WASHINGTON, June 16, 1909 (UP) - President Taft, in a special message to congress Wednesday afternoon, recommended the adoption of a joint resolution by two-thirds of both houses proposing to the states an amendment to the constitution giving the federal government the right to levy and collect an income tax.
He also recommended the enactment, as part of the pending tariff bill, of an excise tax upon all corporations of 2 per cent of their net incomes.
The message reads in part:
"It is the duty of the president to recommend to congress measures he judges necessary. In my inaugural address I invited attention to the necessity for a revision of the tariff. I referred to the rapidly increasing deficit, and pointed out the obligation on the part of the framers of the tariff bill to arrange the duty so as to secure an adequate income.
"I suggested that if it was not possible to do so by import duties, new kinds of taxation must be adopted, and among them I recommended a graduated inheritance tax."
The house, the president said, has adopted the suggestion, but the senate instead proposed a federal income tax, which, he says, the supreme court has held unconstitutional.
"The decision of the supreme court in the income tax case," the message continues, "deprived the national government of power which it was generally supposed that it had. It is undoubtedly a power the national government ought to have. It might be indispensable to the nation's life in great crises.
"I therefore recommend to the congress that both houses, but a two-thirds vote, shall propose an amendment to the constitution conferring the power to levy an income tax upon the national government, without apportionment among the states in proportion to population.
"It is said the difficulty and delay in securing the approval of three-fourths of the states will destroy all chance of adopting the amendment. But I have become convinced that a great majority of the people of this country are in favor of vesting the national government with power to levy an income tax, and that they will secure the adoption of the amendment in the states, if proposed to them.
"I also recommend an amendment to the tariff bill, imposing upon all corporations and joint stock companies for profit, except national banks (otherwise taxed), savings banks, and building and loan associations, an excise tax measured by 2 per cent on the net income of such corporations."