How-To Geek


What Caused 7 Million Americans To Disappear In The 1980s?
Small Pox
Tax Reforms
Alien Abductions
Drug Cartel Operations

Answer: Tax Reform

In the spring of 1987, something rather mysterious happened. Over 7 million Americans, all children, simply vanished. Was it mass abductions? Cold war experiments gone wrong? Something even more sinister? Not by any stretch of the imagination.

The case of the vanishing children can be directly attributed to a small but significant tax reform instituted by the Internal Revenue Service. Starting with the 1987 filing, you had to provide a Social Security number for any dependent you claimed on your taxes. As a result of the change, the number of children claimed as dependents between 1986 and 1987 dropped by 7 million–far more than one would expect from the eldest of those dependents becoming adults.

Notable Replies

  1. viggenboy

    Interesting... what does that say about the honesty of US tax returns

  2. doctordeere

    You want to see people "disappear"?

    Work towards eliminating voter registration fraud.
    Eliminate Social Security and Medicare fraud.

    When my mother passed away in 2006 I continued receiving Social Security checks for almost a year. Every month I would call, return checks and explain over and over that she had passed. I have no doubt that most people simply cash the checks and hope that the Social Security folks don't wise up.

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