NATIONAL TAXING AND SPENDING
GOVERNMENT, LIKE INDIVIDUAL citizens, must have regular income to pay bills and maintain credit. Government must also have coercive power to collect taxes. No government can carry on if it has to depend, as the Congress did under the Articles of Confederation, on requisitions and voluntary contribution.
Indeed, the principal weakness of Congress under the Articles of Confederation was its lack of power to levy taxes. National expenditures were defrayed out of a common treasury, supplied by the states in proportion to the occupied land in each state, and upon requisition from Congress. The states reserved the right to levy taxes for this purpose and were, in fact, very delinquent in making payments.
Therefore, it is not surprising that although members of the Federal Convention were sharply divided on many issues, they were almost unanimous in believing that Congress should have broad power to tax. Heading the list of enumerated powers in Article I, Section 8 stands the provision that Congress shall have