Tag Archives: progressive taxation

Time To Wake Up, America

Perhaps nothing illustrates the depth of depravity and corruption to which the American political system and the American culture have sunk than the practice of deferred taxation. Our national debt today is $15,701,934,801,235. That amount equals a debt load of $50,100 per citizen and $138,300 per taxpayer. (U.S. Debt Clock)

Government does not have the means or the capacity to generate wealth. By its very nature, it can only consume wealth. The only income governments have for paying off debt or purchasing necessary goods or services for its operation is the wealth confiscated from citizens through taxation of one type or another, whether it is through overt taxation, fees, inflation, fines or other means of raising revenue.

Since all debts eventually come due and since this generation insists on living off borrowed money while refusing to pay the taxes necessary to support our leaders’ opulent life styles and prolific spending, or to defray the debt, that debt necessarily falls on future generations. This generational theft, or as Frederic Bastiat would no doubt call it if he were alive today, “generational plunder”, is both our national crime and our national sin. We are plundering the livelihood of our children, grandchildren and future generations in pursuit of the impossible utopian promises of the godless socialists that have infiltrated and now control our governments and our political parties.

Again to quote Bastiat, “…legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on. All these plans as a whole –with their common aim of legal plunder — constitute socialism…” ~Frederic Bastiat, 1801 – 1850; The Law, p. 15.

…With this in mind, examine the protective tariffs, subsidies, guaranteed profits, guaranteed jobs, relief and welfare schemes, public education, progressive taxation, free credit, and public works. You will find that they are always based on legal plunder, organized injustice.” ~Frederic Bastiat, 1801 – 1850; The Law, p. 21.

There are no innocents in this scenario. Both political parties, progressives, conservatives and even our beloved tea parties must share in the guilt. The Democrat Party has exploited the natural greed, jealousy and envy of its constituents to win votes by promising free food, clothing, medical care, education, loans, money, etc., all at the expense of other citizens. The gullibility, of what seems to be a majority of the American people, has allowed the Democrat Party and its socialist leadership to gain control over our government. They are using that power to destroy our cultural, economic and political institutions in order to replace them with socialist institutions that they believe will ultimately afford them total control over the lives and liberty of the American people.

The Republican Party has not escaped, by any means, the influence of socialism among its leadership. They may not be as taken in by the utopian mythology of socialism as their Democrat counterparts, but they are every bit as motivated by the lust for power as are the Democrats. In some ways, the Republican Party is even more devious than the Democrat Party. Democrats publicly reveal their intentions, depending on the apathy and gullibility of the American people and the ever-increasing financial dependency of their base, to return them to power. The Republican Party campaigns on conservative values promising to return America to its founding principles. However, once in office too many of them succumb to the perks and powers of office and become more intent on protecting and supporting the Party establishment so as not to risk their own coveted position than in their promises to the voters.

As we witnessed in the last several election cycles the Republican Party sometimes even seems willing to sacrifice the Presidency in order to maintain its dwindling power in Congress as well as in State and local government bodies. In primaries, they denigrate true conservative challengers, supporting candidates they believe will be most advantageous to the Party establishment. Once they have succeeded in winning their spot on the party ticket they drop the conservative façade they exhibited while campaigning and “move to the center” in order to hopefully gain the support of progressive republicans and the coveted “independents”. Once in office their sole consideration becomes how to hold onto the power they have won, perceiving that in order to do so they must kowtow to the Party leadership and support the establishment’s agenda. Their loyalty is to the Republican Party not to republican principles.

This lust for power, present in the breast of all professional politicians was the primary theme of debates during the Philadelphia Convention in 1787. For 84 hot, humid days during that Philadelphia summer from May 25 to September 17, the framers wrestled with the problem of how to organize a government that would protect the liberty and property of its citizens while preventing it from being overcome by its leaders’ desire for power. They succeeded in creating the most effective and practical plan of government ever devised, the United States Constitution. However, like all plans, it only works when it is followed. Our Constitution is incompatible with socialism. For that reason, the socialists among us have been working for over a hundred years to destroy it. They have almost accomplished their goal. Actions by the Supreme Court this summer and/or the actions of voters this fall could sound the death knell for our Constitutional Republic.

Conservatives generally recognize this truth and have fought valiantly for the past couple of years in an effort to reverse course. The problem is that not enough conservatives recognize or accept the remedies necessary to cure all our national ills. Take, for example, the tea parties. The sole focus of many tea parties is fiscal responsibility. Some add to that focus, political reform, calling for a return to the Constitution. A few even address the cultural decay so rampant in America today; this diversity in purpose results in a splintered effort that in the long run may have little effect on the outcome. Many fiscal conservatives often overlook blatant breaches of the Constitution in order to enjoy their share of the socialist pie. They like the taste of the pie, they just don’t like the price attached to it. At the same time, many fiscal conservatives and constitutional conservatives alike denigrate the values conservatives, believing those values would somehow disturb the enjoyment of their pleasures and harm the chances of realizing their political agenda.

The idea that voters “always vote their pocketbooks” when they go to the polls is perhaps the greatest fallacy of all. It is not their pocketbooks they are voting, it is the pocketbooks of future generations. As for themselves, they will never agree to the increase in taxes necessary to pay for their leaders’ prolific spending. For generations we have been returning the same professional politicians to office in election after election. Obviously this practice is not working. Our debt keeps growing, our tax bills keep going up and our standard of living continues to decline. Our social programs are bankrupt, our unemployment rate is higher than it has been in eighty years, and few can say they are better off, spiritually, financially, or physically today, than were past generations. We can attend protest meeting and march with our cleverly worded signs all we want, but the only protest that counts is that expressed at the ballot box.

To solve our problem we have to change our system. We have to change the way our government is run and the people who run it. Thankfully, the Founders gave us a way to do that at the ballot box and not on the battlefield. In November, we need to vote out as many of the professional politicians as possible, replacing them with patriots who have the courage, knowledge and understanding to bring about true reform. As we have pointed out before, the American system has three components, its political system, its economic system and it culture. It is useless to believe that we can reform any one or two parts of this system and leave the other as it is, and hope that we can secure a lasting cure for our ills.

We must have political reform that restores the rightful authority to our Constitution, replacing our corrupt and self-serving political parties with ones made up of true patriots who take their oath of office seriously and abide by it. We must have economic reform that rejects crony capitalism and replaces it with the true market capitalism that made America the most prosperous nation on earth for generations. Last, but by no means least, we must revive the American culture that made us the beacon of liberty and opportunity the world over. In short, we need a political, economic and spiritual revival if we are to survive as a free nation.

To realize this revival we must learn all over again to cherish and abide by our founding principles as set forth in our founding documents, the Bible, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. I have heard mothers threaten their errant offspring with the threat, — insincerely, of course — “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.” America was brought into this world by the benevolent providence of God and therefore, it can be taken out by His judgment…. Think about it.


Passing the Wealth Around

minute-man-2-lithoOne of the questions that has plagued me most of my adult life is about the concept of a progressive income tax.  It has always bothered me that a person who works hard and prospers is required to turn over to the state a larger portion of the fruits of that labor than the slothful person who drifts through life putting forth as little effort as possible.

The moral justification for a progressive income tax is based on the idea that the more wealth a person has the more he or she should contribute to the benefit of society.  I have no problem with that concept.  It is grounded firmly in both history and religion.  One of the earliest records of taxes is found in the Bible, Genesis 14:20 which records Abraham paying a tithe (10%) to Melchizedek, King of Salem.  Under the Theocracy of ancient Israel, everyone was required to pay a tithe to support the Temple and the government.  That practice is still followed today in many Christian religions.

Under that system if a man’s flock increased by ten sheep one of those sheep was given as a tithe.  If his flock increased by a hundred sheep he was required to contribute only ten. By any standard, this is a fair and equitable sharing of the burden in support of government.  However, exempting the man with only ten sheep from having to pay any tithe at all, while requiring the man with a hundred sheep to contribute twenty to make up the difference may be charitable, but it could never be called fair.

With the exception of a short time during the Civil War, income was not taxed in America.  In 1913, the Sixteenth Amendment was added to the Constitution which authorizes the government to tax incomes “from whatever source derived”.  That amendment seems to be universally accepted as the constitutional justification for a progressive income tax.  I have always considered it just another breach of the Constitution by the socialist element in Congress that has existed since the late eighteen hundreds.

However, yesterday Mark Levin, founder and director of the Landmark Legal Foundation, author of a best selling book on the Supreme Court, “Men In Black” and host of a nationally syndicated radio show, seemed to express the same view with a caller.  I consider Mark to be one of the foremost Constitutional Scholars of today; therefore, I have to take into account his opinions.  For that reason, I got out my copy of the Constitution and reread the Sixteenth Amendment which says,

“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.”

I am not trained in law; however, I do have formal training in hermeneutics, “the science and methodology of interpreting texts”.  Try as I might, I cannot find justification for a progressive income tax in the Sixteenth Amendment.  I find it in Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto where he calls for “A heavy progressive or graduated income tax”.   I find it in the platform of the Socialist Party U.S.A, and in the platform of the Communist Party U.S.A, but I do not find it in the Constitution.

Article I, Section 8 grants Congress the “Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States; But all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;”  ” The remainder of Section 8, specifies the particulars for which Congress may appropriate taxes to “provide for the common defense” and “promote the general welfare”.

Article I, Section 9 provides that, “No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.”  The Sixteenth Amendment amends Section 9 to allow for taxation “without regard to any census or enumeration.”  It does not authorize a graduated or progressive tax, however.  In practice, the only purpose of a progressive, graduated income tax is for social engineering and redistributing wealth. Using the tax code to control or manipulate the business, social and personal lives of citizens violates both the letter and spirit of the Constitution.

In considering the socialist takeover of our government, it is apparent that it never could have succeeded without the help of our tax code.  Few actions of Congress have been more detrimental to the welfare of America than the progressive tax code.  When we take back the government from the socialists and return it to a Constitutional Republic, one of the first orders of business should be to reform or repeal the tax code so that it applies equally to all citizens at whatever station in life.

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Barack Obama, Karl Marx and You

The debate over whether or not Barack Obama is a socialist is beginning to gain some traction with the frequent references by Sarah Palin and John McCain to Obama’s desire to “spread the wealth around”.   The media consensus is that attempting to brand Obama as a socialist is counter productive because the American people do not consider it important and the Democratic Party is able to relate it to “name calling” and “dirty politics”.  The problem is that most Americans do not recognize socialism when they are confronted with it.

Karl Marx identified socialism as the stage between capitalism and communism that follows a revolution by the proletariat.  In classic socialism, the means of production are owned and controlled by the workers.  As an economic theory, socialism is over two hundred years old.  During that time, hundreds of variations have developed around the world.  Today very few, if any, economies meet perfectly the classic definition.  Most economies are a mixture of socialism and capitalism.

In spite of the fact that there are hundreds of different varieties of socialism, all of them rest on a relatively few basic principles.  In the modern world we live in today, there are two principles that identify the socialist philosophy: the distribution of wealth and state control of private property.  It is the exact opposite of capitalism which rests on the principles of wealth accumulation and owner control of private property.

Socialism operates as a parasite on the body politic.  It takes the earned wealth of the productive members of society and redistributes it to the less productive members until all the accumulated wealth is dissipated.  If unchecked, the process continues until all members of society, with the exception of the ruling elite, are living in deprivation and poverty.  Average citizens are eventually reduced to a state of servitude to the state.

The lifespan of socialist systems vary according to the amount of wealth to be redistributed.  On average, a system dominated by socialism seems to last about fifty years before it collapses in economic disaster.  Mixed economies such as those in Western Europe and North America last a little longer because the capitalist parts of the economy keeps producing wealth even as existing wealth is being dissipated by the socialist segment.  The rise of socialism in America can be dated from about 1930 which means we are living on borrowed time.

The primary vehicle by which socialism has advanced in America is the system of progressive taxation.  Taxes are used by Congress to accomplish three goals.  First is the constitutional purpose of raising monies to pay for the legitimate functions of government.  However, taxes are also used for two purposes that are definitely not authorized in the Constitution.  One is for social engineering where tax incentives are used to encourage behavior desired by Congress and tax increases on behaviors Congress wishes to discourage.  The other is the purely socialist function of redistributing income and wealth.

The Constitution, in Article 1, Section 8 empowers Congress to levy taxes for the purposes of carrying out the enumerated powers of government and requires that they be evenly apportioned among the several states.  The Sixteenth Amendment allowed for the collection of taxes on income and repealed the requirement that they be evenly apportioned among the states, but it did not authorize the use of those taxes for purposes other than those enumerated in Article 1.  While it is true that socialism cannot survive without progressive taxation, it is equally true that socialism in America cannot exist when the U.S. Constitution is followed.

Americans have become so accustomed to progressive taxation they no longer consider whether it is constitutional, and they never consider the fact that it provides the only foundation for socialism in our system.  In fact, between forty and fifty percent of Americans seem to embrace socialism as the best economic system.  No other explanation can be given for Barack Obama’s current poll numbers.

An Obama presidency could very well represent the interim stage between Capitalism and Communism foreseen by Karl Marx.  A vote for Obama is a vote to ultimately live under a Communist Government.  Consider this as you cast your vote on November 4th.