About the 16th Amendment
What is a Constitutional Amendment?
A constitutional amendment is a change to the constitution of a nation or a state. In jurisdictions with "rigid" or "entrenched" constitutions, amendments require a special procedure different from that used for enacting ordinary laws. An amendment to the US Constitution must be ratified by 3/4 of the state legislatures, or of constitutional conventions specially elected in each of the states, before it can come into effect.
What is the 16th Amendment to the US Constitution?
The 16th Amendment states: The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
Which simply means: The 16th Amendment authorized individual taxation of Americans, which we know as the income tax. It became a law that gave congress the right to collect taxes on income, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration. The more income the higher the tax. The less income the lower the tax.
What the Constitution says about taxes:
The Founders who designed our Constitution sought to balance the power of the federal government against the states in order to keep both in check. The national government was thus originally prohibited from collecting taxes from individuals. Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution states: "No capitation, or other direct Tax, shall be laid unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration." This meant that the federal government could collect revenue from the states according to population, but had to leave the methods of collection to them. The federal government was to collect revenue in other, less intrusive ways (tariffs, excise taxes, consumption taxes) so as to limit the amount of money it could raise by its own authority.