Should We Rally Around ‘No Taxation Without Representation’?
Some years ago, several people in comments to my article “Liberal Compares Obama’s Push for Tax Hikes to Lincoln Wanting to End Slavery,” used the phrase ‘No Taxation without Representation’ in reaction to where our nation is headed. It’s not a good response to our current situation.
Right now, there are more people who want higher taxes than people who don’t want higher taxes. The Democrat Party is no longer hiding its Socialist ways. They are embracing Socialism. If enough of them get into power and enough people vote to keep them in power, we will have with representation but with a sinister twist.
The people who want higher taxes vote for people who will represent what they want. This means that if a certain segment of the population can get 51 percent of the electorate to vote for representatives who will raise taxes, then we have taxation with representation.
The slogan of “No taxation without representation” was adopted because the colonists maintained that “they were not directly represented in the distant British Parliament,” and that any laws “Parliament passed taxing the colonists (such as the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act) were illegal under the Bill of Rights of 1689 and were a denial of their rights as Englishmen.” Our situation is different. We do have representation, but that representation is being manipulated by people who are being paid for their vote with the largess of tax revenues.
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The following quotation below is attributed to Alexander Fraser Tytler (1747–1813) who was a Scottish advocate, judge, writer, and historian who served as Professor of Universal History, and Greek and Roman Antiquities at the University of Edinburgh.
Even though it’s most likely that Tytler (or Tyler) did not write the following in a book titled The Fall of the Athenian Republic, the sentiment is true nevertheless:
A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.
The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:
From Bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage.
In constitutional terms, it does not matter what the majority of voters want the Federal government to do in their name. What does matter is what the Constitution gives them the authority to do.
If the Constitution does not give the Federal government the authority to tax people for education, bail out bankrupt companies, support businesses that are involved in so-called “Green Energy,” or any number of extra-constitutional endeavors, it does not matter how the people vote.
Every representative takes an oath to uphold the Constitution, not the will of the people that put them into office. When you hear an elected official say, “I was elected to do the will of the people,” you immediately know that he did not take his oath seriously.
Benjamin Franklin didn’t appeal to the “will of the people.” He appealed to the Constitution. Why draft a contractual document like the Constitution if the will of the people can overturn its governing limitations with a majority vote?
“In questions of power,” our founders declared, “let no more be heard of confidence in man but c.”
So, let’s drop the slogan “No taxation without representation” because we have taxation with representation, and that’s the real problem.
When Congress passes laws to tax our labor, is this not a form of slavery when what’s collected goes to other people? We can’t choose to labor somewhere else to avoid a federal income tax. It might help to understand the relationship between taxation and slavery if we described taxation on income as a tax on labor. We could then apply the 13th Amendment:
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
If the government can take a percentage of what we get for our labor that is then passed on to other people, then this is a clear violation of the constitutional prohibition against “involuntary servitude.”
“If we work 40 hours a week, and another entity forcibly conscripts 25% of our compensation, then we argue that we have been forced into involuntary servitude – slavery – for 10 of those 40 hours. . . .”
The former slave Frederick Douglas explains the situation well:
I could see no reason why I should, at the end of each week, pour the reward of my toil into the purse of my master. When I carried to him my weekly wages, he would, after counting the money, look me in the face with a robber-like fierceness, and ask, “Is this all?” He was satisfied with nothing less than the last cent. He would, however, when I made him six dollars, sometimes give me six cents, to encourage me. It had the opposite effect. I regarded it as a sort of admission of my right to the whole. The fact that he gave me any part of my wages was proof, to my mind, that he believed me entitled to the whole of them. I always felt worse for having received any thing; for I feared that the giving me a few cents would ease his conscience, and make him feel himself to be a pretty honorable sort of robber.
Stealing, even by majority vote, is still stealing. It’s that simple.