by Diane Rufino, July 3, 2013
RESOLUTION TO ABOLISH THE INCOME TAX and THE IRS
T. Coleman Andrews served as commissioner of IRS for nearly 3 years during the early 1950s. Following his resignation, he made the following statement:
“Congress, in implementing the Sixteenth Amendment, went beyond merely enacting an income tax law and repealed Article IV of the Bill of Rights, by empowering the tax collector to do the very things from which that article says we were to be secure. It opened up our homes, our papers and our effects to the prying eyes of government agents and set the stage for searches of our books and vaults and for inquiries into our private affairs whenever the tax men might decide, even though there might not be any justification beyond mere cynical suspicion.
The income tax is bad because it has robbed you and me of the guarantee of privacy and the respect for our property that were given to us in Article IV of the Bill of Rights. This invasion is absolute and complete as far as the amount of tax that can be assessed is concerned. Please remember that under the Sixteenth Amendment, Congress can take 100% of our income anytime it wants to. As a matter of fact, right now it is imposing a tax as high as 91%. This is downright confiscation and cannot be defended on any other grounds.
The income tax is bad because it was conceived in class hatred, is an instrument of vengeance and plays right into the hands of the communists. It employs the vicious communist principle of taking from each according to his accumulation of the fruits of his labor and giving to others according to their needs, regardless of whether those needs are the result of indolence or lack of pride, self-respect, personal dignity or other attributes of men.
The income tax is fulfilling the Marxist prophecy that the surest way to destroy a capitalist society is by steeply graduated taxes on income and heavy levies upon the estates of people when they die.
[As matters now stand, if our children make the most of their capabilities and training, they will have to give most of it to the tax collector and so become slaves of the government. People cannot pull themselves up by the bootstraps anymore because the tax collector gets the boots and the straps as well.]
The income tax is bad because it is oppressive to all and discriminates particularly against those people who prove themselves most adept at keeping the wheels of business turning and creating maximum employment and a high standard of living for their fellow men.
I believe that a better way to raise revenue not only can be found but must be found because I am convinced that the present system is leading us right back to the very tyranny from which those, who established this land of freedom, risked their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to forever free themselves…”
The progressive income tax was imposed on the American people in 1913 following the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment, which states: “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.” It was never intended to be a primary source of funding for government. It was merely intended to make up for revenue losses from tariffs, which were the primary source of funding for the constitutional.
Whereas, the current U.S. tax system is huge convoluted mess. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has six federal income tax brackets ranging from 10% to 35%, depending on “income.” This progressive tax system punishes the most productive members of society with a higher tax rate yet turns around and gives a tax credit to lower income earners that often amounts to a tax refund larger than the amount of tax paid in through withholding. The current tax system is riddled with loopholes and biases that hurt individuals who save money for the future. Not only does our tax code treat citizens differently but it is so hopelessly complicated that it frightens most taxpayers. It is far too complex, intrusive, and long; and
Whereas, once government undertakes to tax income, it acquires even more power through its authority to define “income,” “taxable income,” subsidiary terms, and the rules of exemption. The potential for abuse, capriciousness (arbitrary treatment), harassment, and corruption is great; and
Whereas, there is credible evidence to show that there were significant ratification discrepancies which call into question the legality of the Sixteenth Amendment; the evidence supports the conclusion that the Sixteenth Amendment was not properly and legally ratified by 3/4 of the states of the Union in 1913, as per Article V of the US Constitution; and
Whereas, the progressive income tax has become an instrument of government plunder of American income and property, in total disregard of our founding principle which states that property is as essential to a free man as his Life and Liberty. Rather, a heavy progressive income tax (as we have) is the second plank of the Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1948; and
Whereas, the current tax code is 73,954 pages of legalese (over 3 million words; taller than a giraffe and weighs 145 pounds), which the ordinary person living in the United States has no time to read or is capable of understanding, and it continues to grow and become more convoluted. (To emphasize this point, consider this: the average person can read 250 words per minute. Assuming the average reader took no breaks, it would take 15,200 minutes, 253 hours, or 10.5 days (without a single break) to read the tax code. Ayn Rand’s famous book Atlas Shrugged has 645,000 words. The tax code has 5.9 times that amount); and
Whereas, the progressive income tax scheme (the Tax Code) imposes a heavy burden on all American taxpayers, with respect to both money and time. Saving and collecting records and receipts is time-consuming, a hassle, and a big headache. According to the IRS, the average taxpayer spends 26.5 hours preparing and sending in their taxes. Just complying with our voluminous and complicated federal tax system costs Americans about $431 billion a year, according to economist Arthur Laffer (although other estimates go as high as $600 billion). American taxpaying families often have to hire a CPA. Furthermore, another $1000 to $2000 in embedded costs are passed on to the average consumer each year by businesses who have to add the cost of tax compliance to their “cost of doing business” and therefore to the cost of their products and services (for every dollar sent to the IRS, it costs 30 cents in compliance); and
Whereas, the progressive income tax allows the federal government to pry into the private records, private accounts, private business, and personal affairs of individual citizens in order to find out what income and property it considers to be “taxable income”; and
Whereas, with the IRS able to look at the financial records of Americans, it gives the government power to make decisions as to when certain citizens “have enough already,” and then wage war on their “excess”; and
Whereas, the average working American, poor, rich, or in-between, hates, and fears the IRS for good reason. It is able to seize one’s bank account or house without a court order, able to shut down one’s business overnight, and subject one to fines for failure to report income correctly, even when it is done innocently. In the eyes of the average American taxpayer, the tax code is unfair, overly complex, arbitrary in its requirements and exemptions, horribly politicized, harmful to individuals and the economy, helpful to the forces of Big Government, and impossible to understand without a CPA; and
Whereas, the harmful effects of the income tax are obvious. First and foremost, it has enabled government to expand far beyond its proper constitutional limits, regulating virtually every aspect of our lives. It has given government a claim on our lives and work, has created class warfare (taxpayers v. non-taxpayers), and it has destroying our privacy in the process. It takes billions of dollars out of the legitimate private economy, with most Americans giving more than a third of everything they make to the federal government. This economic drain destroys jobs and penalizes productive behavior. It has created class warfare (taxpayers v. non-taxpayers; producers v. non-producers; contributors v. takers) and in many cases, it has destroyed the incentive to work, to become more successful, and to accumulate wealth and property. The ridiculous complexity of the tax laws makes compliance a nightmare for both individuals and businesses. All things considered, our Founders would be dismayed by the income tax mess and the tragic loss of liberty which has resulted; and
Whereas, the progressive income tax is inherently corruptible and subject to arbitrary rules and application. The tendency is for government to create exemptions in return for political favors or to coerce a political agenda. The language providing guidelines for such exemptions is invariably vague, which means the IRS has room to “interpret” and decide who qualifies and who doesn’t qualify for a particular exemption. The line between vigilance and harassment is not bright and the potential for abuse is great. This power, which is inherently arbitrary, ill suits a society that sees itself as free. Furthermore, where possible, people will naturally strive for tax exemption and will push the boundaries of tax guidelines. Such a tax scheme, therefore, encourages dishonesty and corruption; and
Whereas, the progressive income tax relieves some people from a shared responsibility to contribute to a government that serves them. Philosophically, no person or business should be exempt from a general taxation scheme. The current tax code imposes a tax burden on approximately half the US population while half are excused or exempted. The common government protects everyone equally (except under the taxation scheme) yet serves some more extensively than others. The tax code is progressive in tax burden but not progressive in services/benefits enjoyed. The current tax scheme – the progressive income tax created by the 16th Amendment – should be replaced by a Fair Tax (a national sales tax of about 23%) so that every American does his patriotic duty, has skin in the game, and has an interest in fiscal responsibility by their government. At the very least, the progressive income tax should be replaced by a low, flat-rate income tax (Flat Tax), 10% or lower, to be applied to all wage earners; and
Whereas, the federal income tax has become a wealth distribution scheme. Taxes that are soaked from the middle and upper classes are used to fund social programs that they are not entitled to and which go towards relieving a huge segment of society of their lower economic status. The object of federal taxation was not to leave men with equal incomes after they’ve been taxed”; and
Whereas, the IRS puts the government tax collector in a position of extraordinary power over fellow citizens (the “gorilla” role); he has the power to intimidate citizens who are unlucky enough to be audited by making them feel that they somehow “cheated” the government (rather than the most likely scenario – that they are merely “victims” of an unfair system); and
Whereas, the IRS often finds it difficult to avoid the attitude that each taxpayer is a cheat, even a criminal, who must somehow be cornered and caught. This has brought the nature of the entire income tax collection process into question; and
Whereas, thousands of complaints have poured into the IRS concerning the tactics used by some of its agents. Citizens feel they are treated as criminals rather than suspects who are innocent until proven guilty; and
Whereas, the IRS has been guilty of many transgressions and has cost the American taxpayers billions of dollars. For example, one of the things the IRS is well known for is giving incarcerated criminals who prepare fraudulent returns tens of millions of dollars in refunds they’re not entitled to. The figure actually increases annually, which means the IRS continues to do so. According to a federal audit, the latest count is that the IRS has doled out more than $35 million to criminals. A few years ago the IRS came under fire for allowing 1 million foreigners, many in the U.S. illegally, to improperly claim close to $9 billion in tax credits even though they did not provide valid Social Security numbers on their return. Not long after that, the tax agency got in trouble for handing out $33 million in bogus electric car credits. As recently as April 2013, two dozen IRS employees were charged with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in government benefits, including food stamps, welfare and housing vouchers. The scheme fleeced U.S. taxpayers out of at least a quarter of a million dollars, according to federal prosecutors; and
Whereas, the IRS chills the First Amendment rights of churches and nonprofit organizations which now hesitate to use them for fear of losing tax-exempt status; and
Whereas, the most damaging aspect of the Sixteenth Amendment is the fact that it violates the unalienable rights provided in the 4th Amendment. This is the amendment which protects privacy–privacy of the home, business, personal papers and personal affairs of the private citizen. None of these are disturbed by a poll (head or capitation) tax because it is so much per person regardless of the circumstances, but when the tax is based on income, the IRS is assigned the most unpleasant task of making certain that everyone pays his fair share. This task is physically impossible without prying into the private papers, private business and personal affairs of the individual citizens. By any standard, it is a miserable assignment. Furthermore, it is impossible to run audits and surveys of all taxpayers and so the audits seldom check more than 2% of them; and
Whereas, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the closest thing to the Gestapo that the United States has ever had; administrations have used its awesome power to audit tax returns as an effective means to silence and intimidate political opponents; and
Whereas, the IRS has gotten out of control:
— The IRS has admitted to intentionally and deliberately targeting conservative groups (especially those containing the terms “Tea Party” or “patriot” in their names) since at least 2011. In some cases, conservative individuals have been targeted. The targeting was done with malicious intent;
— The IRS has admitted that it has deliberately harassed said conservative political organizations claiming tax exempt status by singling them out for additional scrutiny and investigation;
— Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax exempt groups, has admitted that at least 75 organizations were singled out because they included the words “Tea Party” or “patriot” in their applications for tax exempt status. She acknowledged that actions were clearly violations of IRS policies;
— The IRS’ inappropriate and intimidating investigation tactics included probing questions about organizations’ board members, officers, employees, and their families. There were also demands for extraordinary detail on employee training, vending, and advertising. Among other IRS demands, they required lists of “all issues important to your organization” with requests to “indicate your position regarding each issue”;
— The IRS intentionally and maliciously leaked confidential taxpayer information of said conservative groups to Leftist allies;
— The IRS has admitted that it engaged in political profiling while processing applications for tax-exempt status. It searched tax applications for words like “Tea Party” and even “patriot.” Once it found those groups, it made intrusive and unconstitutional inquiries, demanding answers “upon penalty of perjury.” [In this case it was against organizations with “tea-party” or “patriot ” in their names and other right-wing groups. Next time it could be libertarian or left-wing antiwar and pro-civil-liberties groups. No dissenter can ever rest assured he is safe from the arbitrary power of the IRS];
— The IRS targeted conservative groups in swing states before the 2012 election. The chilling effect on such organizations because of said targeting together with alleged instances of voter fraud (showing higher than expected voter turn-out for Democrats) in the same areas calls into question the results of the election;
— This ongoing IRS abuse continues today, as the ACLJ represents dozens of these targeted groups;
— IRS officials threw lavish parties for themselves, spending millions of dollars even as Americans struggled to keep their jobs and pay their taxes;
— Pro-life and Christian groups report extreme and intrusive demands, including one reported demand that a pro-life group promise not to picket Planned Parenthood. The intent was to chill and even shut down their First Amendment rights of free speech expression and of conscience;
— The IRS conducted mass-scale audits of adoptive families, auditing 100,000 in 2011 alone – simply because they adopted a child.
In consideration of all of the above, the ________________________ (group name) concludes that —
Taxation, other than sales tax (which is tied to contract law and includes an element of consent), is nothing less than confiscation under threat of force of the property and/or income of individuals. Progressive taxation is government plunder of the wealthy, offensive to our notions of equal treatment and equal protection under the law; and
The progressive income tax is the targeted confiscation of the fruits earned by creative, industrious, and productive individuals; it punishes success, productivity, creativity, ingenuity, hard work, investment, and risk-taking and is inconsistent with a nation committed to the freedom to “pursue happiness; and
The progressive income tax has no place in a free society. It amounts to the plunder of property and the frustrates the Pursuit of Happiness;
Elimination of an income tax will do more than anything else to return political and government power from Washington DC back to the People; and
The IRS targeting of political opponents represents some of the most shameful abuses of government power in 20th century American history. A government organization like the IRS discriminating against political organizations is an outrageous abuse of power, and the American people have every right to demand answers and accountability; and
As recent testimony has made clear, the IRS is institutionally incapable of governing itself (let alone that it has no constitutional authority) and departments such as the legislative and executive branches are incapable of managing it, providing oversight, or providing transparency to the American people in its regard; and
The Internal Revenue Service cannot be used as a weapon against political enemies. There must be a thorough investigation of IRS abuse (as well as abuse at the hands of other government agencies), and those responsible must be punished. There is no excuse for turning the full power of the IRS – and the federal government in general – on American citizens; and
Use of the IRS as a harassment, intimidation, and bullying arm of the President’s administration has set a dangerous precedent (we’ve also seen it use Homeland Security for the same purpose); and
The IRS has successfully chilled the fundamental rights that Americans are entitled to under the US Constitution (and specifically, the Bill of Rights); and
When government goes after political opponents, that is the very definition of tyranny; and
Americans have a rightful expectation to have trust in their government. Trust in government is a hallmark of a free society. The current IRS scandal has destroyed that trust; and
Because trust in government has been destroyed and because it appears that the IRS has become a Gestapo agency, the American people cannot be expected to allow it to be the enforcement arm of Obamacare – the healthcare program the government has forced them to comply with; and
Therefore, be it —
Resolved, that the American people can no longer trust the IRS to enforce Obamacare, apply tax laws fairly, evenly, and without bias, and to be respectful of the information shared in healthcare records, tax records, and even private, personal information to be mined through Common Core; and
Resolved, that the progressive federal income tax has become arbitrary, unfair, overly convoluted, and an exercise of government plunder, and the IRS has become an agency used by government for the improper scrutiny of American citizens; and
Resolved, that the ________________________ (group name) believes the time has come to reform the tax code and by extension, abolish the Internal Revenue Service.
The US Constitution
The Fair Tax – http://www.fairtax.org
Congressional Record-House, July 12, 1909, p.4404
Congressional Record-House, July 12, 1909, p.4390
Pollock v. Farmers Loan & Trust Company, 157 U.S. 429 (1895)
Federalist No. 10. http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa10.htm
“The Income Tax Arrives,” Tax History. http://www.taxhistory.org/www/website.nsf/Web/THM1901
“How Some States Did Not Legally Ratify the Sixteenth Amendment” – http://www.givemeliberty.org/features/taxes/notratified.htm
Jack Kenny and John Larabell, “100 Years Ago: Instituting the Income Tax,” The New American, February 4, 2013. Referenced at: http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/history/item/14410-100-years-ago-instituting-the-income-tax
Sheldon D. Pollack, “Origins of the Modern Income Tax,” Tax Lawyer Winter, Vol. 66, No. 2, Winter 2013. (Very detailed history of the Modern Income Tax). Referenced at: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CFsQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.buec.udel.edu%2Fpollacks%2FDownloaded%2520SDP%2520articles%2C%2520etc%2Facademic%2520articles%2FOrigins%2520of%2520the%2520Modern%2520Income%2520Tax%2520in%2520Tax%2520Lawyer%2520Winter%25202013.pdf&ei=-67IUZLPM9On4AOuoYDAAg&usg=AFQjCNELWbU-x8YvwgSiReYZAXs18HA36A&sig2=znteVrEa3AsercrlR6YVCA
W. Cleon Skousen, “History of the 16th Amendment,” Latter Day Conservative. Referenced at: http://www.latterdayconservative.com/articles/history-of-the-16th-amendment/
Burton Fulsom, “The Progressive Income Tax in US History,” The Freeman, May 1, 2003. Referenced at: http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/the-progressive-income-tax-in-us-history
“History of Federal Individual Income Bottom and Top Bracket Rates,” National Taxpayers Union. Referenced at: http://www.ntu.org/tax-basics/history-of-federal-individual-1.html
Diane Schrader, “The Top 7 Reasons (and One Promising Way) to Abolish the IRS For Good,” News Real Blog, February 2, 2011. Referenced at: http://www.newsrealblog.com/2011/02/02/the-top-7-reasons-and-one-promising-way-to-abolish-the-irs-for-good-1/
Frederic Bestiat (1801-1850) – http://mises.org/page/1447/Biography-of-Frederic-Bastiat-18011850
“Policy Basics: Where Do Our Federal Tax Dollars Go?,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, March 12, 2013. Referenced at: http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=1258
Gail Russell Chaddock, “Playing the IRS Card: Six Presidents Who Used the IRS to Bash Political Foes,” The Christian Science Monitor, May 17, 2013. Referenced at: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/2013/0517/Playing-the-IRS-card-Six-presidents-who-used-the-IRS-to-bash-political-foes/President-John-Kennedy-D
“IRS Conservative Witch Hunt is Just Latest of Many Offenses,” Judicial Watch, May 17, 2013. Referenced at: http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2013/05/irs-conservative-witch-hunt-just-latest-of-many-offenses/
Diane, you can not be appreciated too much for the effort you put forth for conservatism. I personally THANK YOU. I am convinced that if Americans fail to recognize and act on the genius of the FairTax Plan, they WILL continue to suffer and suffer and suffer and ———————–. Browny
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The income tax is in violation of Article 1, section 8 of the U.S. Constitution.