“If everybody in this country was a genius like Mr. Trump is at not paying any taxes we would not have a country,” Bernie Sanders informed us last year right ahead of the election. Thanks to Rachel Maddow we know that Trump pays a larger percent of his income in taxes than Bernie, but what really needs to be addressed is Bernie’s claim that we’d all be living in Mad Max in absence of the income tax.
It’s an easily disprovable claim, because the U.S. didn’t have an income tax until 1913 – meaning we’ve spent more time as a country without an income tax than with one.
And did we “not have a country”? Of course not.
As Unbiased America’s Will Ricciardella writes, between 1790 and 1913, taxation averaged 5.1 percent of GDP per year, nearly 80 percent lower than from 1914 to 2012, when taxes averaged 24.5 percent of GDP.
And yet our economy grew faster, with lower unemployment, lower inflation, and nearly no deficit.
Oh, and during that time we also invented the cotton gin, suspension bridge, fire hydrant, refrigeration, morse code, sewing machine, combine harvester, steam shovel, circuit breaker, vulcanized rubber, jackhammer, safety pin, paper clip, clothes pin, clothes hanger, dishwasher, electric stove, escalator, vacuum cleaner, repeating rifle, machine gun, torpedo, ratchet wrench, rotary printing press, motorcycle, barbed wire, paper bag, tape measure, sand blasting, grain silo, jeans, fire sprinkler, dental drill, phonograph, central heating, microphone, photographic plate, photographic film, carton, cash register, oil boiler, metal detector, electric iron, electric fan, blood pump, solar cell, thermostat, dissolvable pill, skyscraper, mixer, fuel pump, file cabinet, calculator, induction motor, drinking straw, ball point pen, pay phone, stop sign, cereal, smoke detector, tesla coil, rotary phone, zipper, bottle cap, tractor, mouse trap, surgical gloves, muffler, charcoal briquette, remote control, semi-auto shotgun, airplane, nickel-zinc battery, fly swatter, thumbtack, assembly line, safety razor, hearing aid, air conditioning, offset printing press, windshield wiper, automatic transmission, paper towel, paper shredder, headset, autopilot, electric blanket, traffic lights, and much more.
…and increased our real GDP per capita by 500 percent
…and doubled our life expectancy.
Not a bad record for a country that shouldn’t have even existed in the world of Bernie Sanders!