Income Tax Turns 100: Famous Quotes

The federal income tax turns 100 this month and although the exact day the forms went out is in question, the 16th Amendment was ratified on Feb. 3, 1913. In honor of this anniversary, here are some famous quotations about the income tax, compiled by the Internal Revenue Service. The initial rate was a flat 2.2 percent on all income from $3,000 and up for single filers ($4,000 for married). In current dollars that would mean no single filer who makes less than $66,100 would be taxed; ($88,100) for married couples.


A tax loophole is "something that benefits the other guy. If it benefits you, it is tax reform." - Russell B. Long, U.S. Senator

"Taxes are what we pay for civilized society." - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., U.S. Supreme Court Justice

"The power of taxing people and their property is essential to the very existence of government." - James Madison, U.S. President

"To tax and to please, no more than to love and to be wise, is not given to men." - Edmund Burke, 18th Century Irish political philosopher and British statesman

"I am proud to be paying taxes in the United States. The only thing is - I could be just as proud for half the money." - Arthur Godfrey, entertainer

"People who complain about taxes can be divided into two classes: men and women." - Unknown

"No government can exist without taxation. This money must necessarily be levied on the people; and the grand art consists of levying so as not to oppress." - Frederick the Great, 18th Century Prussian king

"Like mothers, taxes are often misunderstood, but seldom forgotten." - Lord Bramwell, 19th Century English jurist

"The best measure of a man's honesty isn't his income tax return. It's the zero adjust on his bathroom scale." - Arthur C. Clarke, author

"Next to being shot at and missed, nothing is really quite as satisfying as an income tax refund." - F. J. Raymond, humorist

"Few of us ever test our powers of deduction, except when filling out an income tax form." - Laurence J. Peter, author

"The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax." - Albert Einstein, physicist

"Taxation with representation ain't so hot either." - Gerald Barzan, humorist

"Where there is an income tax, the just man will pay more and the unjust less on the same amount of income." - Plato

"Income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf." - Will Rogers, humorist

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...