By Roger Kempa -
While all 13 Illinois US House Democrats voted to benefit the wealthy by increasing the SALT tax deduction, it was Illinois’ own Congressman Sean Casten, D-Downers Grove, and Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville who actually introduced the legislation to increase the amount of state and local taxes (SALT) that can be deducted from federal tax returns, an amendment to the GOP's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
It is mind boggling how Rep. Sean Casten totally distorted American history to promote a false political narrative in sponsoring the SALT Amendment. He stated:
“From the very first tax code, our Founders recognized the importance of allowing a deduction for state and local taxes."
No; our Founders did not establish any tax code. With no tax code; there were no deductions for state and local taxes.
Our Founders were averse to taxation, having rebelled against Britain imposed taxes. Tariffs were the primary source of income to protect the security of the nation and ensure “domestic tranquility,” which meant preserving public safety. The history of the U.S. tax code is:
- Congress passed the Stamp Act of July 6, 1797, that levied taxes on wills, personal estates, and the transferred possessions of the deceased; repealed in 1802;
- In 1861, Congress imposed its first personal income tax in order to help pay for its war effort in the American Civil War; rescinded in 1872;
- Congress passed the Internal Revenue Act in 1862 which created the Bureau of Internal Revenue, an eventual predecessor to the IRS. The Bureau of Internal Revenue placed excise taxes on everything from tobacco to jewelry. However, the income tax did not last; ended in 1872; and
- It was not until 1913, the 16th Amendment was ratified to the Constitution, permanently legalizing an income tax; the code being 400 pages long, compared to today’s 74,608 pages.
Illinois is one of the most heavily taxed states in the nation; including at the local level, especially in Northern Illinois, including both Casten’s, and Underwood’s congressional districts they presently represent. As such; attention is best directed at extremely high state & local taxation, not increasing the SALT deduction to benefit the wealthy as income tax deductions. As the Tribune editorial pointed out, “every one of Illinois’ 13 Democrats” voted to bail people whose means expose them to high SALT.” “The four Illinois Republicans who voted on the bill opposed it.” Illinois residents obviously needs lots more Republicans representing them.