When a government has the power to tax the people directly, it has the power to take one’s property and give it to another. When a private citizens takes property that belongs to his neighbor, he has commited a crime. When the government takes the property on an individual, they are merely exercising one of the powers granted to them by the Constitution.

The Founding Fathers prohibited Congress from levying a direct unapportioned tax on the people. They understood that if the people were responsible to pay taxes directly to the central government, the people would be subjects of Congress rather than the King.

Many of the Founding Fathers believed that the taxes that were necessary should not be compulsory. They believed that each of the states should pay their fair share if the cost of financing the central government.

They believed that the states should be assessed an amount based upon their population. They also believed that each state should be responsible to collect the money required from the residents of their states in any manner that they deemed to be most appropriate.

The central government should come up with a budget and each state should be responsible to pay its portion of the cost of doing business. In order to pass the budget the approval of legislatures of two-thirds of the states should be required.

The 10th Amendment

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”



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The 10th Amendment

History, meaning, and purpose - the "Foundation of the Constitution."

10th Amendment



Get an overview of the principles, background, and application in history - and today.