The point of this essay is simple: a direct-consumption tax like the Forbes-Armey-Hall-Rabushka flat tax or the Nunn-Domenici USA tax is not a "tax on incomes" within the meaning of the Sixteenth Amendment. As a result, such a tax would be constitutional only if it were apportioned among the states on the basis of population. And since these taxes would not be apportioned-how could they be and work as they are intended to work?-they would be unconstitutional.


Taxation, Sixteenth Amendment, Direct-Consumption Tax, Constitutional Law

Publication Date


Document Type


Place of Original Publication

Tax Notes

Publication Information

84 Tax Notes 1089 (1999)


COinS Erik M. Jensen Faculty Bio