Skip to comments.Repeal the 16th Amendment
Posted on 11/23/2002 11:02:34 AM PST by winner45
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Wednesday, November 20, 2002
Repeal the abominable 16th Amendment!
Posted: November 20, 2002
1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Ilana Mercer
"The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration."
What are we to make of the idea Washington is floating of replacing tax on income with a national sales tax? The Cato Institute has described it as "simpler, more efficient, pro-growth and fairer to taxpayers." And I must be missing something because I thought we already paid taxes on products and services. In addition to states where a sales tax already exists, sizeable portions of the prices we pay are taxes. The quandary as to whether an indirect consumption tax is better than taxes on income masks what's probably in the offing.
Once a tax is pushed through it seldom disappears. Last I looked, government at all levels was consuming approximately 47 percent of the national income and growing. A reversal of the trend is almost unheard of among developed nations. To keep the State in style, consumption taxes will have to go through the roof. On the plus side, the consumer can opt out, something he can't do with a tax on income. On the downside, should he "choose" not to purchase, the consumer may starve or be destined to a rather austere life.
In all likelihood, "tax reform" will leave us with the income tax in addition to more consumption taxes. Hopes realistically must be much more modest. Let the idea of a tax reform, for once, engender a discussion about First Principles, the kind Americans of the 19th century had and were capable of having.
However contemptible taxes on consumption are, Frank Chodorov insisted that taxes on income and inheritance were "different in principle from all other taxes." In the seminal work, "The Income Tax: Root of all Evil," he elaborates:
Fundamentally, taxes on income imply a complete denial of private property, which is what socialism is in all its permutations; it rejects man's absolute and natural right to his property and vests property rights in the political establishment. The 16th Amendment did just that. When they incorporated the Amendment into the Constitution, Americans said a resounding "yes" to socialism.
Make no mistake: What's staving off communism is not the Constitution. If it so chooses, Congress has constitutional imprimatur to raise taxes to 100 percent of income, an odd thing considering the Declaration of Independence vests the source of man's rights in the Creator, not in government.
Philosopher Ayn Rand explained the source of man's rights with reference to man's nature. "Rights are conditions of existence required by man's nature for his survival," she wrote in "Atlas Shrugged." Be it the nature of man or divine law, "congressional law" is never the source of man's rights it is merely entrusted with protecting the rights with which man is imbued.
This, the 16th Amendment corrupted.
In order to survive, man must and it is in his nature to transform the resources around him by mixing his labor with them and making them his own. Man's labor and his property are extensions of himself. As Chodorov elucidates, the right of ownership is an extension of the right to life. If ownership is not an absolute right but is instead subject to the vagaries of majority vote, then so is the right to life.
Statists will always counter by claiming that if not for the State, man would be unable to produce. Poppycock! Production predates government predation. Government doesn't produce wealth it only consumes it. What, pray tell, would government have fed off if man were not hard at work well before the advent of the bureaucracy? That's like saying that the tick created the dog! As usual, the statists have it topsy-turvy. First came man he is the basic unit of society, without which there can be no society. And without man's labor there is no wealth for government to siphon.
However you slice it, there is no moral difference between a lone burglar who steals stuff he doesn't own and an "organized society" that does the same. In a just society, the moral strictures that apply to the individual must also apply to the collective. A society founded on natural rights must not finesse theft.
The Founders intended for government to safeguard man's natural rights. The 16th Amendment gave government a limitless lien on a man's property and, by extension, on his life. The Amendment turned government into the almighty source rather than the protector of man's rights and Americans into indentured slaves.
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In North Carolina, we have a special Food Tax added to all food purchases. Most states have Soft Drink taxes, Fuel taxes, sugar taxes, ...
Florida taxes that stuff (I donno about sugar). It's the basic kinds of food -- meat, bread, beans, milk, etc. that don't get taxed. There's certainly a restaurant tax.
Not long ago someone posted the difference between a 100% tax-free society (totally free) with a 100% taxed society (totally enslaved). While a certain level of govt. is necessary for a society to function in a manner befitting a 'freedom' loving populous, I'd much prefer the decision as to how much tax shall be applied be left up to those being taxed, rather than those whose sole purpose is to expend it, as well as the manner in which it is collected.
Besides, slavery was outlawed years ago and tax slavery is no exception.
Ahem. Texas has no state income tax.
Funny you should use the term 'underground economy'. Has a familiar ring to 'underground railroad'. Perhaps both are attempts to escape forms of involuntary servitude.
AMENDMENT XIII Passed by Congress January 31, 1865. Ratified December 6, 1865. Note: A portion of Article IV, section 2, of the Constitution was superseded by the 13th amendment. Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Seems the only parties who might be eligible to pay and income tax might be those that have been 'duly convicted'. At last check, I haven't.
Increase the size of the House to 5,000+ with a new amendment.
Put that part about being a representative Republic back in play.
In you post you disputed whether a new amendment would be needed to authorize a sales tax. I believe that the original poster was referring to the following, this assumes a sales tax is a direct tax, if I buy a house and pay a sales tax I would view that as a direct tax.
..... Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states which may be included within this union, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct. The number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand, but each state shall have at least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the state of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.
I haven't given this enough thought to decide if I agree, but it seem reasonable. The 16th amendment circumvented this passage.
this assumes a sales tax is a direct tax, if I buy a house and pay a sales tax I would view that as a direct tax.
The payer of the indirect tax does not own the property until after the transfer is complete including the payment of tax due.
The test of indirect or direct:
If the tax levied on an owner only, and because of ownership it is direct.
If a tax is levied against the receiver of property on an event or exchange that tranfers value or ownership from one to another through financial or commercial event or activity, the tax is indirect.
The purchaser buying property, any property whether real, personal, or merely a consumption item cannot own a thing until the transaction is complete. Title cannot be perfected and you cannot own until the requirements of law are met, i.e. taxes laid on the sales transaction have been paid.
An indirect tax levies taxes on the activity of commerce and the exchanges that occur. Not the property per-se as in a property tax that can be levied repeatedly on an owner as in annual property(real and personal)taxes of the states(which are indeed direct taxes.)
- 'indirect taxes are levied upon the happening of an event or an exchange.'
- "The Pollock Case construed the tax there levied as direct, because it was imposed upon property simply because of its ownership."
Don't give more taxing power to congress without repealing the 16th.
I wasn't aware that anyone was proposing to tax exports to foreign nations? That is the only prohibition on Congress, regardless of the the 16th amendment.
- "the provisions of the 16th Amendment conferred no new power of taxation, but simply prohibited the previous complete and plenary power of income taxation possessed by Congress from the beginning from being taken out of the category of indirect taxation to which it inherently belonged, and being placed in the category of direct taxation subject to apportionment"
Actually the 16th changed nothing at all except to force the Court to apply the constitution power of Congress to tax under Article I Section 8 properly.
Just repeal the 16th, all that will happen is income from real property(e.g.. rent) and income from personal property, (e.g. stock dividends, bond interest, patent and copyright royalties) woudl not be taxable against the owner of the property without apportionment in accord to the population of the states.
It does not mean the national government cannot levy and collect taxes on rents for example when explicitly collected from the payer of rents(as an indirect tax) instead of being collected from the owner receiving rent(as a direct tax).
The distinction between the direct tax and indirect tax being in regard to who pays the tax, the owner(direct), or the the purchaser(indirect) of service, goods, real or personal property.
THe idea that Sales Taxes are more visible flies in the face of most people's experiences.
Gee, I see it quite differently, I am quite aware of the sales taxes I am forced to pay. As are the folks in any place trying to raise said taxes. The resistence on the part of the public is fierce against sales tax hikes and not take lightly by most local governments.
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THe idea that Sales Taxes are more visible flies in the face of most people's experiences.
70% of the voting public don't mind higher income tax rates and clamor for more from government looking for the top 40% of income earners/producers to foot the bill. You figure the current system is visible in the face of most people's experience? Most folks are very much aware of sales taxes to the degree of even mentioning rate increases brings every one and his brother and dead uncle out to the polls around here. National income taxes, nary a peep except from those in the upper 40% of voters taking the real hit.
A very large proportion of the voters in the United States pay little or no individual income taxes (High personal exemption, standard deduction and EITC) which removes a very large proportion of the electorate from participation in such taxes completely(more than 20% of families). In fact the largest tax they pay and are visible to them are excises & state sales taxes. This is even true of the Armey "Flat" tax which would provide adult $13,600 exemptions right of the top.
Note the distribution of National Taxes by kind and how much is actually hidden from the view of the electorate, or implied to be something other than a tax (e.g. "Social Insurance" FICA).
CBO Estimates of Effective Federal Tax Rates for 1998
(% of gross income '97 dollars)
Families Ranked by Income Quintile
Individual Income Tax
Social Insurance Taxes
Corporate Income Tax
Total Federal Taxes
|Average for all families($62,400)||11.2%||9.3%||3.0%||0.9%||24.4%|
|Source: Congressional Budget Office, May 15, 1997.
Notes: Pre-tax family income is the sum of wages, salaries, self-employment income, rents, taxable and non-taxable interest, dividends, realized capital gains, and all cash transfer payments. Income also includes the employer share of Social Security and federal unemployment insurance payroll taxes, and the corporate income tax. For purposes of ranking by adjusted family income (AFI), income for each family is divided by the poverty threshold for a family of that size. Quintiles contain equal numbers of people. Families with zero or negative income are excluded from the lowest income category but included in the total.
Individual income taxes are distributed directly to families paying those taxes. Payroll taxes are distributed to families paying those taxes directly or indirectly through their employers. Federal excise taxes are distributed to families according to their consumption of the taxed good or service. Corporate income taxes are distributed to families according to their share of capital income.
This distribution of immediate participation in the cost of government does not bode well for the reductions in government where those who derive the most in immediate benefit from government have the least participation in paying the bill.
The Honorable James DeMint (R-SC)
United States House of Representatives
THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 2001
"There has been a shift in the relationship between individuals and government, he argues, such that fewer and fewer are paying taxes at the same time that more and more are receiving increasingly generous benefits. If it becomes the case that most voters do not bear a financial burden for this largess, then there will be little to restrain--and significant political incentives to encourage--the continued growth of government. And at that point, DeMint warns, we have reached a major crisis in our democracy."
Hiding taxes by embedding them in price inflation (e.g. Corporate taxes & employer's portion of FICA), misdirecting the attention of the electorate by calling taxes contributions to retirement, disability & insurance(e.g. FICA), tax credits, and large exemptions and standard deductions removing folks from even the nominal participation of filing, just makes for perpetuation of the same old hide the thimble tax games.
My understanding is the constitution provided for taxes indirectly through the states.
That was true of the Articles of Confederation, but not the Constitution which replaced the Articles, the power to tax the individual as opposed to making requisition from the states being chief among the reasons for drafting the Constitution.
The problem was the Continental Congress had no means to enforce a tax on the states, and therefore the Constitution was written to provide a concurrent authority to lay and collect taxes from the individual.