Greg Sargent wants to know more about Rick Perry's hatred for the 16th Amendment, which allows the federal income tax:
In [his book], Perry declares that the 16th Amendment represents “the great milestone on the road to serfdom” because it represented “the birth of wealth redistribution in the United States.”
Perry clearly states that “we should restrict the unlimited source of revenue that the federal government has used to grow beyond its constitutionally prescribed powers.” How? Here’s what Perry suggests, in addition to scrapping the current tax code:
"Another option would be to repeal the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution (providing the power for the income tax) altogether, and then pursue an alternative model of taxation such as a national sales tax or the Fair Tax."
Perry, of course, wants to devolve virtually all the functions of the federal government to the state level. That would, among other things, result in a far more regressive tax code. Consider the Texas tax system:
Texas relies heavily on its sales tax, through which poorer families pay a larger share of their income, though the state does exempt groceries, medications and some other items.
The poorest 20% of Texans paid an average of 6% of their income in sales tax, while the top fifth—households with an income of roughly more than $126,000—paid 1.3%, according to an analysis from the office of the Texas Comptroller, the independently elected steward of the state's finances.
Perry's hatred of redistribution puts him perfectly in step with the current Republican Party, for whom opposition to the (downward) redistribution of wealth is the lodestar.