?

As I prepare for another trip to Newport, Rhode Island ( income tax is on my mind. The connection might not seem obvious but when you consider the many “summer cottages” once owned by Vanderbilt’s ( and the like I plan on visiting were built prior to those laws, you can see where I am headed. It seems like a world ago because well, it was. 

How much do you know about taxes, income or otherwise? I feel like most of us know that we pay them, they take huge chunks out of our paychecks, and hopefully some gets returned to us the following year. But we are about to find out much more right now.

The very first income tax came about in 1861. It officially fell under the Revenue Act of 1861 during the first year of the Civil War, which why money needed to be raised in the first place. However it only remained active for one year. 

As you’ll recall this wasn't the first time taxes had been imposed on Americans. There was the Stamp Act which gave us the most amazing phrase: “no taxation without representation”. This motto is so embedded within our culture a form can be found on license plates registered in Washington D.C. area. Most notably there was also that attempt to tax tea that caused quite a big huff in Boston. 

In 1862 the Internal Revenue Act was passed which created the Bureau of Internal Revenue (now known as the IRS). This agency would become one of the most hated in existence. I once met someone who worked for them and said he usually lied when he met new people about where he worked to avoid hearing their grievances. I was only privy to this information because at the time I worked for another unbeloved government agency. 

The next major legislative move regarding personal income tax was the Sixteenth Amendment passed in 1909. This law officially set in place a federal system for income taxes that remains intact to this day. 

The president in 1909 was William Taft and it was his goal to see that those with higher incomes paid taxes proportionally so that poorer individuals weren't shielding the burden. The government could no longer solely rely on tariffs and taxes on goods to run the country. 

President Taft’s system was two tier; the first was for personal income and the second was for businesses. 

Coming from Britain, the founding fathers had been against income taxes but as the country grew and the Civil War loomed, there simply wasn't enough funding to sustain us.

While I curse the fact that The Breakers (which was built in 1893) is a home not even members of the Vanderbilt family could afford to build today, I know it was the right decision. Especially when I know the money is used for our nation’s defense, veteran’s affairs, education, healthcare, and retirement. No matter your politics your government needs your contribution to provide the things society has come to rely on. 

Personally love touring the homes of a glorious past will continue to be a hobby I enjoy, but they are relics of a bygone era where personal finances were focused on the individual. But that is not the nature of a true democracy. Although I get that some days paying taxes feels as useless as throwing tea in the sea, but significantly less fun.

So remember as April 15th approaches, you must file your personal and corporate income taxes unless you have already filed for an extension with the IRS. 

For More Information:


Popular posts from this blog

For Find Out Friday - Why Do Emery Boards Make My Skin Crawl?

You know that sound a fingernail makes when it scratches against a chalkboard?  You know that feeling the sound of that action gives you? I, like most people, hate that sound.  I instantly feel like scrunching my shoulders up to my neck and closing my eyes.  I feel the exact same way when I am using an emery board to file my nails. This annoying sensation has a name: “grima” which is Spanish for disgust or uneasiness. This term basically describes any feeling of being displeased, annoyed, or dissatisfied someone or something.  It is a feeling that psychologists are starting to pay more attention to as it relates to our other emotions.  Emery boards are traditionally made with cardboard that has small grains of sand adhered to them. It is the sandpaper that I believe makes me filled with grima.  According to studies that are being done around the world, it is not just the feeling that we associate with certain things like nails on a chalkboard or by using emery boards

For Find Out Friday - How Do You Milk An Almond?

Despite my affinity for cheese and other dairy products, occasionally (actually a few times a week) I like to go dairy-free.  During those times I rely heavily on my favorite brand of almond milk, as seen in the picture above.  Though I know there is no dairy in this product, I constantly wonder: “how does one milk an almond”? Logically I am aware that no actually “milking” is taking place.  I also know that almond milk can be made at home, although I have zero interest in attempting to make it despite my love of spending time in my kitchen. So, what is the actual process?  How long does it take?  When / where / who was the first to successful develop this product? When talking about this kind of “milk” what we are really talking about is plant juices that resemble and can be used in the same ways as dairy milk. Plant like juice has been described as milk since about 1200 A.D. The first mentions can be found in a Baghdadi cookbook in the thirteenth

For a Doughnut Worthy of Food Network Glory: “Dun-Well Doughnuts”

All because I wanted a Boston creme doughnut. That is how this blog truly began. It was Father’s Day weekend and although I was initially thinking of myself, I knew my father wouldn’t mind having a sweet treat for dessert. Brooklyn is synonymous with great pizza, bread, and of course bagels. But it also has many great bakeries producing some of the most delicious doughnuts you have ever tasted. Just to name a few, there is: Doughnut Plant , Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop and Dough .   On the day of my craving, I did what any of us do countless times a day - I opened Google. When I Googled “best Boston creme doughnuts in Brooklyn” Dun-Well Doughnuts appeared high on that list. Intrigued I researched it further and learned that it had won the Canadian  Food Network’s contest called “Donut Showdown” in 2013. That was enough information for me to decide to visit the very next day.  Dun-Well Doughnuts was opened by Dan Dunbar and Christopher Hollowell in December 2011. Despite