Opinion

Is the Income Tax Immoral?

Once you give the government an inch on the income tax and spending, they take 100 million miles. Republicans are fools if they think a tax increase on millionaires is going to fix anything. In fact, a millionaire’s tax will only embolden the Democrats and grow the government, something the Republicans also like.

When the 16th Amendment was passed, most Americans were not affected by it. The incomes of couples exceeding $4,000, as well as those of single persons earning $3,000 or more, were subject to a one percent federal tax. One percent! This meant that a married couple would not start paying any tax until they made a dollar over $4000.

An income of $4000 in 1913, given the ravages of inflation, would be more than $88,000 in today’s dollar valuation.

In 1913, the top tax rate was 7% on incomes above $500,000 ($10 million in 2007 dollars) and a total of $28.3 million was collected. Less than 1% of the population paid federal income tax at the time. The people who voted for the income tax believed that only the “rich” would be paying the tax. Like today, the people who voted for the income tax voted because other people would be paying it. Not them.

Original 1040 Tax Form of 1913

It’s no wonder that liberals are called Progressives. They are willing to settle on very small gains in legislation at the beginning so over time they can increase its effect. This has happened with every legislative act in history. We’ve seen the creation of unconstitutional wealth transfer programs and their continued growth.

Benjamin Franklin said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” But this was before taxing power was handed over to the federal government. Will Rogers (1879–1935), humorist and social commentator, with more than a century of congressional foibles to evaluate, said, “The difference between death and taxes is death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.”

Liberals and those who bow down to their decrees contend that taxation is all about social justice. A group of philosopher kings is needed to determine what’s just. It didn’t work for ancient Greece and it won’t work today since those in charge don’t have a fixed moral standard to determine what’s just or unjust.

Walter E. Williams said it best: “Let me offer you my definition of social justice: I keep what I earn, and you keep what you earn. Do you disagree? Well then tell me how much of what I earn belongs to you, and why?”

Once the threshold of a 50+ percent voting block is reached, it will mean that a majority will use the voting booth to steal money from the less than 50 percent.

Note that there is no provision in the Sixteenth Amendment that gives Congress the right to apply the taxing power unequally. In looking over all the Constitution’s amendments, I don’t see an unequal distribution of any freedom.

Equality under the law requires that as we stand before “the supreme law of the land,” and no one should be treated in an unequal way. The law applies to every citizen equally, except, it seems, when it comes to the Sixteenth Amendment.

Does the First Amendment parcel out its freedoms in percentages? Doesn’t every person have the same right to speak, write, and assemble, even when people with more money have more access to the means to speak out?

The same is true of the Second Amendment. Everybody has a right to “keep and bear arms” at the same rate. Rich people and poor people have a right to purchase as many guns as they want. Because the rich can afford more guns does not mean that they should pay more for those guns.

The quartering of troops is similarly equal in the distribution that “No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”

The same is true about the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Amendments. Read them over and try to apply the percentage differences to them like Congress and the President do with the Sixteenth Amendment.

Liberals regard taxation at ever higher rates as punitive, thus violating the 8th Amendment. High taxes are designed to punish the rich. Taxation is not about increased revenue. Rand Paul stated: “You may not get any more revenue. You may not get any more economic growth. But you can say, ‘I stuck it to the rich people.’”

A progressive income tax is “cruel and unusual punishment.” It taxes some people at a higher rate, thus punishing them for making more money. As a result, they are working as slaves for the State, and there’s an Amendment against that as well. The Thirteenth Amendment is clear:

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Someone who is taxed unequally by the government is being punished, not for a crime, but because he or she makes a certain amount of money. The fact that a person works for that money, and that money is taken from that person, means that a system of an ever-increasing progressive taxation is a form of “involuntary servitude.”

The 14th Amendment could also apply. No State “shall . . . deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” The key phrases are “equal protection” and “due process of law.” “Due process” has reference to criminal acts.

Constitutionally and morally our government is not permitted to treat people in an unequal manner. In Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), Justice John Marshall Harlan argued the following in his “Great Dissent”:

[I]n view of the Constitution, in the eye of the law, there is in this country no superior, dominant, ruling class of citizens. There is no caste here. Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law. The humblest is the peer of the most powerful.

 The rich are considered a “class” in American politics. Liberals speak of “class warfare” on a regular basis. Why is the class of rich people treated unequally when it comes to legislative law? The taxation of income at unequal levels deprives people of liberty and property.

It’s long past time to rescind the 16th Amendment. It is theft by government decree.

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