LinkedIn invited me to share articles with their broader membership. I decided to include the series of upcoming articles under the masthead of Hidden Agendas and Clear Intentions. This is the fourth in the series which was published earlier this week. I hope you will find it insightful and perhaps even inspire a communication from you to your Senators and Congressmen.
With all the chaos in Washington D.C. and its fall out, the Senate and House are scrambling to put a tax bill together before Christmas. I posted a Tweet this morning which could apply to the U.S. Congress and seems appropriate to the circumstance. It is a quote from Martin Daniel, “Beware of your distractions and what is or seems urgent in light of what’s important.”
When we think about infrastructure the first thing that comes to mind is not the laws of the land. A moment’s contemplation will reveal that all those hard asset infrastructure components such as roads, bridges, tunnels, water supply, sewers, electrical grids, telecommunications, etc. manifest from project funding initiatives that have historically been some sort of tax.
In 1913, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution made the income tax a permanent fixture in the U.S. tax system. The amendment gave Congress legal authority to tax income and resulted in a revenue law that taxed incomes of both individuals and corporations. In the fiscal year 1918 (WWI), annual internal revenue collections for the first time passed the billion-dollar mark, rising to $5.4 billion by 1920. World War II increased employment. Tax collections rose to $7.3 billion. The withholding tax on wages was introduced in 1943 and was instrumental in increasing the number of taxpayers to 60 million and tax collections to $43 billion by 1945. Americans are rightfully frustrated with the complexity of the 74,608-page current federal tax code (the 32 volume set of Encyclopedia Britannica has 32,640). In the first 26 years of the federal income tax, the tax code only grew from 400 to 504 pages. In the early hours of Saturday morning (Dec 3), containing significant last-minute changes to gain support, the Senate passed a sweeping tax overhaul bill (479 pages which experts are deciphering) in largely party-line 51/49 vote.
Read more . . . Hidden Agendas and Clear Intentions IV