Skip to comments.The Case Against the Income Tax
Posted on 05/26/2007 12:21:03 PM PDT by The_Eaglet
Could America exist without an income tax? The idea seems radical, yet in truth America did just fine without a federal income tax for the first 126 years of its history. Prior to 1913, the government operated with revenues raised through tariffs, excise taxes, and property taxes, without ever touching a worker's paycheck. In the late 1800s, when Congress first attempted to impose an income tax, the notion of taxing a citizen's hard work was considered radical! Public outcry ensued; more importantly, the Supreme Court ruled the income tax unconstitutional. Only with passage of the 16th Amendment did Congress gain the ability to tax the productive endeavors of its citizens.
Yet don't we need an income tax to fund the important functions of the federal government? You may be surprised to know that the income tax accounts for only approximately one-third of federal revenue. Only 10 years ago, the federal budget was roughly one-third less than it is today. Surely we could find ways to cut spending back to 1990 levels, especially when the Treasury has single year tax surpluses for the past several years. So perhaps the idea of an America without an income tax is not so radical after all.
The harmful effects of the income tax are obvious. First and foremost, it has enabled government to expand far beyond its proper constitutional limits, regulating virtually every aspect of our lives. It has given government a claim on our lives and work, destroying our privacy in the process. It takes billions of dollars out of the legitimate private economy, with most Americans giving more than a third of everything they make to the federal government. This economic drain destroys jobs and penalizes productive behavior. The ridiculous complexity of the tax laws makes compliance a nightmare for both individuals and businesses. All things considered, our Founders would be dismayed by the income tax mess and the tragic loss of liberty which results.
America without an income tax would be far more prosperous and far more free, but we must be prepared to fight to regain the liberty we have lost incrementally over the past century. I recently introduced "The Liberty Amendment," legislation which would repeal the 16th Amendment and effectively abolish the income tax. I truly believe that real tax reform, reform that so many frustrated Americans desperately want, requires bold legislation that challenges the Washington mind set. Congress talks about reform, but the current tax debate really involves nothing of substance. Both parties are content to continue tinkering with the edges of the tax code to please various special interests. The Liberty Amendment is an attempt to eliminate the system altogether, forcing Congress to find a simple and fair way to collect limited federal revenues. Most of all, the Liberty Amendment is an initiative aimed at reducing the size and scope of the federal government.
Is it impossible to end the income tax? I don't believe so. In fact, I believe a serious groundswell movement of disaffected taxpayers is growing in this country. Millions of Americans are fed up with the current tax system, and they will bring pressure on Congress. Some sidestep Congress completely, bringing legal challenges questioning the validity of the tax code and the 16th Amendment itself. Ultimately, the Liberty Amendment could serve as a flashpoint for these millions of voices.
How can you think the FairTax is complicated?
Seems to me he’s describing an nrst - and said it “may be too simple”. LOL.
Eliminating income tax code and replacing the revenue by adding to consumer prices. Too simple indeed.
Seems someone's been feeding you something unpleasant.
#5 "It is impossible to file a tax return without being a witness against yourself." So? As a federal citizen, you don't have the right not to incriminate yourself. That is for State Citizens who are not federal citizens.
#6 "I'm no big Ron Paul fan but I'm with him on this. Repeal the 16th A NOW!" See response to post #11a, and #11b.
#10 "I do agree that the 16th should be abolished." I don't. It would be better for every federal citizen to renounce his federal citizenship and become State Citizens, en masse. The only remaining federal citizens should be the ones living in DC as they have no State to which to retreat.
#11a "The 16th Amendment wrote a piece of Communism into the Constitution." No, it didn't. I used to think so too. The federal government has always been an absolute legislative democracy and it has always had the power to tax federal citizens' incomes. The 16th Amendment simply codified that it was ok to tax federal citizens' incomes, it had always been ok even when it was uncodified prior to the 16th. The 16th did nothing but write down what congress already had the right to do. This is why tax protestor schemes always fail and people go to jail. No one is ever out from under their federal citizenship. Yet there is no law that says you have to be a federal citizen.
#11b The economy would benefit greatly by repealing the 16th Amendment." No, it wouldn't. Since the enactment of the 16th did not grant the preexisting (since the granting of exclusive legislative jurisdiction) right of the federal government to tax the incomes of federal citizens, all the act of repealing the 16th would do is to remove it from print, but the right to tax federal citizens' income would not be interrupted. This is why repealing the 16th and going no farther would be as striking at the branches, but not the root. To interrupt congress' power to tax federal citizens' incomes, it would be necessary to pass a new amendment both repealing the 16th AND barring congress from imposing any income tax on federal citizens wherever they reside. While at it, why not have written a so-called "Federal Bill of Rights For federal citizens" that would include such a provision, and the right not to incriminate yourself, the right to keep and bear arms? There is no such thing, you know. And the first ten amendments to the Constitution protect only de-jure State Citizens from abuse by the federal government in DC. Nothing protects federal citizens, they are liable whichever state they reside in or DC. The federal government reaches outside its geographic limits through the use of contract, to ensnare people nowhere near DC---into being federal citizens. This is how they disarmed citizens after Katrina in New Orleans without actually breaking any laws. Think of the right of congress to do anything it wants to federal citizens as preexisting...similar to the right to keep and bear arms as preexisting, the Constitution didn't grant the right to the State Citizens, it was preexisting. All the 2nd did was to codify the preexisting right. The 16th codified the preexisting right of Congress to tax the income of federal citizens. But note the 2nd didn't guarantee any RTKBA right for federal citizens, hence the total gun ban in DC and shameless yet lawful moves against the guns of federal citizens everywhere residing in the states. Your law abiding nature has nothing to do with anything. If you consider yourself law abiding then do exactly what Congress tells you to do, and no one will get hurt.
#12a "Which is exactly why well never be relieved of the income tax." You can relieve yourself easily enough by never accepting a federal benefit, no SS no medicaid, no medicare, use Federal Reserve Notes under protest, don't use the post office, use federal express and UPS, try not to have bank accounts, at least not in your name. It is tough to be a State Citizen, those who are find their lives get hard. They have land in allodium, but they can't use it as collateral to get a loan from the bank.
#12b "The purpose is not, nor has it ever been, revenue collection its a mechanism to facilitate control of the population by Government." Social engineering is one thing, sure. Paying the interest on the national debt is another. Another yet is that making it legal tender for debts and taxes helps impute value into the currency.
#14. "Yes, we need that and to also get rid of the 16th Amendment forever." See reply to post #11a, and #11b
Some years ago like in the 1990s, those in the freedom movement latched onto being State Citizens and not federal citizens. Their narrow-minded and cynical purpose was not to pay taxes. Normal people considered them tax cheats. Their movement cooled off but their residue can be found on the net. I am thinking it is time to dust off their research, it may have some use yet. We are learning lots of things are being shoved down our throats at an alarming rate. This is partly the reason for the interest in Ron Paul. I think it is because we have lost touch with the kind of citizens we have to be to exercise our rights. We think not living in DC makes us not federal citizens but we are federal citizens. We think residing in a State makes us State Citizens, but it doesn't, any appearance of state citizenship is symbolic, it has no substance. The feds can PROVE you are a federal citizen with documents that YOU SIGNED. Federal citizens are citizens of an absolute legislative democracy, more like subjects. You have to take it. You either become State Citizens or you find a way to force legislatively the Congress to recognize the God given rights that the several States always have.
I don’t need no stinking federal sales tax.
A lot of tin foil on this thread and perhaps the residual effects of too much adolescent dope smoking many years ago.
It's just a list of some of the Rights all men have, an incomplete listing of things that our government is NOT to interfere with, whether State or Federal government.
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.........
As you read through, you encounter the term United States and the term State and the term several States. Right away I see you are rewriting it so United States means "this country" which means all States and DC. The first appearance of United States could mean that, or it could (and more probably does) mean just those areas where the federal government has jurisdiction: DC, the territories, it may view natural persons in States that were not citizens of those States, i.e. slaves, fair game to claim them as citizens. This would give many people citizenship to something rather than nothing. There were a lot of people like that, without citizenship, and it would make sense to give them citizenship. State Citizens didn't need yet another citizenship...they already had theirs and were happy with it, so it would make no sense to give them federal citizenship. So a given natural person in a territory, is born there or naturalized there, or a slave non-citizen in a State. Now he has federal citizenship. The territory is given Statehood, or he moves to a State, or the slave to another State. He remains a federal citizen. He doesn't lose his federal citizenship simply because he becomes a State Citizen. It's the fed's way of saying that once you are "in" you take your federal citizenship with you wherever you go. It is what allows all the people outside the United States (DC, territories) to be federal citizens as much as those in. Federal citizenship is portable. State Citizenship is not portable. Move from Virginia to Maryland and the laws that protected you or imposed duties in Virginia no longer do, and the laws that protect other Marylanders now do and you acquire Maryland Citizenship according to their rules. Your point, "You can't only be a State citizen," true for those who are or became federal citizens, but those who started out State Citizens and never made a move to become federal citizens, they stayed State Citizens until they died and were never anything else.
"....No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States (DC, Territories); nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor to deny to any person within its (the State's) jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
I notice right away Congress is telling the States keep your hands off of my subjects, federal citizens. What we (Congress) say they (federal citizens) can do such as discharging debts by passing commercial paper (in YOUR State) instead of gold and silver coin (Art 1, Sec. 10, Cl 1) , you can't stop them. It is a law allowing federal citizens to go into States and take actions that the States would deem unlawful, and render States impotent to put a stop to it. It is almost like saying we do things differently, don't ask us to assimilate when we move in.
Not that the State would want to deprive any person of life, liberty, property, without due process to begin with, States had their Constitutions and Bills of Rights too...but this appears to be providing special protection to federal citizens ("persons") in the Article. They wanted to write it THIS way: ";nor shall any State deprive any citizen of the United States of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;" but they didn't have to because they got the same meaning across using the term persons. Oh! No! Don't jail, kill, or confiscate the property of federal citizen alien interlopers in your State if they violate State laws. We can do those things to our own (1933 gold FDR) and will after you have all become federal citizens. But in the mean time you State people will not touch a federal citizen without taking great pains to employ due process (to check and see if Congress legalized what he did that the State thought broke the law).
When you ask Americans to renounce their "federal citizenship" , but keep their State citizenship, are you asking for all the States to secede from the Union or are you asking for some form of rebellion/revolution?
No, not at all. More precisely, renounce their "federal citizenship" in so much as it makes them subjects of an absolute legislative democracy, and in turn enhance their State Citizenship until States start to look like States again, with their own Pledges of Allegiance, that could reserve if they like a piece of allegiance for various and sundry duties and obligations to the U.S. (federal) to defend the Union from foreign attack, etc. You'd see the federal flag removed from State courtrooms, from classrooms, they wouldn't be ubiquitous any more. If one had to appear somewhere in Vermont for example as an officer of the federal government might be visiting and we want to honor him it would fly lower and to the side of the Vermont State flag indicating Vermont's legislature is dominant for that jurisdiction. If this wasn't meant to be, and the United States central government was meant to dominate all along, then why didn't the delegates to the Convention simply make the States subordinate in 1789, vest all their sovereignty in the new government, and rather than restricting Congress jurisdiction to 100 square miles, allow it to stretch from coast to coast? They could keep their legislatures around to govern the way Fairfax county governs itself, and retain their borders and State names for administrative purposes like provinces. And U.S. flags could have been installed everywhere from 1789. You already know why, it was because the federal government was never meant to rule the States. It was designed to be the interface between the several states and the other nations of the world. Instead of England having to deal with Vermont and Virginia separately, they dealt with Washtington. It was to provide for the common defense of all the states, not have citizens of its own. Now federal officers have stormed into people's houses, people who were doing just fine thank you, after Katrina, and confiscated their firearms. Now they are involved with the education of your children. Neither is their role! It is because everyone is now a federal citizen that they do this. Just the opposite of asking all the States to secede from the Union, I want them to stay in and grow strong, and be real States, with real citizens that actually have the Republican form of government they were guaranteed. By having no State Citizens, and all federal citizens living under the rule of Congress, that is not a Republican form of government, it is an absolute legislative Democracy. I am not asking for a rebellion/revolution. What could have been more rebellious to the several States than for the government they created for a specific and limited purpose to pick pocket them of their Citizens? What could be more revolutionary than to turn a Republic into a Democracy? I'm asking for a restoration---I am not anti-government; I am pro-government; pro State government, mine and my neighbors'. I want the federal government to go home back to DC and take its flags with it. I want the federal government to forget about Americans as pseudo-citizens, as subjects that have to buy into social security and all the socialism that it was never asked to impose. Some people are starting to worry about the North American Union. They are worried foreigners will dictate laws to the united States of America. Isn't that what is happening now? Didn't the people of New Orleans get a taste of that with the gun confiscation? To Louisiana, DC and the federal government is a foreign body, as is Arkansas and all the other states. Federalism requires we consider all separate states and DC as foreign to each other although we share common interests and nationhood. What right did federal officers have, a bunch of guys who work for DC to go in there like that? They have every right against federal pseudo-citizens, which is what I think I'll call us from time to time. The Usurpaton didn't happen by conquest. It happened by everyone signing up for and being born into a system without understanding what was involved. By assuming too much, it's fine talk to talk about the Bill of Rights, but others will research too and find that what people got themselves into when they became federal citizens was not anything like the State of Virginia with its Declaration of Rights; DC was not ever a Republic or a Commonwealth from the start. States and Commonwealths are created for the purpose as follows: The Declaration of Independence reads, in part:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,...."
Was DC created that way? No! DC was never meant to be a Commonwealth with citizens, or to secure those rights as the existing States did. As the seat of the federal government it wasn't even meant to have citizens. Had it been The Republic of the District of Columbia; or The Commonwealth of the District of Columbia things might be different, federal citizens would have Rights. But we didn't need another 100 square mile Commonwealth or State where Maryland and Virginia were. And no one needed to be a citizen of the federal government. Whoever thought up this idea of the federal government, a non-Commonwealth, a non-State, having citizens has screwed us bigtime. It was a fraud.
The Supreme Court ruled, in the case of Pollock v. Farmers Loan & Trust Co. (1895) that any income tax would have to be apportioned by the Census and dived evenly by each State (see Article I, Section 9, Clause 4 of the Constitution).
The Supreme Court was saying this is how you tax State Citizens thank you very much.
The 16th Amendment was adopted so as to overrule the Pollock decision and not have the imposition of the income tax be limited in any way.
I am cynical enough to believe this amendment was trickery, Congress passed it, and the only effect it had was to reiterate their unwritten right to tax federal citizens income without limit. They knew this. And the Supreme court thought it was protecting State Citizens by saying that the 16th Amendment granted Congress no new power to tax; the 16th Amendment simply reclassified an income tax on tangible property as an indirect tax. But they weren't and they couldn't protect federal citizens. It was all part of an enormously messy string of cases when the progressives were trying to enact their agenda, and the conservative courts attempted to stop them. But now we are stuck with it and without the context of debates and trials surrounding it, it is interpreted in the most simplistic way, just as you wrote above. That is what everyone goes with. Here is a link to an article I haven't read (but will, it looks interesting. Ironically the title is "Repealing the 16th Amendment wouldn't kill the income tax."); I lifted from it what I put in bold above to make my own point. The trickery comes in where the Congress knew all along that all it would have to do over time is get people to neglect their State Citizenship status (though they go on believing in a version of it), and lure them to federal pseudo-citizenship where they can close the trap, tax incomes according to their right, and have the people believe everything is normal. Remember the same people who brought you the 16th Amendment were the same type of people who conjured up the idea of federal citizenship and passed the 14th. They were all "progressives" regardless of the label in fashion at the time. They all knew what they were doing: trying to enact a coup by legislation without getting caught. They succeeded. Sun-Tsu would have been proud!!! They actually got people to be citizens of a city-state that was never meant to take care of individual people, and they did it by allowing people to start out believing they could be citizens of both at the same time. The lapsing of the State part of this double citizenship was just a matter of letting time wear away at the idea.
Any repeal amendment would certainly include a provision stating that no other provisions of the Constitution could be interpreted to allow for a federal income tax. That's what we mean when we call for the repeal of the 16th Amendment.
Well ok, as I've written elsewhere, and mark my words, this will come out some number of years from now by others' research, the federal government was not created as a Commonwealth nor a State (the stars in the blue field of the flag), and has none of the usual protections for governments meant to have citizens, and has no business having citizens of any sort. You can repeal the 16th all day long and put other verbage in and still the status of federal citizen, or U.S. citizen is 100% the wrong kind of government to be part of. It was meant only to be the intermediary between sovereign entities, the states, foreign nations, like the blue field of the flag, between the commonwealths and between the states. Only the States were meant to house citizens, that is what they were created for. All potentially State Citizens by not being such are exposed, out in the open where they don't belong and are not safe; standing in the blue (federal pseudocitizen) when they should be inside one of the silver stars (states), if you will allow me the metaphor. From inside the State, Citizens can control the things that are bothering them today. As people remain federal citizens (out in the blue) Congress has no one to be accountable to.
Those were great questions. Thanks very much for taking the time to read my post and ask them. I've proofread as best as I could, the post was way too long, sorry for any errors.
George Mason insisted the federal Constitution have a Bill of Rights. He left frustrated because he wasn't persuading the other delegates. James Madison came around and he saw to it the Bill of Rights passed. It was so important because not having it codified would lead to abuses. It was necessary to have it put to "black letter" so as to eliminate any confusion as to what activities it limited. By and large, Congress has honored it. Congress hasn't broken the law of the Constitution. We still have a Republic. It's just that no one belongs to it anymore. It is like an abandoned house, still there, falling in. The occupants have long since left, for the Democracy set up by the federal government in 1789, in that little 110 square mile area, but we partake of it wherever we are.
Also a popular belief is that the Bill of Rights is a list of Rights. It is not, you can verify this. It is a list of restrictions against the federal government, specifically how the federal government cannot act against the States, and State citizens. There were at that time no other entities to protect from the federal government. No one contemplated the federal government having a large number of citizens until about the time of 1866 when Amendment XIV (14) was proposed, so protection was not extended to such a person as a federal citizen. DC was not originally meant to house any residents so even that was not to be a source of federal citizens. This is what is insidious about it. Once Congress got busy, they allowed residents into DC, created start-up citizenship for them, and had ideas that led to the entire population of the country being federal citizens under their jurisdiction. Federal citizens overran the country back then the way illegal aliens are overrunning the country today. Except we didn't see it as a bad thing. That is how the Republic was lost and we started looking more like a Socialist Democracy, regardless of what the Constitution says about this being a Republic.
Ben Franklin: A Republic, Madam, If you can keep it. We lost it, by all being federal citizens. Franklin probably expected everyone would go on being a State Citizen. He probably never anticipated what Congress would do after they got busy. Or, maybe he's looking down on us laughing because he knew there was a chink in the armor: The district. It may be he knew the game was rigged when he said "if you can keep it," as if saying "good luck" to a guy you know is going to lose and never know what hit him, and he was toying with her. Now watch someone go to snopes and find he never said this. I'd hate to think this was a conspiratorial purpose behind the Constitution from the beginning, to subvert the good start the States had under the Aritcles; to design as wonderful a Plan of Government as the Constitution is, only to leave a little seed, that when the time is right, would grow, and overwhelm the Republic leaving a Democracy (which the founders are on record as hating, but some must have wanted) in its place.
You are correct, federal citizens have inalienable rights. But exactly what George Mason and later James Madison were afraid might happen to States and State Citizens if they failed to ratify the first ten amendments (the BOR), HAS Happened to the body of federal citizens because they (we!) don't have a Bill of Rights for Federal Citizens that restricts Congress' legislative possibilities against us! And the proof of this is, one example among many but one of the latest most prominent ones, Katrina and the gun confiscation, totally legal, though outrageous, not moral, and not in keeping with unalienable rights. And there will be more. Many more. Much worse. And it will all be legal because it is not State Citizens they are acting against but us federal citizens who assumed we have more standing as State Citizens than we do. If the founders had really intended for the Republican form of government to be perpetual like the Union, they should have given a great deal more thought as to what the Congress would be doing in that area that they were given, and placed additional restrictions on them. Not having done so, it was like giving loaded guns to a group of children.
For that I sincerely apologize. If you had opened up on me, I would have deserved it.
I hope you have a wonderful holiday.
You got that correct. Thanks for saying it. What has confused these simple minds is all products or services have paid taxes , fees, permits, etc. to manufacture any product. All these products or services are pass along, in the price of this product or service, to the consumer. All taxes are paid by the consumer, all! We already have a form of FairTax in place without adding a cumbersome new bureaucratic system. My thought is to rework the existing "hidden" tax system and see if increasing them could result in no income and no IRS. Is it too much to ask for thinking if this would work?
No problem! Have a nice holiday yourself.
In light of your comments describing a (your) proposed way to collect taxes that would be ideal and "maybe too simple" that is precisely the model of the nrst, it would appear that someone has told you things about the nrst that make you think that your proposed way to collect taxes is substantially different than the nrst... but your proposal is in fact nearly identical to the nrst.
Can you explain? Thanks.
A big AMEN!
We already have a form of VAT in place
Adding tax costs at every stage of production is the same result as the dreaded VAT. The flat income is in fact defined as a VAT - a "subtraction method VAT" to be precise.
My thought is to rework the existing "hidden" tax system and see if increasing them could result in no income and no IRS.
That is the nrst man. But the nrst makes those hidden taxes you speak of visible. That's the only difference I see.
I see no difference in visible or invisible. This is where the theory of competition must be the governing factor on prices. Trying to control prices by complaining by seeing the visible tax will get us nowhere. Those that would purchase used goods will not see this visible tax. Government overspending is the problem. I would rather go in to purchase something and the price posted is the price I want to pay without adding the tax. If competition does not work, then we are all going to hell in a basket. Incidentally, the FairTax is also based on competition to reduce prices.
This nation survived on no income taxes before. Believe, even in spite of the welfare state we have created, it can do it again without another type of tax called the FairTax. Dumping the income tax just removes another government meddling in our lives with a tax system they can't even understand much less than us.
We’re all engaged in a huge “what if” session here: What if we get rid of the income tax or what if we get a NRST or what if we convert to some other form of “fair” tax?
It ain’t gonna happen folks!
Not only would millions of people suddenly lose their welfare benefits, their school lunches, their new highways, etc., but - and this is even more important - about a zillion IRS employees would be signing up for unemployment insurance that would no longer exist!
So when was the last time the government laid off a bunch of employees? When Regan sacked the air traffic controllers. How many of them were there? A few thousand. Increase that number by an order of magnitude and you’ll see part of the problem such a step might cause.
In 1933 and ‘34 our government had to find jobs for a bunch of revenue agents who were orignally hired to combat illegal booze. So they found a new boogy-man for those poor agents to harass and the National Firearms Act of 1934 was born. One shudders to think of what new job several million IRS employees might get. House to house confiscation of guns maybe? With just a little retraining they could learn to implant tiny little electronic chips in the right hands of every citizen and then monitor them too.
No, the only way we’ll ever get rid of the IRS and/or any of its look-alikes is through violent and destructive revolution and I’m not sure the new rulers wouldn’t come up with a similar agency for rebuilding the country.