Income tax insanity

In the article answering the question “do the rich pay very little tax?”, near the end Cecil makes it clear that he thinks this country absolutely needs an income tax.

Bah, I say. This country did just fine for nearly two centuries without an income tax (except for a temporary one to help fund the civil war). There are other sources of revenue for the federal government provided in the constitution that have nothing to do with stealing a healthy chunk of my income. And the constitution says that if it doesn’t expressly say that the federal government can do a thing, then it IS ILLEGAL for it to do that thing.

One of the motivations for NOT allowing the federal government to tax incomes is that more money means bigger government. GW, TJ, BF, and the other founders of this country knew that a big federal government was the last thing this country needed, so they limited the federal government’s access to money (the energy that fuels government growth).

Now the Federal government has turned into a juggernaut at which the founders would cringe. I tell you this; the federal government (and the military) would do just fine without the income tax. They would both be forced to shrink back down to doing what they were meant to do: protect our borders, resolve interstate disputes, and manage international commerce. That’s IT. All other actions by the federal government are ILLEGAL according to the constitution (the original one, not the one that’s been amended to death). It is NOT supposed to spend billions on being the world’s super-cop, and it is not supposed to steal from the producers and give to the parasites.

I don’t care if you or anyone else thinks that someone making $75K is “rich”. I assure you that figure puts a family of 4.3 firmly in the “middle class” category. But that is irrelivant. It is still ethically and morally wrong for the government to steal any portion of my income at gun point regardless of how much money I make (try not paying your taxes; you will eventually stare down the barrel of a gun held by a government agent if you don’t give in to more subtle pressure).

Stop the theft; vote Libertarian!

Good first post. I couldn’t agree more.

I couldn’t disagree more. But if you want to debate this subject you should take it to Great Debates.

Welcome to the Boards, Lynwood Hines. I hope you will not feel too oppressed if I point out that it is customary around here to provide a link to Cecil’s column when commenting upon it: Do the rich pay very little tax? Wouldn’t a flat tax be fairer?

Congress should have passed H.R. 2001 already, abolishing the IRS and the income tax altogether. Fact is, the tax code is over 12,000 pages, no one can begin to claim understanding it, and ten taxpayers and ten CPA’s and ten IRS agents doing the same tax return can get 30 different answers as to the correct tax to pay. (The test has been replicated many times.) The system is broken beyond repair and simply needs to be scrapped in favor of a simple sales tax. Much more constitutionally sound too.

Over 5 billion person-hours wasted on filling out and computing tax forms would be reclaimed, and there are measures in place to make sure those with very low incomes pay almost no fed. sales tax. Many analysts report that this would raise far more money than is raised in the current scam, where black-coated government agents numbering five times the FBI get to dig into your private papers and see how much you made and how much you spent on every item in your personal life, and try to trip up the little guy to squeeze more money out of him. The rich would pay their huge federal sales taxes every time they bought their yachts, furs, jewels and cars. No more under-the-table loopholes, black-marketeers and other fringe elements paying zilch while the honest hard-working middle-class guy gets hosed with a big tax burden. Everybody pays their fair share–when they SPEND the money. Not when they make it. Want to pay less tax? Save money instead of spending it. What a novel concept. Want to upgrade your lifestyle? Stimulate that economy. Either way, we all win. Gone would be the extra 15% we all pay in higher prices to cover the corporate income tax. American-made goods could compete on the world market again, and the US would prosper. Ten percent sales tax or so ought to do it, and the government can jolly well learn to do what we all do–get creative and budget better, waste less and trim down.

Don’t let your government or your “Perfect Master” or any other mojo guru fool you into thinking you really need to have a fourth of all your income confiscated from you in order to feed your government. (Like working from January through March just to run the machine.) The question about if the graduated tax scheme is so fair, why aren’t the rich forced to pay more for fans and bus tickets and everything else, has yet to be logically addressed. The answer is it would be unfair. Just like the graduated income tax.

H.R.2001 would be difficult to pass, since it would make tax breaks for special interest groups very hard to provide. Also, being forced to pay federal tax at the cash register with every purchase would remind the people every day about the ROI they’re getting on their cost of government. Let’s do it one day a year instead, tell them they’re getting a “refund” of their own money, and we’re good to go for another year…they’ll never know the difference.

Imagine actually GETTING all the money in your paycheck.

Now there’s tax reform.

>All other actions by the federal government are ILLEGAL according to the constitution (the original one, not the one that’s been amended to death).

But as the original constitution explicitly provided for its own amendment, those amendments ARE legal and therefore these other actions you refer to, allowed by amendments, are in themselves legal.

This is not really about Cecil’s old column, it’s a debate on taxes, and as such is being moved to a more appropriate forum. Where it’s been discussed ad nauseam.


Considering that an income is explicitly allowed in the Constitution, I’m pretty certain that the income tax is about as constitutionally sound as it gets.


Um… so how are you going to pay for stuff without as much money taken in? What will you cut?

Do you have any evidence that this is so or are you just hoping that a gratutious reference to Dead White Guys will somehow lend authority to your post?

For your information Washington and Franklin were “Federalists”. You know, the ones that were fighting for a big powerful new central government? It was their opponents, known as “Antifederalists”, that were trying to reserve to the states most of the power, including explicitly the power of taxation. Jefferson was in France in 1787. He had nothing to do with framing the Constitution ( though his influence did help secure our Bill of Rights ).

I think the question could be more accurately phrased as “What can they keep?” Or, if the government lost a huge percentage of its income, then stupid unnecessary services would decline.

Of course, most likely roads, health care, and emergency services would starve while said unnecessary services milked what was left for all they could, and eventually people would move to a crime economy and things would be severely bad for everyone but the uber-rich, who would probably eventually be robbed and beaten by starving poor people, but hey, trees and blood.

OK, so we roll back the federal income tax. If we stay within the confines of the “original” constitution, what taxes do we increase to make up the shortfall? For that matter what government services do you realistically suggest we do away just to avoid a massive screwup in the balance sheets? How much are you personally willing to fund now that government no longer does it? How much can you do without?

I see an overwhelming reording of this society, extensive upheaval and considerable chaos until, or more accurately, if, we ever get to your utopian ideal.

If you want to debate the utopian ideal, sure fine. But you cannot unring this massive bell now that it’s rung. The reality is, for better or worse, such legislation to abolish a federal income tax will never pass Congress in our lifetimes, let along those of our grandchildren.

If you’re middle class, wouldn’t you benefit more from a progressive tax like income tax than from other taxes? :confused:

Don’t be so sure. Easily portable luxury goods, such as yachts, are simply vought elsewhere and moved across borders whole, not for resale, and thus avoid tax. America’s yacht industry got stabbed in the guts with a high tax on yachts a while back, though I think it recovered somewhat.

What would you prefer taxation is derived from then, Lynwood?

I’d be interested in the location of that info. I’m pretty sure the constitution allows for the States to tax the citizens, but not the Federal gov’t. And I don’t think the tax law was passed by way of an amendment, so as far as I know, it’s illegal (though I’m more than happy to be proved wrong). I’d go into the conspiracy theory on taxes, but I won’t bother…

I don’t know about Lynwood, but I don’t think the taxes should be derived from anywhere. IMO, it’s not the federal gov’t job to run all the programs it does. It’s primarly there to defend our country against foreign invaders and to provide a central face for the rest of the world. It’s the States that should be running things. The Fed can collect its money from all the States. Of course, this is all wishful thinking. Personally, I favor a flat tax (around 10%), but only if I could believe the Fed wouldn’t later raise that tax (they would have to be prohibited from doing so). A flat tax is the only fair way. The rich and poor should pay the same percentage of their money. (I’m not rich, btw.)

But the fact for me is that the Fed collects too much money on taxes and spends that money on too many programs it has no business running in the first place.

From the US Constitution:

Whether you believe they collect too much or not, the amendment is perfectly legit and therefore constitutional. What is your basis for thinking that this amendment is somehow not constitutional?

Amendment XVI

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.

Sheer ignorance? Doesn’t anyone study the Constitution anymore? Yeesh.

With the acknowledgment that almost ANY topic worth debating has, within moments of its inception, therefore already BEEN debated ad nauseam to any who are uninterested in said topic,…

The idea of Amendment 16 being “perfectly legit” is still under considerable debate. Much of the debate centers on tedious, esoteric legal definitions of terms such as “income” and the “citizen” whose income would be taxed, and the particular circumstances surrounding the manner in which the amendment was moved through Congress, to which time and space are devoted elsewhere. The point of legitimacy may be more or less moot, however, insofar as H.R. 2001 specifically stipulates the repeal of Amendment 16.

Until that happens, >any IRS agent who may read this< I shall play along, faithfully remit, and recommend that others do the same. I consider it the fee which is necessary at the moment to live unmolested in a great country with the exceedingly rare combination of economic opportunity and political liberty existing simultaneously.