The Last Word | December 12, 2012
>>> one of the congressmen that attended that hopeless stand your ground republican on taxes shared this.
>> i want to share with you today a little bit of trivia that's not trivial. that is that our federal tax system began as a result of the 16th amendment that was ratified in 1913 . do you realize that in this entire time, and even before that, going back to the founding of this nation, not once has a republican controlled house of representatives ever lifted the tax rates on the american citizens. so that means that if we do it here now, this will be unprecedented, raising the federal tax rates on our citizens for the first time in a republican-led house of representatives .
>>> congressman fleming is right. that is trivia that is not trivial. there are two reasons that a republican-controlled house of representatives has never raised income tax rates. one, because republicans generally don't like to do that. number two, which is by far the most important reason, americans have generally had the good sense to keep control of the house of representatives out of the hands of republicans . the last 100 years of income taxation , american voters have entrusted the house of representatives to republicans for only 30 of those years. american voters who actually wanted to win world war i, were not about to let republicans control the house of representatives , which is to say control the power to tax, since all tax bills must, according to the stoconstitution, originate in the house of representatives . the democratically controlled congress did the responsible thing and raised taxes to pay for world war i. american voters made the mistake of electing a republican house of representatives in the roaring 20s and as soon as they could, after the stock market crash of 1929 and the on set of the depression, the voters threw the bums out and elected a democratic house of representatives to get them out of the depression, which they did under the guidance of president franklin, della nor roosevelt. they kept him in the white house because they were intent on winning world war ii and they knew taxes would have to be raised to pay for world war ii . american voters new they couldn't trust a republican house of representatives to get them through anything big, anything historic like world wars . congressman fleming wrote an op ed which he made hits point about this trivia that is not trivial. a republican house of representatives never, ever, ever raising income tax rates. in that piece he quoted abraham lincoln , adhere to your purpose and you will soon feel as well as you ever did. if you faulter and give up, you will lose the power of keeping any resolution and will regret it all your life. congressman fleming forgot to mention something about lincoln and the republican controlled house of representatives during lincoln's presidency. that republican controlled house actually passed our first income tax , which president lincoln signed into law to pay for the civil war . it was a progressive income tax . 3% on annual incomes over $600 and 5% on annual incomes over $10,000. the supreme court ruled those taxes constitutional. decades later in 1895 , the supreme court suddenly reversed its self and the earlier decision and declared federal income taxes unconstitutional, which is why in 1913 , it took a constitutional amendment to reestablish federal income taxation . now, i wouldn't have brought up this thing about abraham lincoln if congressman fleming had kept his store cal analysis focused exclusively on the period beginning with the 1913 constitutional amendment allowing for income taxation but he had to go and mention abraham lincoln . as republicans love to do, republicans love to mention abraham lincoln , because abraham lincoln was a republican and because 21st first century republicans know that abraham lincoln is the only republican that many americans admire. abraham lincoln is also the only republican president, indeed the only president who has ever gotten a republican house of representatives to raise income taxes . republicans didn't just establish the very first income tax as i just described under president lincoln . two years later, they raised the rates. they doubled the top tax rate from 5% to 10%. that's back when republicans were responsible. 150 years ago. the last time a republican house of representatives won a war was the civil war . they couldn't have done it without raising income taxes . in that 1913 constitutional amendment that finally and forever cemented congress' right to raise income taxes , that constitutional amendment was approved by a republican house of