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Why the Federal Income Tax is Un-American

“A heavy progressive or graduated income tax. “ (On how to destroy capitalism)               -Karl Marx

“The power to tax is the power to destroy.”      -Former Chief Justice John Marshall

US Constitution: Article 1, Section 2: Clause 3: Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers,

16th Amendment US Constitution:. 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.                                             –Ratified the 25th of February, 1913,

In an article in the Wall Street Journal Article I read this week states that Senator Max Baucus of the senate finance committee is asking the Internal Revenue Service to investigate certain tax exempt 501(c) groups had violated the law by engaging in too much “Political Activity”. He of course is focusing only on organizations which support the Republican Party. This action comes on the heels of the recent supreme court decision in January “Citizens United Versus the FEC”.  The court ruling allows businesses including US subsidiaries of foreign corporations to donate money for political causes.

The left has complained that this is allowing foreign donations to influence domestic politics but the Democrats aren’t too worried that nearly 50% of members of their staunch allies the AFL-CIO are international unions with foreign contributors. There is also evidence that the administration is gearing up to use its power against companies that support its critics like Koch Industries. Koch Industries supports the group“ Americans for Progress”(AFI)  which financially assists free market political candidates.  The  white house chief economist raised the issue of Koch’s tax status in a news conference in August. The president also made a veiled reference to funding of API by a“ big Oil company” (Koch) in a speech on August 9th.

I am not just singling out the Obama administration or the current congress for criticism, both parties are guilty of this despicable behavior. Other administrations have been guilty including President Clinton and of course President Nixon who had the IRS conduct tax audits of his critics in the media. Recent abuses was the threat made by some in congress against those who received bank bonuses a year ago to set up a special tax rate of 90% on bankers who refused to return them.  The recent actions of the Obama administration and congress to verbally attack and demonize private industry and individuals that disagree with their policies make us Libertarians and conservatives suspect the motives of this administration.

The founders knew about the abuses of power of a strong centralized government and that is why they prohibited the direct taxation on individuals in the original constitution. The idea of tax withholding on a citizens paycheck would have been abhorrent to them. The idea that the government would be taking away a percentage of the fruits of ones labor before they had a chance to have their pay in their hands would have been an alien concept to them.. Federal taxation was to be equally apportioned to each state based on population under article one section two of the constitution. The 16th amendment introduced under the progressive Republican administration of Theodore Roosevelt and ratified under the progressive Democratic administration Woodrow Wilson changed the relationship of the citizen to the federal government as one from “civil servant to constituent” to one of a master to an indentured servant at worst or to a “parent to child” bestowing an allowance at best.

The fact that the average citizen is subject to the current incomprehensible tax code (USC Title 26 currently runs about 7,500 pages) is inexcusable so is the invasion of privacy and the burden of being compliant as well as the well founded fear of the IRS and all its power.  The power of the IRS to declare you guilty of a tax violation unless you prove your innocence is against every tenant of what our founding fathers stood for. The founders believed how you make your living as well as how much you make through legal means should be between your God &  family and no one else. The current system allows political games to be played by both political parties. Aren’t we all sick of political campaigns that promise individuals and financial interests “goodies” of tax breaks, rebates or special considerations? Any tax system that can be used as a political or personal weapon is immoral. The collection of tax revenue should be used to fund the legitimate operations of the government and not to pursue anyone’s ideological agenda.

The idea that the progressive tax system is fairer to the poor is also a myth. Most wealthy individuals pay a smaller percentage of their disposable income under the current system because they have the time, means and education to avoid taxes via tax breaks and loopholes. The ones that really pay the most are the lower to upper middle classes who are wage earners. The current tax system also destroys the incentive to invest and to save. Corporate taxes (In which the US is now ranked in the top 4 in the industrialized world ) ether  gets passed on to consumers or encourages corporations to move their operations off-shore. Currently the percentage of the Americans electorate who pay income tax is approx 52 percent while 48% pay no income tax and in fact receive tax rebates. This continuing trend will create what some conservatives and libertarians call a “Zero Sum” voter. That is a slight majority who will have the ability to vote for policies and candidates that will grant them ever increasing benefits at the expense of the income tax paying minority. This would be unacceptable to the founders who believed every citizen should have some “skin in the game” and have some responsibility to the republic.

The Federal government should be funded by sales & excise taxes, customs duties and fee’s not on individual or corporate income. We can debate in the case of a national sales tax whether to include or exclude basic necessities such as food, clothing, medical care & primary housing to protect the less fortunate among us . By having some type of sales or consumption tax we can also increase the tax base and can restore our privacy, national wealth, the encouragement of saving and investment.

Its time to REPEAL the 16th Amendment !

Just my opinion D.B.

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