Re: POLI: Encouraging Tax Evasion

Alex Future Bokov (
Fri, 23 Jul 1999 11:43:20 -0400 (EDT)


On Fri, 23 Jul 1999, Mighty Xerxes wrote:

> Do you have a citation to support your assertion?

In a narrow technical sense, he might be correct. Oddly enough, most of the US Fed Gov's influence is derived from Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, which has a clause that reads:

"[Congress has the power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes"

The reast of that section deals with infrastructure: raising armies and warfighting, militias, the post office, coinage, etc. Curiously, there is no mention of taxing the populace.

So, unless you are interacting directly with the Fed as an employee or beneficiary of Federal $$$, a counterfeiter, or the member of an invading army, the Fed has only two excuses for interacting with you in any way whatsoever, including taxation.

  1. Regulating interstate commerce.
  2. Maintaining the armed forces.

Spending on military activities in FY98 was 42.9% of the Federal budget. Presumably the rest was needed for regulating interstate commerce. :-/ Looking at this from the abstract, the government's claim on the author's cash doesn't look much better than his own (except, of course, he's the one who earned it).

Realistically, though, this is also an argument against the very existance of most of the government. A government that is older, richer, more ruthless, and better armed than the author can ever hope to be (at least not until he transcends to jupiter-brainhood). The precedent of thousands of court rulings supports the Fed's position. Who do you think will get their way in the case of a legal ambiguity like this one?

Anyway, even if he was right, and that alone was enough to make the Fed just disappear like the witch in Oz, would he really be better off because of it? Will whoever steps in to fill the power vacuum (be they Christian theocrats, corporations, mafia, or military juntas) do any better than our current government in terms of safeguarding our basic rights, maintaining our quality of life, and creating an environment where science and commerce can flourish?

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