Skip to comments.If a Government Can't Tax, Is It Really a Government?
Posted on 08/14/2012 8:02:03 PM PDT by Lorianne
A ground-breaking Colorado case tests a constitutional guarantee. ___ Could Congress invalidate your state's constitution and demand it be rewritten?
The answer -- disconcertingly enough for those who regard the states as "sovereign," as against the federal government -- is almost certainly yes. It won't happen, of course. But last month, a related question emerged that may have more practical importance: Could a federal court do the same thing?
The clause that raises this question is called the Guaranty, or "Republican Form of Government," Clause of Article IV, § 4. It provides that "[t]he United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government . . . ." The clause, usually obscure, is relevant now because of a preliminary district court decision on July 30 in Kerr v. Hickenlooper, a case in which members of Colorado's legislature have gone to court to argue that the state's own constitution is unconstitutional.
The target is Colorado's so-called "Taxpayer's Bill of Rights," enacted by initiative in 1992, which essentially bars both the state and local governments from raising any tax without a prior approval by popular vote. The plaintiffs' complaint in Kerr contends that "[a]n effective legislative branch must have the power to raise and appropriate funds." Removing this power entirely, the argument goes, in essence leaves the state without a functioning legislature. In turn, a state without a legislature cannot have a "republican form of government."
(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...
ALL givernment is Mob Rule by mobsters.. all of them..
The matter is limiting the damage a givernment can do...
Thats WHY we have a Constitution(written down) the ONLY reason..
This is complicated by the fact in America we have three giverments.. federal, state and local givernment..
Each of them have different problems and need to be limited in different ways..
The next person you hear use the word givernment and does not specify or imply which givernment is blowing smoke up your ass.. or is a moron..
And since most americans are civic morons whom do not care about solving real problems anyway.. If YOU DO NOT educate them they will remain morons..
I do what I can...
Who, in their right minds, wants an effective legislature?
Life is much safer when the bastards are tied up in knots and spinning their wheels.
I'll have to take issue with that.
Mobsters have limits even they won't go past, and internal rules of conduct.
Legislatures? Not so much.
Very interesting. Thanks for posting.
It is clear that having the means of financing government is critical and that was why the Constitution was written in the first place.
Blah, blah, blah, this is a serious issue.
Governments should not have the power to tax. Period.
There are other business models than theft that could be explored. Unfortunately, using power to extract money from people seems to be the preferred mode.
I understand why the founders wrote the eligibility requirements so that Hamilton couldn't be elected president. And why Burr shot him.
[ Mobsters have limits even they won’t go past, and internal rules of conduct. ]
Really.. you don’t much about mobs.. which all operate much like muslims..
Islam is mob central.. Mob University...
Muslims DO NOT harm other muslims.. UNLESS....
They are the wrong muslims...
MoMo said.. “If a muslim changes his religion, “KILL HIM”...
Its that way in all mobs.. even democracy..
Which is by the way Mob Rule by mobsters..
NO democracy has ever yet been democratic.. nor can it be..
Democracy is a lie.. that most are brain washed with..
Democrats are “the Mob” that are FOR Mob Rule..
Trying to be Bi-partisan is completely delusional..
Many republicans are quite insane..
No democrat is ever Bi-partisan UNLESS he has already lost whatever it is..
Liiberals never beleive in a limited government unless it is a conservative government. Let the gov tax abortions and watch them go nuts.
[ Blah, blah, blah, this is a serious issue. ]
Whether the givernment can tax or not is a straw-man argument..
The only ones to disagree would be anarchists..
meaning the issue IS NOT A SERIOUS ISSUE..
On the otherhand whether there should even BE A FEDERAL givernment could be a valid issue..
States can solve their problems just like countries do..
With allies and enemies and all that..
States send $100 to Washington get $10 back and $90 is almost totally wasted.. There may be another way..
On that we agree. ;)
I still think there are valid ways of financing governments besides taxation.
You know as little about Hamilton and the constitution as you do about political science it appears.
The Constitution SPECIFICALLY allowed Hamilton to be president and he would have been one of the greatest there is no doubt.
Hamilton arrived in the colonies at the end of 1772. Hence, he was eligible to be president as Article II, Section 1, paragraph 6 says. “No person except a Natural Born Citizen, OR a citizen of the United States at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; (this qualifies Hamilton as it did other Founders; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States. (Hamilton was here for fourteen years.) The Natural Born requirement did not affect the eligiblity of the Founding generation.
When the ignorant criticize one of our greatest Revolutionary heroes, Alexander Hamilton, they are criticizing George Washington who loved the man and supported even after the Jeffersonian scum tried to destroy him. He was the greatest political writer of his generation.
Burr was a typical Democrat crook aligned with the model of corruption - NYC’s Tammaney Hall, the vote stealing sink of thievery. He shot Hamilton because Hamilton had wrecked his political career stopping him from becoming president in 1800 and governor of NY in 1804.
It is particularly gratifying to watch as Jefferson viciously turned on the man who had put him in the White House and proceeded to tyrannically destroy him. Read about the Trial of Aaron Burr if you want to see the real Jefferson.
Hamilton’s death (voluntary from all evidence) also destroyed the secession movement growing in NE which Burr would have brought NY state into had he become governor splitting the union.
Our fore fathers went to war over taxation on stamps, documents, tea - imagine what they would think about the government taking up to 39% of ones income?
The other way was tried and shown to be a disaster. States outside of a Union would have been the puppets and playthings of the great empires in the world at the time of the Founding. The unwillingness of states to provide the funds necessary to fight the War would have defeated the US but for the loans from France and the Netherlands which Hamilton’s genius found a way under the Constitution to repay. But it took the collapse of the government of the Confederation to convince the nation that a new Foundation was necessary.
Return to the concept of Federalism - no direct election of Senators specifically. Allow states to define their electorates.
The Senate was established to be like the House of Lords and Senators were appointed by state legislatures to look out for the interests of the states as states. It was also intended to be primarily concerned with long term National interests hence the longest terms, 6 yrs, of any of our elected officials.
The principle problems with our government stem from too much democracy.
Any belief that state governments could do better is only possible when the actual history of those governments is ignored or not known. It is not known to the mass of Americans.
There is some debate about the eligiblity clause as relates to Hamilton, because of his origin on Nevis.
I do not hold Hamilton in high regard, having read much about him. Maria Reynolds and paying blackmail jumps to mind.
Pulling the funds outta you @$$ won’t do.
It is impossible to fund the modern military without an income tax, in fact. If you want a military that is.
Very superficial argument. Only an Obama judge would allow it to go forwrd.
Colorado’s legislature can tax and appropriate per it’s constitution.
Limits on the rulers are as republican as are those on the mob.
A federal government certainly doesn't need a 17th amendment. Or a 16th.
Why always with the pointing guns at people and demanding cash?
Everybody falls back on taxes because Hammurabi and his strong-men ilk thousands of years ago started it, and nothing else has been tried.
I presume you mean 1781 when Hamilton resigned from Washington’s staff after four continuous years of serving him (longer than any other aide). Washington apologized to Hamilton for the rude behavior which provoked the break. He also stayed on until a replacement could be brought up to speed.
As Washington’s chief aide, Hamilton was essentially his alter ego and wrote most of his correspondence. He did all this although he wanted a line command more than anything and it had been his excellence in commanding the militia regiment he had used his college funds to equip which brought him to Washington’s attention.
One of our greatest patriots, Hamilton threw away a chance to amass a great fortune since even though the greatest lawyer in the nation he spent the majority of his earning power years in low-paying government service. But the Union was his greatest concern not money.
As I showed you there was nothing stopping Hamilton from becoming president constitutionally. And, NO, there is no question or controversy about this. Just read the clause.
Maria was his downfall, no doubt, and the whole affair was orchestrated by the Jeffersonians. Burr was her divorce lawyer and set her on to Hamilton. But he was also the greatest political philosopher the New World ever produced.
He was the fulcrum around which politics turned, at the center of almost every significant event for almost 25 yrs. Jefferson called him “a colossus” and a “host within himself” because of his success at thwarting the Class Warfare the Democrats used to oppose Washington and Adams. Their methods were exactly like that of today’s Democrats: outright lies and dirty tricks.
It's a shame his vision of a leviathan federal government was ever born. I would be happy with the Articles of Confederation.
Toothless federal government would be an improvement right about now.
Taxes are necessary in many cases because of the “free rider” phenomenon. If there were a better and more reliable way of funding government it would have been found in the thousands of years of civilization.
Hammurabi was in no way the first or even close to the first to fund governments by taxation.
Representative government uses taxation, it is one of the defining aspects of sovereignty.
Our Revolution was not fought to stop taxes but because there was no representation of the Colonies in Parliament. Had we been granted Members of Parliament in some fashion there would likely have been no revolt, at least at that time.
Nope, he's just the first thieving bastard to write it down in his code.
I postulate that a better way has never been found because the easy way is to point a gun/spear/whatever at someone and say "gimme" than it is to figure out how to finance a venture while accomodating the 'free rider' phenomenon.
The 'free rider' thing is what is killing America today, btw.
There would be no United States of America but for Hamilton.
You apparently swallow every Jeffersonian lie about him ever uttered. I doubt you have read one serious book about him.
There would have been no USA had the Confederation continued, as it was Congress was virtually defunct without even the ability to pay the legitimate debts the nation had amassed.
Because of the brilliant financial program Hamilton devised our nation’s debt INSTANTLY became the top rated debt in the world. Because he capitalized the word of the nation he was able to create a money supply where there was nothing but chaos and bad paper. Amazing stuff.
He was killed because of his effective opposition to the Democrats. His funeral was the largest that had been held in NYC at that time and the entire nation mourned. Burr, on the other hand, was indicted for murder and run out of the country. He was also NEVER again trusted with any elected office.
Government at the time of Hamilton was TINY. It remained so until the Civil War. War always grows government. Ours grew mainly because of the Civil War, WWI and WWII.
There is no “better way” because government is NOT commerce. It is a different endeavor principally concerned about the protection of rights. Those elements which can be charged on fee for service, often are. You pay for licenses, you pay to visit National Parks, you buy census information and government publications, pay sewer bills, water bills, toll roads, etc.
But such examples are an exception when it comes to government actions.
God help us if this case gets to the Supreme Court, which we now know has three distinct factions: 4 liberals, 4 conservatives, and 1 moron.
Not my cup of tea.
Hamilton obviously had his share of propoganda published as well.
One thing about this discussion though, arguing about fundamentals of government is sorely lacking during election season. I do appreciate the back and forth on fundamental issues.
I'll be glad when there are more of these conversations, and less shrill electioneering.
If you study the history of the ancient Middle East it should be obvious that it was a very violent place with constant warfare.
Initially government was established there by the priest hood which developed the knowledge to control the irrigation system so as to allow successful agriculture. But this success brought raids from the nomadic peoples to the North so it became necessary for the city states of the region to develop military structures. They were not paid for as you claim but through the religious authorities.
The fact that the poor can vote to tax the rich while they pay little is a huge problem but that is the excess democracy I referred to earlier.
Hamilton “scammed” no one. And he was far more than our greatest lawyer. His plan laid the basic framework for a modern capitalist system which is based upon people paying their debts.
Once it became clear that debt would be honored there was no shortage of investment funds which allowed our economy to grow.
He was a great lawyer, a great financier, a great writer (as a boy) for the Independence Movement, a great military man, a great political philosopher who wrote 2/3s of the greatest work since Aristotle, a great explainer of political events through 25 yrs of newspaper articles.
He founded the oldest newspaper in the nation, The New York Post, the first Bank in NY. By far the most interesting man of the Founders generation. It is almost a miracle that he could have done all the things he did, simply unbelievable.
Had we repudiated our debt, as most of his opposition wanted to do, it would have crippled our nation and made it a pariah unable to attract investment funds from abroad or even from here.
[ The principle problems with our government stem from too much democracy. ]
Well yeah since democracy is a lie... a fabrication.. a scam..
Exactly like the Mafias “Protection Scheme”..
They protect you from “THEM”...
You can rail against life too but it won’t do any good.
There are other business models than theft that could be explored. Unfortunately, using power to extract money from people seems to be the preferred mode.
You've raised an interesting point. Believe it or not, "no taxes" was the norm with respect to the King in medieval times. Sure, the norm was violated recurrently, but the King was expected in times of peace to live off the income of the lands he owned.
The trouble with this idea is, the King owned a large chunk of his realm. Thanks to entail, he could not alienate his lands except through granting a fief in exchange for vassalage - i.e., creating a new noble title. In order for this system to work in a Republic, a large part of the land has to be government owned. Sure, a lot of corporations would go for renting the land they use (they'd likely book it as a capitalized lease) but living American people would not like a large chunk of the good land available only through lease from the government. Even though they fork over property taxes now :)
Before I go on, two points of trivia. Mineral and oil royalties, stumpage fees, etc. are left-overs from the old medieval system. Also: the Civil List payments that the U.K. Royals receive are in exchange for Queen Victoria ceding the Sovereign's lands to the U.K. government.
Ayn Rand came up with a neat system for so-called "voluntary taxation." For every contract signed, a percentage of its value (notional value too) would be paid to the government. For example: if the rate is 1%, the up-front payment on a $1 million life insurance policy would be $10,000. For a $1 billion notional-value credit-default-swap contract, the payment would be $10 million.
In exchange, the government would enforce the contract's provisions if trouble erupts. Those who forego the payment would have their contracts treated as if they were illegal contracts, like gambling debts in jurisdictions where gambling is outlawed. The neat part of this system is that it's truly voluntary. Anarchists would have the option of going it alone, even though they'd still be subject to the criminal law. They'd also have to assume the cost and bother of enforcing their "illegal" contracts, so they really wouldn't be free riders.
Under Rand's schema, the government is confined to retaliatory force against those individuals (and foreign nations) that have initiated its use. The government has a legal monopoly in this area, but it also has to guarantee the provision of said force. These two conditions imply that a poor person, who lives hand-to-mouth and doesn't enter into any formal contracts, gets protected for free. Poor people who don't enter into any formal contracts would be the only free riders in such a system.
As for alternate arrangements like arbitration, Rand is silent. Sadly, they may have to be outlawed or restricted for such a system to work. Those options, however, would provide a competitive force that would keep the rate reasonable (or so it's hoped.)
Another, subsidiary, option comes from the government of Canada's policy on free education for officer cadets in Royal Military College. You get a free education (if you get accepted into RMC) in exchange for serving for at least five years. If you don't want the restrictions, you pay the freight. This system could be generalized, but it would stick in the craw of a lot of Americans. "The rich don't pay! [because they pay full cost for their education]"
Another option is to charge for services that are presently free. For example, the data given out by the Securities and Exchange Commission is relied upon by anyone that's anyone in investments. If Bloomberg can charge a monthly fee for professional-level price data, why can't the SEC for its data?
There are other options to make financing the government as voluntary as possible, but the trouble with all of them is that they depend upon government owning a lot of land and/or having a legal monopoly on the provision of certain services. Thus, the system is both market-oriented and quasi-socialistic. For the land example, there would have to be a Constiutional entail on the land owned by government to make sure that a feckless legislature doesn't sell off the patrimony. That would entrench quasi-socialism in land at the Constitutional level.
I am no civics expert but when it comes to taxes it appears that
Colorado is more of a democracy than a republic. I was taught
that the government IS the people in these here United States.
That today both folks on the left and the right see government as
something totally apart from the people is a sure sign of devo-
lution in my opinion. But I surely believe that whether or not
those running the government can impose taxes without the
direct consent of the people there is still governing going on. It
is just that the liberal writers of the Atlantic are not accustomed
to this type of governing. It doesn’t fit their paradigm.
[ You can rail against life too but it wont do any good. ]
I know... farting in the choir is frowned upon but its better out than in..
I’ll make sure to sing upwind of you.
The article title misrepresents the article.
The Colorado Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), placed into the Colorado Constitution some years ago, limits tax increases to inflation and population growth -— so the Colorado Legislature can tax, they just can’t tax as much as the Democrats want to tax.
So the Democrats are asserting in court that if they can’t tax without limit, it is not a Republican Form of Government.
[ So the Democrats are asserting in court that if they cant tax without limit, it is not a Republican Form of Government. ]
America just elected an in your face flaming Marxist as President..
Whom is actively trying to remove AMericas capitalism..
Like any decent honest Marxist would do...
A large part of Colorado agrees with him...
The State of Colorado is pretty much delusional..
Not everybody just most of them..
Talk of Taxes is a straw-man..
Colorado’s colleges are graduating brain washed socialists..
and have been doing it for decades..
ALL democrats in federal state and local givernments are seditious..
They are over throwing this republic and republicans want to reason with them..
Somebody is insane and its NOT THE DEMOCRATS..