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In 1913, that first income-tax year, there were nearly 100 million people in the United States. About half were working, so about 50 million Americans ponied up $28.3 million (about $655,000,000 in 2012 dollars).

In 2012, about half of the 300 million or so Americans were in the labor force. They paid to the federal government $1,200,000,000,000. Even if you triple the 50 million workers in 1913 to 150 million (to the number in 2012), and thus triple the tax revenue, it’s still just $2 billion in 2012 dollars. Americans in 2012 paid in $1.2 trillion. With a T!

And it’s still not enough. President Obama and lawmakers from both parties just raised taxes again. No, it will never end, and no, you will never be rich. The government needs more, more, more. Wartime, peacetime, good times, bad times — always, evermore.

So, happy birthday, income tax. At 100, you’re still going strong. But we all hope you die real soon.

• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at