Planet Money
4:08 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Episode 356: The Surprisingly Entertaining History Of The Income Tax

The U.S. has a really conflicted history with the income tax. For most of American history, there was no income tax at all. At one point it was ruled unconstitutional.

Today, income tax is the federal government's main source of revenue. That raises a question: How did something that was once so strange to us become so central?

The answer includes a few wars, a Supreme Court justice on his deathbed, and Donald Duck.

For More: Read our post, "From Abe Lincoln To Donald Duck: History Of The Income Tax." And see War and Taxes, the book Joe Thorndike co-wrote.

Subscribe to the podcast. Music: Nero's "The Promise" and Danny Kaye's "I Paid My Income Tax Today." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Spotify/ Tumblr. Note: This podcast was originally published last year.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.