Few topics generate political fights faster than taxes as England discovered in 1773 when British colonists raided a ship in Boston harbor throwing its cargo of tea into the water to protest a tax imposed by Parliament without consulting the colonies.  "Taxation without representation is tyranny," Massachusetts lawyer James Otis Jr. is quoted as saying.  Fast forward 229 years and a populist movement has adopted the name Tea Party to protest the level of taxation and other actions of the federal government.  The U.S. Constitution gives the federal government the power to levy duties and taxes although in its early days with a small central government money was mostly needed to pay the costs left over from the Revolutionary War.  For more than 40 years in the early 1800s the national government collected no internal taxes relying instead on customs duties and the sale of public lands.  An attempt to impose a national flat-rate income tax in 1894 was ruled unconstitutional, leading eventually to the Sixteenth Amendment in 1913 allowing the direct taxation of individual income.  Proposals to simplify the tax code continue to float around Congress without effect, and debate and stalemate over extending tax cuts enacted during the administration of President George W. Bush have threatened to shut down the government.


Related Legislation

Disabled veterans

Created homestead property tax exemptions for disabled veterans. more »

Texas (change)

Republican Rick Perry is Governor of Texas. Two Republicans represent Texas in the U.S. Senate, and Texas has 32 representatives in the U.S. House: 20 Republicans and 12 Democrats.
Offices & Officials

Governor: Rick Perry
Lieutenant Governor: David Dewhurst
Attorney General: Greg Abbott