Monday, March 27, 2006

Inauspicious Beginnings?

Day 27: The Office of Internal Revenue (later to be known as the IRS) came into existence in 1862 to help pay the costs of the Civil War.

Andrew was surprised by this - he wanted to know how the government paid for itself before that.

This is the first year we have to pay federal taxes - despite the fact that we both work full-time and have all the relevant taxes taken from our paychecks. Oh well - we all grow up sometime, I suppose...

4 comments:

turtlegirl76 said...

Uh...good question. I suppose they had agents that rode around from house to house with big burlap sacks collecting gold coins by threatening violence? Or wait, that's Hagar the Horrible.

Jaimes said...

Ahh tax's arent they lovely, in Canada income tax was suppose to be a temporary tax due to the war, how come we are still paying? Jaimes

mom said...

'cause we are still at war - it's just hidden from the general public using invisible soldiers....

Anonymous said...

Prior to the institution of an income tax, the federal government was mostly funded with import tariffs, most of which were collected in NYC. Herman Melville was actually an employee of the US Customs House in Manhattan.

My favorite source for compelling American history info is Sarah Vowell, author of "The Partly Cloudy Patriot" and "Assasination Vacation." She does This American Life as well, though her voice is probably most recognizable as Violet from "The Incredibles."