The history of taxes and war




 
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September 3rd, 2004  
Duty Honor Country
 
 

Topic: The history of taxes and war


The good old USA was founded on freedom...and the idea of not too many taxes. Before the Revolutionary War, people were getting quite mad about taxes. "For if our trade may be taxed, why not our lands? Why not the produce of our lands and, in short, everything we possess or make use of?" Samuel Adams May 24, 1764*. How the times have changed!!

Anyways, after the war, the US stayed away from "internal taxes". Imports and things sold at auction (i.e. slaves) were taxed. After the War of 1812, there was a sales tax on gold, silverware, jewelry and watches. The sales tax was short lived, but represented an escalation in taxation. The Civil War brought on the first income tax. The income tax was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court until congress voted in the 16th amendment. You can see where I am going with this.

My position is that we owe our wonderful tax system here in the USA to our past wars. I am not too sure about other countries, but my gut feeling tells me that it's all the same. I believe Canada owes its income tax to WW I. Anyone else feel the same way?

SSG Doody

*quote from Patriots: The Men Who Started the American Revolution by AJ Langguth (great book btw)
September 4th, 2004  
Shadowalker
 
 
i dont know about the history of american taxes but the english civil war started partly because of taxes. The king wanted to build a big navy so he raised taxes and the parliament and people didn't like it.
September 4th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
The British Empire was an empire of commerce. From a British perspective, the 13 colonies weren't very profitable at all. They made much more money from other parts of their empire. Its been said that one single island in the Carribean was worth more than the entire 13 colonies.

Then they spent significant money and effort on what we refer to as the French and Indian War. The outcome of that war opened up new frontiers to the residents of the 13 colonies and so England saw fit to try and make the colonies pay for their gains in land. While the taxes imposed were not truly as outrageous as the colonists thought they were, England did not understand some very important things. The colonies needed England like a fish needs a bicycle. The colonists were highly independent and self reliant. Most importantly, they were Englishmen who believed they were being denied their English rights.

Ulitmately, the United States would learn the hard lessons of taxation for itself. It was only a matter of time ... and as you said, wars.
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September 4th, 2004  
Mark Conley
 
 
interesting it took a civil war in this country to institute a national income tax, and a conscription act. Both were met with less than favorable outcomes..but at least they had representation this time. (so taxation with representation is a good thing )

The funny thing is..once a power has been granted to the US Government...it never releases it. The income tax was instituted at the time to help pay for the civil war effort: after the war, it sort of hung around. This new money base was then used to build a much more modern army and navy, along with funding some reconstruction in the south. Soon it was just like a bag of lays potato chips...you cant eat just one, you have to finish the whole bag...the new money led to a lot of different things. You have to remember, the original constitutional fuel was to provide moneys collected from comerce to power the government. With more sources for funding..well
September 4th, 2004  
Duty Honor Country
 
 
More on Wars and Taxes:

The first estate and property taxes showed up in the late 1790's when the US almost went to war with France. During the Civil War, the sales tax expanded and there were taxes on legal documents and licenses. After the war, most of the taxes went away. The Spanish American War caused the taxes for beer and tobacco to double.

World War I saw the first tax on business profits and the rebirth of the estate tax. During World War II, people had taxes taken out of their paychecks for the first time. All but the poorest people had to pay an income tax. Things get a bit confusing after WWII. The Cold War cost a lot of money and the government paid for it thru taxes, taxes and more taxes.

godofthunder9010 and Mark Conley, I will attend to your posts at a later time. I have a wife to attend to 8)
September 6th, 2004  
Jason Bourne
 
as much as most of us may hate taxes they are still needed, sometimes we are over taxed which really sucks, but they are still needed to fund the defense of our country, not to mention the US is currently in a huge debt, which if we wished to pay off right now, it would cost 20,000 person to pay off,http://ask.yahoo.com/ask/20010514.html

True though how we fought against the same thing that we do today, life is very ironic is it not?
September 7th, 2004  
Duty Honor Country
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by godofthunder9010
The British Empire was an empire of commerce. From a British perspective, the 13 colonies weren't very profitable at all. They made much more money from other parts of their empire. Its been said that one single island in the Carribean was worth more than the entire 13 colonies.

hen they spent significant money and effort on what we refer to as the French and Indian War. The outcome of that war opened up new frontiers to the residents of the 13 colonies and so England saw fit to try and make the colonies pay for their gains in land. While the taxes imposed were not truly as outrageous as the colonists thought they were, England did not understand some very important things. The colonies needed England like a fish needs a bicycle. The colonists were highly independent and self reliant. Most importantly, they were Englishmen who believed they were being denied their English rights.
I agree the colonies were not that profitable, but there was still money being made. I find it ironic that John Hancock, a Founding Father, got rich by smuggling in goods without paying taxes on them. There were many merchants like him in Boston.

The wars against the French and Indians were costly and Britian had the right to get some money from the colonies for protection. Ben Franklin did a lot of lobbying in parliament to show that the colonies were "willing" to pay for that cost. Pennsylvania was willing to levy taxes to pay Britian 25,000 pounds, but the rest of the colonies did not follow suit. Also, PA was slow to collect those taxes.

I believe the colonies needed Britian for one big reason, trade. At the end of the Revolution, the colonies were in short supply of industrialized goods. Everything from dresses to tacks were scarce and the price of those goods were outragous. As soon as the war ended, Britian and the United States were happily trading again.

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I cannot agree with you more Mark. In the beginning, the US government was very hesitant to levy taxes. The cost of war allowed them to tax just a little bit. Over time, the government kept going back to the cookie jar. Now the government happily spends more than levies in taxes. Remember, Allen Greenspan (chairman of the FED), has already warned the government 4 times this year to "spend as you go." You mean the government has to "budget" how they spend their money...no way!!!!
September 7th, 2004  
Mark Conley
 
 
Wow..i think you could give David a good run for his money.. Bravo SSG Doody! I like well thought out posts (especially when it makes me look like i know what im doing in some of them... )

Good job. Any one else want to add to the post?
September 10th, 2004  
Darkmb101
 
War is based on money. At teh end of the war, both sides do NOT have enough money. Therefore taxes rise, until there is enough money (never)
September 11th, 2004  
Six
 
I think what happens is that a new tax is instituted to pay off a war debt, but when it's paid off, the government finds new things to spend "their" money on. Its like a budget, if you don't spend it all, it gets lowered the next year, so you have to find new things to spend it on. This is where we get all the excess government spending, for example the legendary $500 coffeepot.