Skip to comments.implications of eminent domain ruling (vanity)
Posted on 09/30/2010 2:58:24 PM PDT by sten
this video was recently posted here on FR to be cheered as a victory for the little guy.
i felt the subject deserves its own thread for discussion on implications regarding progressive taxation.
the gist of the case was the government taking private property from one individual and giving it to another. the courts found this to be unconstitutional and ruled in the favor of Randy the mechanic.
the money you earn is also private property.
redistribution of wealth is the mechanism of confiscating that property to be given to others by the government.
how is redistribution of wealth different from eminent domain?
i would contend it's even worse, as the citizen doesnt even get fair market value for the property confiscated by the government
anyone have contacts over there?
Because the Constitution explicitly authorizes income taxation.
Health Care is redistribution scamming at its finest.
I beleive the point of debate is the use of that tax revenue. I dont think the author of this thread objects to paying for central government programs that are designed to benefit the nation as a whole.
However, programs would give money, tax money, to others in the form of credits that get refuneded after their calculated tax has been reduced to zero, constitues a taking from one person to benefit another.
other than the 16th amendment, there is no mention of income taxation. indeed, article 1 section 2 covers how the federal government was to obtain its revenue. it states:
“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers”
implying that the federal government must obtain its revenue from the various state governments directly. this seems like a much simpler task than expecting to collect taxation directly from every individual.
also, note that they specified the amount of taxation from any one state would be equated to the percentage of the overall US population that reside within the state. insuring that the tax load on each individual is roughly equivalent.
what they did not do was to specify the rich states, VA and NY at the time, would be expected to pay more per person since those states held more wealth. everyone was expected to be treated equally under the law.
at no point anywhere in the Constitution did the founders allow for the concept of one persons property to be transferred, or redistributed, to another individual or group of private citizens.
They arise from different common law roots, among other things.
I would have to review the ruling in this case, but eminent domain has been upheld for centuries in US and colonial law where the condemnation has arisen out of a demonstrable public benefit. Since it can easily be proven that taxes are a demonstrable public benefit, even if you managed to have them classified as takings under the Fifth Amendment definition of that term, you would not be able to bar them.
However, under that same term, anyone deprived of property under eminent domain is entitled to due compensation. Since it makes no sense to pay you money for the money the government takes, you could presumably insist that you receive a demonstrably equitable return in services to offset the taxes you've paid. The government would be hard put to prove that they are giving you your money's worth.
Interesting idea, but I'm afraid it's little more than a salon discussion.
Way back in the Hylton case in the 1790s, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the phrase "direct taxes" in the Constitution meant only taxes on real property and on slaves; any other kind of tax was an "excise" or a "duty" and could be imposed by Congress without apportionment. The first income tax, during the Civil War, was upheld by the Supreme Court as a constitutional "excise." Only in 1896 did SCOTUS find an income tax unconstitutional, and even then, the only part of it they found unconstitutional was the tax on income from property; the income tax on wages and salalries was upheld. The 16th Amendment then made all income taxes free of the requirement of apportionment.
i understand taxation for public good, as well as eminent domain usage for same... and i am not disagreeing with either for public use.
it’s the confiscation of property from one private party to be given to other private individuals that i have contention.
i would further ask, what if i no longer consent to willingly hand over my property? would the government be forced to confiscate it? under what law? would that law be evenly enforced to all persons? how would i be compensated for my loss?
if the law singles out specific groups of individuals for confiscation, how is this not discrimination?
interesting. i had not seen those references before. i will need to check them.
i had seen this, which laid out an interesting case for the 16th amendment not being properly ratified.
keeping in mind those ratifying the amendment would directly benefit from it, there was indeed pressure to see it passed. especially in 1909 as SCOTUS had just ruled in 1896.
today, if we wish to fight the oppressive tax structure, we are expected to ask congress for these changes. this is unreasonable as congress has a direct conflict of interest as their power stems from taxation and spending. additionally, if we were to try to go to court, the judge would also have a conflict of interest as he is paid by the same system.
That is the theory argued by Bill Benson in his book "the Law that Never Was." Unfortunately, the courts rejected that argument in a number of cases, including one in which Benson himself was successfully prosecuted for income tax evasion. Check the Wikipedia article on "The Law that Never was."
Excellent point...and one that I was not aware of.
To respond to each of your points:
Transfer of property from one individual to another has been upheld as a legitimate practice under eminent domain, subject to the same requirements as any other taking under that precedent.
Eminent domain, by definition, does not require your consent. It demands only two things: demonstrable public benefit and due compensation. The government may use force to take possession of the property in question, following due process.
No law, just the long-established legal practice of eminent domain.
The principle would be APPLIED equally to all pesons in that they would be subject to its exercise. However, only the property whose appropriation would fill a demonstrable public benefit , and which fell under an immediate need would feel the weight of the practice.
You would be paid a fair market value for the property duly condemned.
It is by nature “discriminatory” but not in the sense you mean. Property seized under eminent domain is limited to that whose seizure demonstrates a public benefit. Other property, which does not meet that requirement, cannot be seized on a whim, i.e., indiscriminately.
agreed. seizure of your personal property under eminent domain would require two things:
1. demonstrable public good
2. just compensation for the property taken
#2 shows the intention of not reducing the persons wealth. indeed, the only impact on the person would be the inconvenience of moving. point being, the practice of eminent domain is to be as just as possible.
a just tax system is one where the government demands only as much as required and in return spends that money for the public good. the just compensation being the improved society within which the tax payer lives.
the problem with redistribution of wealth where taxation on the few is to be given to the politically favored, is there is no demonstrable public good. buying votes is not a public good. there is no improvement on society, so there is no just compensation.
it boils down to simple theft of property at the barrel of a gun.
I think a case can be made for a demonstrable public good deriving from taxation. The question becomes WHO gets taxed, how MUCH, and to WHAT end? A government that can confiscate 10 percent of your income in the name of the collective good can confiscate 11 percent. Or 12. Or 50. The benefits should be clearly demonstrable and the cost reasonable or it becomes exactly what you describe.
This case was tried and won in the Supreme Court of AZ years ago.
And Randy has always done my brakes. I see his beard had grown out quite a bit, though....