Changing the Institution of Tax
Nobody likes to talk about taxes, but we should. What do we do if bias is rampant at the IRS and political targeting is a fact? The simple answer—tear down the institution. Well, what if we could replace it with something substantially better? Remember, the Declaration of Independence states, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.“
Before we get started, let me clarify that this does not suggest or advocate that anyone do something stupid or violent. I want to focus on the “alter” part of this statement. There is a list of reasons why we all need this change, and we should no longer ignore this list. And let us also understand that everyone, including those who work for the IRS, is a victim of the same scheme.
Let us ask ourselves a simple question to get started. Has the IRS become destructive to the Constitution? I would argue that it has. However, this requires some context.
Taxes are an enormous issue in the United States and have existed since the beginning. However, each month we see articles discussing the record revenue the government collects. Moreover, it seems like every election is based in some part on this very issue, and as we have seen recently, we are usually promised “no new taxes” and then smacked with record increases. We saw it with Bush, Clinton, Bush, and even Obama. It is, again, the continuation of policy from one administration to the next. This tells us that the scheme is out of control.
The government tells us that taxes generally fund the federal, state, and local governments. However, this is not entirely true. Imagine what you might do if you discovered that almost all the money you pay in personal income tax went to pay just one bill, the interest on the debt. What if you found out that the IRS is nothing more than a federal collection agency for a privately held banking institution? Perhaps this is not the right time to address these topics. Maybe it is best to stick with the “official” story.
The government would have you believe that it is through these taxes that the government programs are paid. Of course, these programs are often abused. Yet, the debate seems to center around roads, bridges, welfare, social security, the military, and the interest on our excessive debt. However, not all taxes are bad or the same. That is to say, if they are handled correctly and placed for the right reasons. The topic should not be an all-or-nothing debate, and we should understand that there are two sides to this coin.
The dark side of taxes is that they are a gateway into bigger government, so they must be watched and scrutinized at all times. Understand that the more money the government has, the more money it can spend on new government programs. The more government programs there are, the more power the government wields. The more power the government wields, the less power the people have. The less power the people have, the fewer freedoms the people will retain. The fewer freedoms the people retain, the more that tyranny has an opportunity to increase. The more tyranny there is, the closer you get to dictatorship. It is easy to see the progression. It all starts with the all-mighty dollar and what that dollar is being traded for.
Remember, if the government asks for money or takes it, we have the right to reject such a tax. After all, this is still our government. We are still in control. We must be united in what we are demanding instead of fighting amongst ourselves. When we fight amongst ourselves, the only option is for the government to step in and decide for us. Perhaps this is yet another reason they seem to encourage the divide.
Understand that we have high taxes only because the people have allowed it to happen. People continue to ask for services from the Federal Government, and the Federal Government continues to provide them. However, they do so by the exchange of power, and they increase your taxes to pay for it. It is not a complex scheme to figure out.
Thomas Jefferson once said, “A departure from principle becomes a precedent for a second; that second for a third; and so on.” He is saying that if you give up an inch, expect a mile to be taken. In other words, stick to the principles we know to be true and do not stray. Stay the course, no matter how hard it will get. Of course, this requires people to have a shared vision. That vision was supposed to be the Constitution. It must be convenient that the Constitution is no longer a focus of public education.
Yes, we have to pay taxes, and there are provisions within the Constitution that demonstrate that. We need roads and infrastructure and other public works and programs, but probably not to the extent we have allowed. The list of taxes we are faced with is simply out of control. And this list grows by the day.
Let us begin with the big one; Income tax. What started as a voluntary tax to help the war effort eventually became one of the most controversial and non-contested laws in the history of the United States. In 1913, the 16th amendment to the Constitution made the income tax an everlasting fixture in the U.S. tax system. The amendment gave Congress legal power to tax income and resulted in a revenue law that taxed the incomes of both individuals and corporations.
However, most people are unaware that not even 20 years earlier, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the income tax was unconstitutional because it was not apportioned among the states in compliance with the Constitution. The question then becomes, “Can a law declared unconstitutional in 1895 become constitutional in 1913 and beyond?” Talk to some former IRS special agents and find out what they say about it.
How could it be unconstitutional? The government cannot take from the people without just compensation. Some might point out that the infrastructure is our just compensation. However, the EPA (at the time of this writing) grades our infrastructure at a “D.” Meanwhile, the government records record revenue. Something is not adding up.
Now, it should be clarified that you must pay your state income tax. However, the Federal system is likely a sham for several reasons, but primarily because it has become a tool that instills fear in the public, which is against the Constitution. Now, if we correct this aspect of the situation, we might have something to talk about.
Let us explore this from a logical and Constitutional perspective. Many people consider the money they earn to be private property. You earned it and used it to purchase property and personal goods. Would that not make the money you earn both personal and private property once you have possession under legal terms? That being said, would the Sixteenth Amendment directly violate the Fifth?
This argument arises because of how the last line of the Fifth Amendment reads: “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” We must understand that the income tax is taken from you. Furthermore, the IRS has the “right” to enforce tax laws through the seizure of property and income, prosecution, and all for a “Federal Reserve,” which is NOT even Federal. One could argue that this, too, violates the Fifth Amendment.
Where is the compensation for taking our money for public use, aside from the programs violating the Constitution? Some might argue that the compensation resides in people receiving assistance from programs funded by taxes, such as those on welfare. However, the problem is that many recipients do not pay taxes in the first place, so what are they getting compensation for? Is it to be assumed that roads are the compensation, which is handled by the state anyway? That does not add up, either. Perhaps that compensation is the military presence in over 130 nations, which also goes against the Founding Fathers’ principles. Surely that is not the debate.
Many people have done a great deal of research on this controversial issue. Some believe that the sixteenth amendment was deceitfully and illegally proclaimed to be ratified in 1913. They say that extensive legal research from state and national archives documented irrefutably that the amendment did not receive approval from the required number of states and that the courts have refused to hear this issue. They also say that they cannot find the laws that state that you must pay the federal tax. I am not a tax scholar, but the argument is compelling.
However, the complexity of that argument seems too complicated for the Three Rule Method. Let us simplify this a bit. Just ask yourself how a law declared unconstitutional in 1895 can be constitutional in 1913 and beyond. Or, read the 16th amendment and ask if it sounds Constitutional to you. “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.“
Let us look at this from another angle. It would be pretty hard to make any citizen file a federal income tax return without surrendering their 5th amendment right not to bear witness against themselves, would it not? Simply put, you can be criminally prosecuted for your return or lack thereof. In other words, if you make a mistake or owe a considerable amount of this “voluntary tax,” will the IRS not attempt to seize your property? Perhaps this reality is also a violation of the 4th amendment.
Income tax takes upward of 35 percent or more on generated income. This number looks to be going up considerably in the near future. Understand that this is just on the money you earn. When you add in every other tax you pay, you begin to see the level of taxation we are under is crushing. Some estimates hint that anywhere from 50 to 80 percent of an American’s income can be taken in taxes by the time it is all added together. We are being nickeled and dimed to death.
Let us examine some of these other taxes for a moment. Here is a sample of some of the taxes you are probably paying.
Federal Income Tax, 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.
Your tax life does not even end after you die. The nail in the proverbial coffin is the almighty “Death Tax.” This excellent piece of legislation takes under 50% of everything you have worked for and already paid taxes on (probably numerous times) because the government feels they have a right to acquire half of the estate. Why would a government have the right to take this from the dead or the potential inheritors? Exactly what entitles them to it? Did they not take enough while this person was alive?
Looking forward, we are faced with more tax hikes. This results from more people asking for help from the Federal Government, redistribution schemes, and crushing debt. One of the latest issues is that of healthcare. The price of healthcare has gone up so much over the last 30 or 40 years that it has become challenging for the average citizen to pay for those services on their own. Ironically, much of this increase is due to government intervention. Another irony is that the nation continues to try to figure out a way to pay for it instead of looking at even one of the many reasons why the prices are getting so high in the first place.
Of course, the list is long but entirely irrelevant to the point of this article. The fact is that tax is always the answer the government has. Social entitlement, if you will. The IRS, known for its brutal and unconstitutional tactics, will ensure that the employed will pay “their fair share.” We should all expect more tyranny.
The Lois Lerner situation helped expose our government’s ever-present and unfortunate situation. That, of course, is the complete disregard, lack of respect, and complacency the government has toward its people. People fear the IRS and what it can do. Since the (possibly illegal) inception of the 16th amendment and for longer than many of us have been alive, the IRS has often been the punch line of many corruption and tyranny jokes at both ends of the political spectrum. There are many real reasons behind this.
Bias, however, comes in many forms, and this was not a shock to many. For instance, the IRS does not bother the poverty-stricken and is often monetarily motivated not to pick on the rich. The middle-class conservative has often been the target of choice because this class often operates small to medium-sized businesses, works often, and complies with government initiatives. The Lois Lerner situation merely spotlighted our social government and how it feels about Constitution-loving Americans (and Capitalists) who (ironically) do not buy into its social agendas.
The point is that this bias was allowed by our powerful government, which currently does not seem to fear the people in any way, shape, or form, let alone respect them. For this bias to be eliminated (since we cannot seem to rid ourselves of tyrannical government), the people must regain the power that was unjustly transferred to the IRS.
So what can we do? Well, we must attempt to get some of that power back. However, we must also understand that it will be a process and will not be corrected overnight. Personally, I am a fan of H.R. 25/S. 18 (the FairTax Act). Not because I believe it to be perfect but because it is the only plan that has been researched and reviewed to any great extent, and it demonstrates a straightforward way of reducing the out-of-control power of the government currently funded by the taxpayer. Yet, for some reason, many are entirely unaware of its existence.
The FairTax results from over 22 million dollars of scholarly research involving economists from Harvard, MIT, Stanford, University of Chicago, Boston University, and other prestigious universities (Huckabee, 2010). More than anything, I support this plan because it eliminates the organization that seems to think it is okay to instill fear in the minds of the citizenry and destroy the lives of those who either cannot or will not comply with its demands. It eliminates the tyranny being projected upon the American people by removing the organization responsible while still fulfilling the monetary needs of the nation. “No income tax, no tax return, and thus no more IRS. The national sales tax would be administered through the states, which are already tooled to collect a sales tax” (Wong, 2006).
The FairTax plan is a comprehensive proposal that replaces all federal income and payroll-based taxes with an integrated approach including a progressive national retail sales tax, a prebate to ensure no American pays federal taxes on spending up to the poverty level, dollar-for-dollar federal revenue replacement, and, through companion legislation, the repeal of the 16th amendment. This nonpartisan legislation (H.R. 25/S 1025) abolishes all federal personal and corporate income taxes, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare, and self-employment taxes and replaces them with one simple, visible, federal retail sales tax— administered primarily by existing state sales tax authorities. The IRS is disbanded and defunded. The FairTax taxes us only on what we choose to spend on new goods or services, not on what we earn. The FairTax is a fair, efficient, transparent, and intelligent solution to the frustration and inequity of our current tax system.
In recent weeks, months, and even years, there have been cries about eliminating federal power and giving that power back to the people of the states, where it (Constitutionally speaking) rightfully belongs. Here is another opportunity. Have doubts? Do some research on it; you may surprise yourself.