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Taxing Taxation

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One of my breathless friends sent me a link to a video which purports that the income tax is unconstitutional.

It isn’t my purpose in this post to defend this assertion, nor to refute it. Instead, I would like to present for discussion the idea that to a certain extent, taxes are a necessary evil, and we the taxpayers aren’t doing our jobs if we aren’t closely watching those who levy these taxes.

I’ve posted in the past that I am in favor of taxes being levied only for specific purposes, such as taxing fuel for use in funding the maintenance and construction of transportation projects and nothing else. Such a process would not require that one become a de facto member of the government in order to keep track of the collection of such funds and their disbursement, as the oversight should be relatively simple, even for the average voter.

Allow me to shift track for a moment. It is an economic fact that all goods and services require payment. You would feel sorely abused if your boss expected you to work for no pay, for example. (S)he would feel sorely abused if you expected to be paid for no work.

It is no different when the purveyor of certain goods and services is the government.

Imagine the chaos that would ensue if the country were to adopt a position I once read on a Libertarian web site. Said position stood completely against public ownership of any property, advocating instead that those who lived adjacent to any such property would be the owner. Let’s look at roads in this context as long as I have already brought them up.

Most of us live on one side of our local streets or roads, and often we have neighbors living across said paved pathway, and also along it on either side of us. If I were to leave my property, I would be obliged to pay a toll to every “owner” whose “property” I crossed anytime I went anywhere. The toughest would extort, I mean, ask for the highest tolls, while others would have to rely upon a sense of justice and fairness in the traveler to compel payment.

But in what form would the payment be? Without the service of the government in regulating the value of specie, one would have to pay in some form of good or service. Transporting goods would itself require some form of toll being paid, and providing services in trade for passage would mean that one wouldn’t be able to travel very far. One couldn’t afford it, whether in goods or labor time.

I hope you can see that a proposal such as this would cause far more trouble than it solves. It is much easier and efficient to allow the avenues of transportation to be held in common, with all of us paying for their construction and hiring dedicated workers (whether governmental or private matters not) for its upkeep to be paid for via taxes.

It is no different in the areas of public safety and national defense. Would you rather have police, fire, and military under the control of the people (assuming this wasn’t our current era under Bush the Usurper) and paid for through taxation, or would you be willing instead to have to pay Blackwater Security a much higher monthly fee? Either way, you are paying for security. The only difference is how much.

Let’s also look at public health. Was it such a hot idea to gut the funding of the agencies that monitored irrigation water so that they couldn’t prevent the recent e coli breakout? A small fee paid by all for such monitoring would have saved the spinach and lettuce growers from a never-ending bankruptcy which will force them out of business.

So it comes down to this. You are a shareholder in the United States of America. Your job is to conduct oversight of your elected representatives. They are your employees. Act like their boss for once.

If the government of your elected representatives is providing goods and services of which you do not approve, then you aren’t doing your job as a voter. If you are letting your political party to decide for you what is appropriate and just, you are not doing your job as a voter.

Not sure what to look for? You might begin by reading Washington’s 1796 Farewell Address – especially the parts concerning “factions”. You might find them sounding very familiar in spite of their quaint and archaic language, for they concern the very political parties which have long forgotten that they work for us, and not the other way around.

It’s your country. Do you care enough to do your duty to your country and your fellow citizens? If not, then you will pay as much as your government chooses to levy upon you, and you can quitcherbitchin.

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About pessimist

  • http://www.diablog.us Davd Nalle

    I also find the idea of ‘fee for service’ government very attractive. I think it would be a much better way to handle federal finances and it would inherently work to limit pork – especially if each tax had to be voted on as a separate bill, making voter accountability a much bigger element of the process.

    There’s also something to be said for the system we had before the passage of the 16th Amendment – which your anti-tax friend seems to have forgotten about. Prior to that amendment the only way to have federal taxation aside from specific fees was to divide the tax up proportionally and send a bill to each state for their share. This kept federal budgets very low and gave the state governments a certain amount of leverage against out of control spending.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    Fee for use? How so? I mean, what kinds of fees for what kinds of use? We already pay fees for use when we get our licenses & tags renewed, get permits for building or altering a house or buying property, go into business, or even when the local fire dept. has a fund-raising spaghetti dinner. What else did you have in mind? Please elucidate.

    I would be happy if the damned politicians were just forbidden to put their sticky fingers in funds that ought to be sacrosanct, like social security.

  • http://jetfireone.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Indeed!

  • ifreemantoo

    The question you answered is not asked. Whether a discussion is needed about necessary evils should only be considered after answering the following.

    Is it lawful to tax as the code or statute is written? If the code and statute are good, are they administered as designed? If not then what makes me subject to law (law meaning code\statute) that is either not lawful in design or appears lawful in design but is administered unlawfully?

    That answer confirmed the self-evident logical conclusion in Yick Wo v Hopkins a US Supreme Court case where it reads “…not subject to law… For the very idea that one man may be compelled to hold his life, or the means of living, or any material right essential to the enjoyment of life, at the mere will of another, seems to be intolerable in any country where freedom prevails, as being the essence of slavery itself.”

    Whether a tax or law is Constitutional today is not really the question. I say this because of two things. 1) Few, less than 99%, understand basic rights or freedom. 2) The Constitution is only a document that confirms rights of freedom organized for the free to prosper and live together; done so for their individual good will and pleasure.

    It is the people that granted/created the Constitution and subsequent government as owners and not a Constitution or law/code/statute that grants or gives anything to the Creators of the Constitution and subsequent law. Once again confirmed by Yick Wo where it calls the people “author and source of law”. Phrased in such a way to clarify that ownership of this government by its Creators/people is the same yesterday and today. In a very real sense it means that people born in our time today signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and its Bill of Rights.

    Logically confirmed and agreed by the word “Self-evident” in the Declaration of Independence our rights are self-evident rights. These rights are not limited to just “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Likewise confirmed in the 9th Amendment where it agrees that only some of the most basic self-evident rights are listed; but not all right of freedom are listed. These right thought not numbered though are still retained by the people. Though a child does not know or understand at a time that his eyes are brown, it does not make them less brown or another color.

    If it is a “necessary evil” to steal or legally plunder the people for money, do you think then someday your life may be legally plundered as well or perhaps your children later?

    There was a system agreed to and put in place that would limit the mischief of some people and the compliant sheeple to steal from the rest. That system would allow for about 2% that would run the FED and 20% that would run the military. It would not allow for the remaining or almost 74% stolen today that goes to social programs. If there was a lawful debt to pay down, there would be more than the less than 1% we presently pay now on just the interest of created dollars to pay any debt off.

    By the way those figures are representative of the year 2000 as found in the back of a 1040 instruction booklet.

    If something created does not perform as designed then it is time to abolish the creature (“not subject to law”). This logical outcome is confirmed in the Declaration of Independence. Once again my Constitution and government are created to protect my individual liberty and promote domestic tranquility. If legislatures, presidents and supreme courts permit mischief and stealing it is time to abolish that form of government when the hope of correction is not possible.

    “A government that commits crime and denies it is not your friend.” Judge Andrew Napolitano in his book Constitutional Chaos.