Should government be allowed to tax everything? Should elected officials have the power and the latitude to tax every transaction, every activity, every non-activity, and every single little thing in our brief little lives?Details
In 1913, the 16th Amendment became part of the Constitution for these United States, allowing the federal government to tax “income.”
Since then, this seemingly harmless change in funding methodology has ballooned into something the drafters of the amendment couldn’t have imagined. Surely they didn’t expect the agency charged with collections to adopt rules and regulations effectively repealing the Fifth Amendment when dealing with it? Certainly they did not plan to create thousands of pages of regulations that no average citizen could be expected to understand, costing tens of billions of dollars in compliance costs every year. They couldn’t have anticipated that the total spending of the U.S. Government would balloon to the point that it now consumes between four and eight times what it did pre-income tax (relative to GDP). Surely they did not expect these things, or maybe they did, but by-God, we got them.
One thing is clear to me after observing federal politics over these last couple of decades…the resignation of a few key officials will not fix what ails the IRS.
Just like Obama is not the only problem in D.C., these IRS officials aren’t the problem with the IRS. The truth be told Obama is ‘only’ expanding on what Bush, Clinton, Bush, and even Reagan did before him. The problem is systemic…just like the IRS problem.
The IRS is merely being the IRS. Even if every tin-pot, dictator-wannabe in the agency gets fired, and an entire new regime is installed tomorrow, the IRS will still be bound by the corrupt rules ignoring and violating the Constitution each and every day.
The rules that the IRS drafts are viewed as ‘constitutional’ because the agency was actually created pursuant to an act of Congress to raise revenue for the treasury during the Civil War, long before the 16th Amendment was even passed. The rules it operates under were simply adopted by the IRS itself, and deemed to be constitutional because the the agency itself is a creation of the Treasury Department! Nonetheless, they pass regulations that contradict the Constitution all the time. Not to mention, anybody who does a little research knows that following the “constitutional path” to pass a law does automatically magically endow an act constitutional.Details
by Walter E. Williams
Individually, Americans do not deserve to be subservient to such a fear-mongering, intimidating and powerful agency as the Internal Revenue Service; but collectively, we do. Let’s look at it.
Since the 1791 ratification of our Constitution, until well into the 1920s, federal spending as a percentage of gross domestic product never exceeded 5 percent, except during war. Today federal spending is 25 percent of our GDP. State and local government spending is about 15 percent of the GDP. That means government spends more than 40 cents of each dollar we earn. If we add government’s regulatory burden, which is simply a disguised form of taxation, the government take is more than 50 percent of what we produce.
In order to squeeze out of us half of what we produce, a government tax collection agency must be ruthless and able to put the fear of God into its citizens. The IRS has mastered that task. Congress has given it powers that would be deemed criminal if used by others. For example, the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment protects Americans against self-incrimination and being forced to bear witness against oneself. That’s precisely what one does when he is compelled to sign his income tax form. However, a Fifth Amendment argument can’t be used as a defense in a court of law. The IRS will counter that you voluntarily provided the information on your tax return.
If you’re in debt to Bank of America, Wells Fargo or any other private creditor, in order for it to garnish your wages as a means of collecting debt, it must first get a court order. By contrast, the IRS can garnish your wages without having to get a court order first. If your employer doesn’t obey the IRS and send it a portion of your wages, he will be held accountable for what you owe. At the minimum, some IRS collection procedures violate one of the basic tenets of the rule of law — namely, the law of the land applies equally to individuals (and other private entities) and the government (and its officials and agents).
Our Founding Fathers feared the emergence of an agency such as the IRS and its potential for abuse.Details
There are a few problems with the internet tax bill that passed in the US Senate this week. First, how can the Senate give “permission” to the states to tax internet sales when it doesn’t own or have a controlling interest in the internet in the first place? I can’t give my friend permission to…Details
There are rallying cries from the American revolutionary period which are still axiomatic in American Society. One was apparently coined by Jonathan Mayhew in a 1750 sermon, “Discourse Concerning Unlimited Submission and Non-resistance to the Higher Powers“. It is, “No taxation without representation.” Similarly, James Otis is often credited with the phrase, “Taxation without representation is tyranny.” It is claimed that Otis used this phrase in his legal argument against the Writs of Assistance.
These phrases are unquestionably correct in a free society, but what is it that makes them true? What are the characteristics of taxation without representation that make it tyrannical — and how do these principles apply to today’s American society?Details
This morning, I was asked by one of our state coordinators about the legal status of the TAC – why are we organized as a for-profit business rather than a 501c3 or c4 non-profit? Here’s the bulk of my response: This is more of a philosophical issue for us than a functional one. Our goal…Details
Yet another piece of the Obamacare monstrosity. Gary North writes: Earlier this year, some staffer in some office on Capitol Hill dutifully inserted a provision into the health insurance bill that will force businesses to file 1099 forms on every transaction with another business for over $600. Buy a $601 used car for your business?…Details
Laurence Vance ASC Panel: Applied Economics. Recorded 14 March 2009 at the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama.
In 1954, Frank Chodorov wrote the classic book of freedom, “The Income Tax: Root of all Evil.” Here’s an excerpt: THE SUBTITLE of this book is “Root of All Evil.” If there is an “evil” there must be a “good”-for the one is the opposite of the other. Hence, we must define “good” in order…Details
Thomas DiLorenzo discusses Taxes in American History at the The Trouble with Taxation Seminar in January 2005.