Uncomfortable Truths About Taxation
Let’s talk about taxation for a moment. Many people in this country are distraught, and with good reason. Yet, it seems that only exposure, education, and context separate the vast majority as to why. However, there are some common threads that we should be looking at. Take taxes, for instance.
I hate using the phrase “wake up,” but seriously, when will America do it? I often say, “Our Founders would have done something by now,” which is entirely true, but I think that needs to be explained. So let me provide a little history and then correlate that to today.
At its root, America started as a place where immigrants who wished to move away from highly taxed or corrupt nations or some other form of tyranny could go and thrive. Our left-wing friends refer to this time period as a “tax haven” for criminals! Ironically, this is also one of the most ignorant statements ever uttered. Regardless, that is where the root of our nation grows. If you read the Constitution, you will come across Article I, Section 9, Clause 4. This clearly states that “No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken (UC, 2000).”
You work, and the government takes from you the bread you have earned. Does that sound constitutional to you? Well, it did not sound that way to our Founders either.
“To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, — the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, & the fruits acquired by it.” – Thomas Jefferson
April 8th, 1895, the U.S. Supreme Court decided on Pollock v. Farmers Loan Trust Co. and struck down the federal income tax of 1894 as unconstitutional. In a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the income tax is a direct tax. Chief Justice Melville Fuller, writing for the majority, said the following:
“Ordinarily, all taxes paid primarily by persons who can shift the burden upon someone else, or who are under no legal compulsion to pay them, are considered indirect taxes; but a tax upon property holders in respect of their estates, whether real or personal, or of the income yielded by such estates, and the payment of which cannot be avoided, are direct taxes.“
So what changed? It wasn’t until 1913 that two horrible things happened. The first was the ratification of the 16th Amendment, which stated that no Federal income taxes are required to be apportioned, regardless of whether they are direct taxes (taxes on income from property) or indirect taxes (all other income taxes) – a direct and deliberate contradiction to what was written in the Constitution (Cornell Law, 2009). The second was creating the Federal Reserve Act, which was based on the Aldrich Plan, a National Reserve Association or banking cartel (Morris, 2012). This Act was proposed a few months after the 16th was passed and ratified later that year. Were these two events connected? Were these two events constitutional?
I offer the preceding as merely an example (one of many) to help demonstrate the idea that just because something is a law does not mean it is necessarily constitutional – which is why the Supreme Court had to say that all laws that are repugnant to the Constitution are void. I also provide the preceding to help you better appreciate how easy it is to infringe upon a right when you do not know what those rights are. Furthermore, if you do not know your rights, how can you exercise them or attempt to defend them? If you do not understand, legislation can be passed that further obscures the line between a right, privilege, or unlawful restriction. Factor in the lack of education on these matters, and we are literally living the result.
This has been a long-term struggle. Let me take us back to a time before our little experiment started. At first, there was a constant struggle between the crown and the colonies regarding taxes. You probably already know this, but obviously, the crown wanted more. The colonies wanted to pay less. For the most part, taxation in the colonies consisted of property taxes, poll taxes on men over 18, excise taxes, and forced labor contributions of a few days a month to build roads and assume other “public functions” such as a constable, assessor, or “hog reeve” (“an officer charged with the prevention or appraising of damages by stray swine,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary) (Norquist, 2016). So remember this SMALL list of taxes because I am about to demonstrate how bad things have become.
It was not long before the crown thought it was a good idea to occupy the colonies with over 10,000 British soldiers to enforce British demands, British taxation, British monetary policy, British anti-gun laws, etc. It was the “Police State” of that time. This cost money, though, and the crown thought it was also a great idea to make the colonists pay for this occupation and tyranny via more taxes.
Understand, of course, that I am simplifying a highly complex situation, but the result was that the colonists figured out that this would not cut it, and they sought to correct the injustice. What injustice do I speak of exactly? The government can take what is rightfully yours without permission or good reason to do so.
I am aware of the modern argument; taxes are being taken for the good of the people, right? Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society. The rich and the middle class must give to the poor because… insert sob story here. This seems great until the people learn that the leaders trying to sell you on this are not following their own rhetoric.
I honestly do not want to hear it. We all have our sob stories. Besides, I tend to agree with Jefferson on this because “if we can but prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy (Jefferson, 1802).“
Are you happy? You must understand that Jefferson said this not long after the American colonies paid only those taxes that amounted to a few percentage points of their overall income. And NO, they did NOT have an income tax. Income tax from everyone is a relatively new idea in this country because it is illegal under the Constitution that the founders wrote. In the beginning, taxes in this country amounted to just enough to cover the Navy, some courts, roads, buildings, and a few other things.
It would be best if you also kept in mind what little they did pay was considered exceptionally HIGH for most colonists. Furthermore, they ONLY accepted (voluntarily) higher taxes during times of conflict, to which they expected taxes to return to the lower percentage afterward, which they did.
As clearly addressed before, the government no longer adheres to the Constitution. We are re-occupied by tax collectors wearing a badge. They take your money, prosecute you with it, and then fine you for the favor. They take your guns. They impose taxation without your permission. For crying out loud, the tax burden for most working Americans today starts at about one-third of the gross domestic product. How anyone living paycheck to paycheck can justify, this is simply beyond me.
In 2009, the Senate and House of Representatives allied with a president to ensure that the government could enact just about any tax or spending legislation it wanted. Everyone who swore to defend the Constitution did nothing. The lies spouted about taxing only the rich lasted approximately 16 days before everyone realized that an avalanche of taxation was underway. By then, it was too late.
Then, of course, there is Obamacare, which added numerous new taxes onto the shoulders of the American people, many of which landed directly on the shoulders of the middle class. Do not blame the Democrats, though. Republicans allowed it. Still, millions of conservative Americans found this unacceptable, and Republicans across this nation ran on the promise of repeal – while the liberals accepted it because a Democrat sold it. However, once in office, many Republicans defied the American people and sought to merely replace Obamacare, not actually “repeal” it like they were instructed to. I am not sure why the citizenry accepted this, but the American people can now expect to have the associated taxes around for quite some time. Remember, all of this is paid for, courtesy of your labor.
Sure, we could discuss the “Alternative Minimum Tax” or capital gains tax or dividend tax, but this really only furthers my point. Have we already forgotten about “Taxmageddon“? Many have. And what about the taxes that are on the way? I do not anticipate protests in the street anytime soon because the mainstream media are not covering it. The press has indoctrinated the nation to the point that they have made people feel guilty for even looking at information contrary to the narrative being shoved down their throats.
Still, I want you to understand something. Repeatedly, we see record highs regarding taxation and spending. The Tax Foundation releases its report on our tax status every year, and we see much of the same every year. It should be something most pay attention to, but most do not. I want you to hear, think about, and dwell on what I am about to share with you.
For years, Americans have spent MORE on TAXES than food, clothing, and housing – COMBINED!!!! – (Greenberg, 2017). Does this seem even remotely just? Have you ever examined this before?
FOOD: Ignore for the moment that the food you are consuming is more than likely GMO or laced with chemicals, which the government has approved even though it is probably killing you. Let us also forget for the moment that, as a result, you might need that government-run healthcare system after all because the treatment necessary for the conditions brought on by such foods will be expensive. Just know that high oil prices, government subsidies that pay farmers that do not grow a crop, treaties that limit what can be brought to market, or even inflation have raised the price of food and will continue to do so. Seriously – look up food inflation.
HOUSING: First, let me state that your house is not YOUR house. As soon as you do not pay the property tax, the government is just going to take it from you anyway. You might as well consider it rent. Second, who said that buying a home was a good investment? Unless you can pay for it in cash, it is probably not. The word “mort-gage” is a French phrase that literally means “death pledge” (Kane, 2016). It makes sense. Generally speaking, if you buy a home with a 30-year note and an interest rate of about 3.5%, you’ll spend roughly double the original amount on interest alone, nearly half of the initial amount on property tax, and a third on maintenance. All of this for something the government is going to take away in the end anyway. Regardless, taxes and “values” have risen but could crash anytime, depending on who is manipulating the markets and why.
CLOTHING: Have you ever asked yourself why people do not wear nice clothes these days? We rarely see men wearing suits to go out anymore. Women rarely wear “classy” dresses. Might that have something to do with the fact that few can afford it? We seem to be down to t-shirts and either shorts or yoga pants. Sure, some t-shirts are super expensive, but that’s only because some believe that a screen-printed name across the front adds value… but that is a whole different discussion. The sad part is that clothing prices are rising all the time. This is because as other nations lower their currency’s value, it raises retailers’ costs. This is an economic problem that will not be solved anytime soon. The point is that your clothing costs are pretty high and rising.
So your prices are going through the roof, yet you still pay more taxes than all three combined. Shouldn’t that tell us something is very wrong? Shouldn’t we be a little more inquisitive about it all?
Thomas Jefferson told Edward Carrington that, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground (Jefferson, 1788).” What you need to understand is that this is done via taxation. The government feeds off of your “contributions.” Your contributions pay for the problems you are experiencing, even on a corporate level. Big government and evil corporations only exist if you continue to spend your money with them.
Written in the Declaration of Independence, one of the reasons the Founders provided for the separation was “For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent” (DOI, 1776). This means that the government continues to raise taxes without even asking our permission. They do it because they “need it.” Granted, they sell it to you as you hired a representative, and they agreed to it, but the chances are good that you didn’t authorize that representative to make that decision – did you?
It is actually so much worse, though. As I wrote about in my book: “RELOADED – An American Warning“, it is the Federal Income Tax, along with taxes such as the Federal Unemployment Tax, Workers Compensation Tax, Social Security Tax, Medicare Tax, State Income Tax, State Unemployment Tax, School or educational Taxes, State Sales Taxes, Local Sales Tax, Property Tax, Building Permit Tax, Well Permit Tax, Septic Permit Tax, Utility Taxes, Severance Tax, Corporate Income Tax, Accounts Receivable Tax, Privilege Tax, Inventory Tax, Food License Tax, Fuel permit tax, Inheritance Tax, Interest Expense, Capital Gains Tax, IRS Penalties, IRS Interest Charges, Liquor Tax, Luxury Taxes, Marriage License Tax, Service Charge Taxes, Telephone federal excise tax, Telephone federal universal service fee tax, Telephone federal, state and local surcharge taxes, Telephone minimum usage surcharge tax, Telephone recurring and non-recurring charges tax, Telephone state and local tax, Telephone usage charge tax, Vehicle Sales Tax, Vehicle License Registration Tax, Recreational Vehicle Tax, Trailer registration tax, Road Toll Booth Taxes, Toll Bridge Taxes, Toll Tunnel Taxes, Watercraft registration Tax, Gasoline Tax, Road Usage Taxes, Dog License Tax, Fishing License Tax, Hunting License Tax, Cigarette Tax, and there are several more not to mention the plethora of taxes on the way in relation to the National Health Care debacle or the coming fallout related to COVID (Robertson, 2014).
Now, compare and contrast that to the SMALL list I provided earlier. I know our Founders would have done something by now. I know this because of the repeated messages they left us that warned us of the tyranny that follows such taxation practices. You should be angry. We should all be angry. We do NOT have the government our Founders intended. We do NOT have a government that listens or that follows the rules. Instead, we have a government that believes it has the power. We have a government that targets its citizens when they do not like what is said. We have a government that protects the banking establishments and “moneyed incorporations” that continue to hurt us. Yet as a nation, we voluntarily divide ourselves because we would rather someone on TV tells us what to think and what to believe rather than decide for ourselves.
Thomas Jefferson also told us that “a wise and frugal government… shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government; and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities (Jefferson, 1801).” Let me translate this into modern terms. Good governments will not take what the people have worked for, and this is how we close the circle of our happiness.
Obviously, this is not the case today, and our government could not care less about the direction we are SUPPOSED to be headed in. This is why socialists, Anarcho-Capitalists, and Constitutionalists are so angry. Guess what?!?! We do not have the freedom we are supposed to have, yet we are more apt to believe the lies we are being spoon-fed for some dumb reason. It needs to stop.
It is like an infection, a disease, or a fungus. Look at the result. It is like we are surrounded by sheep with the attention span of goldfish who are somehow content with it all because their TV said it was okay. Still, we can all feel that something is horribly wrong. We need to take a step back, stop listening to the mainstream media for a moment, and really examine it all.
It is relatively simple, friends; the only way we will EVER get our country back at this point is if the informed get active. Active can encompass many things, I know, but at this point, I will take getting angry enough to share an article or a book if that is all you can muster. We must all start somewhere.
So why am I bringing this up? Well, taxes are expected to rise once again in the very near future – for obvious reasons. So, perhaps it’s time to revisit the Fairtax.