So the Sixteenth Amendment could just as easily read as follows:The above definitions reasonably and logically explain Chief Justice Edward Douglas White's statements in the Brushaber and Stanton Cases regarding taxation on income, wherein he explained that taxation on income was in its nature an indirect excise.
Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes with regard to or with respect to or in consideration of or measured by the income, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
on ... 22. a. In regard to, in reference to, with respect to, as to.As used in the phrase "taxes on incomes", only if the word "on" means "with reference to" (the income which is to be used to measure the amount of tax due from indirect taxes such as duties, imposts and excises) can it be explained that the income (property) is not the thing being taxed, but that it is on some taxable activity upon which an excise can be imposed. This is the only way to explain how Chief Justice Edward Douglas White could justifiably state in Brushaber and Stanton that taxation on income was in its nature an excise tax and that the Sixteenth Amendment simply prohibited the power of income taxation from being taken out of the category of indirect taxation to which it inherently belongs.
The Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, 1989, pg. 795.
on ... 12. with respect or regard to.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Second Edition, 1993, pg. 1352.
on ... (5) the object in connection with which payment, computation of interest, reduction or similar settlement is made. ... 7 a : with regard to : with reference or relation to : about.
Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged, 1993, pg. 1575.