Nicholas James Pell writes:
Prohibition would have been unthinkable before the 16th Amendment’s progressive income tax, which had been the first new Amendment in over 40 years. Previously, the federal government was largely funded through the liquor excise tax. Banning alcohol at the national level was a logical absurdity. Progressives required an alternative revenue source and they found it in the hard work of Americans. At its root, the income tax is little more than a tax on labor.