The Story of Tax Day

In our "Story of Tax Day" episode of Constitution Hall Pass, we explore how Alexander Hamilton came up with a plan to create a national bank. We'll also find out when, how, and why the Constitution was amended to allow the federal government to impose an income tax, as well as where those tax dollars go today. Don't forget to use our discussion questions before and after watching the episode, and join our staff for a live chat on Tuesday, April 18, between 7 AM and 6 PM EDT.

Discussion Questions

Before You Watch
  1. What is a budget? Why would the government's budget be especially important?
  2. Do you have your own budget? Where does your money come from? How do you decide how to spend or save it?
  3. What is a tax? Do you have to pay taxes? On what kinds of things do you pay tax?
  4. On what kinds of things do you think the government should spend its money?
  5. Do you think everyone should pay the same amount of taxes? Should wealthier people pay more taxes?
After You Watch
  1. Why was it so important for the United States to pay back its foreign loans? Why was it so important to pay back its domestic loans?
  2. What did the Whiskey Rebellion prove about the federal government? Do you think Washington handled the rebellion the right way?
  3. Why was the national capital placed in Washington, D.C.? Would you have put it somewhere else?
  4. Hamilton and Jefferson disagreed about the First Bank of the United States. Why did they disagree? Who do you think was right?
  5. Why was the Second Bank of the United States designed to look the way it did? Can you think of other buildings whose designs tell you about their uses and their goals?
  6. What is a "progressive income tax?" What kinds of things are our taxes used to pay for?

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