The woman above is Connecticut industrialist Vivien Kellems, who in 1948 refused to withhold income taxes from her 100-odd employees, saying if the government wanted her to be a tax collecter, they would “have to pay me, and I want a badge.”
She dared the IRS to file suit against her to test the constitutionality of the income tax, but they never did. Despite the fact that her employees were paying their taxes anyway, IRS agents went to her bank and confiscated $6,100. She sued, and though she wasn’t allowed to argue constitutional grounds, was granted a full refund by a district court.
I’d never heard of Kellems before today (perhaps she ought to be added to the Rand/Paterson/Wilder/Hurston bunch of libertarian “founding mothers”?), but she was evidently an author, was among one of the very first women to be featured on Meet the Press, debated Eleanor Roosevelt on taxes, and climbed into a manhole to inspect it while wearing a mink coat.
The most un-American phrase in our modern vocabulary is “take home pay.” What do we mean, “take home pay”? When I hire a man to work for me we discuss three things: the job to be done, the hours he shall work, and the wages he shall receive. And on Friday when he receives that pay envelope, we have both fulfilled our contract for that week.
There is no further obligation on either side. The money in that envelope belongs to him. He has worked for it and he has earned it. No one, not even the United States Government, has the right to touch it. Who dares to lay profane hands upon that money, to rudely filch from that free man the fruits of his labor, even before the money is in his own hands.
This is a monstrous invasion of the rights of a free people and an outrageous perversion of the spirit of the Constitution.