When the Constitution was written, the federal government was not allowed to collect an income tax. The income tax became legal when the 16th Amendment was passed. Today, 52% of voters would favor repealing the 16th Amendment to end the federal income tax. A ScottRasmussen.com national survey found that such a repeal is favored by 62% of Independent voters, 56% of Republicans, and 42% of Democrats.
Perhaps surprising to some, support for ending the income tax is actually a bit higher among those who earn less. Repealing the 16th Amendment is supported by 54% of those earning less than $75,000 annually (see question wording and crosstab results). Just 43% of senior citizens support the repeal. Among younger voters, 55% are supportive.
Despite majority support, there is virtually no chance such a repeal will take place. It is very difficult to formally amend the U.S. Constitution. That’s especially true when the Amendment would limit the power of the federal government.
For example, the survey found that 78% of voters continue to support term limits for Members of Congress. That level of support has been consistent for decades but there is no prospect for a term limits Amendment to be added to the Constitution. Sixty-seven percent (67%) also favor term limits for the Supreme Court.
This survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted for ScottRasmussen.com on September 18-19, 2018 by HarrisX, a leading research firm specializing in online surveys (see Methodology). The statistical margin of error is +/- 3.1 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
Periodically, some people advocate overturning the 17th or the 22nd Amendment. The 17th gave voters the right to select their Senators (as opposed to state legislatures). The 22nd prevents anyone from serving more than two terms as president of the United States. Only 20% of voters support repealing the 17th Amendment while 25% support repeal of the 22nd.
This information is presented to enhance the public dialogue through data-driven analysis that explores the underlying currents of public opinion (read About Us and review all of our recent data releases).
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