Re: Two great articles on ignoring government

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Wed Nov 29 2000 - 13:52:20 MST

James Wetterau wrote:
> "Randy Smith" <> says:
> ...
> > > > What we need to do is make gov't OUR servant, instead of the other way
> > > > around.
> > >
> > >The argument is that the income tax is unconstitutional as a mandatory
> > >system. People pay it voluntarily.
> >
> > Th "...promote the general welfare..." clause covers all that, I believe.
> > Besides, who says the constitution is all that great, anyway. We need to
> > change it.
> ...
> Doesn't anybody actually *read* the Constitution before giving
> opinions about it?
> Amendment XVI.
> 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.
> The income tax, even as a mandatory system, is definitely
> constitutional. The only wiggle room I can conceive of would be to
> find a constitutional quarrel with the exact manner in which the tax
> is imposed. It seems from the article cited that there are some
> people who have some legal quarrel with the income tax regime, but
> they make their case not on the constitution but on the tax code. My
> guess is that no court will accept their argument.

Arguments are many and various. There has been significant contention
about whether the sixteenth amendment was ever properly ratified.
Something to do with the number of states that ratified it in a given
time period versus the number of states in the Union at the time the
last state that ratified it in the specified time period did so. As
states are added to the union, the number required for ratification of
any outstanding amendments goes up. If it was not properly ratified,
then we fall back to the consitutional principle that the federal
government can only impose indirect taxes, while only the states can
impose direct taxes like income taxes.

Another item of debate is what the true definiton of 'income' is (or
what it was at the time this amendment was written) versus what the
government bureaucrats would like it to be. They ARE notorious for
redefining things to suit their goals. There are arguments that 'income'
as specified at the time of the 16th amendment only applies to revenue
from things like bonds, stock dividends, pensions, and other securities
related income. Direct remuneration for labor by individuals is
supposedly not considered 'income' under these legal theories.

Also a matter of debate (which does not violate the amendment if it is
in fact properly ratified) are actual loopholes in the law (as is
asserted by the referenced story) that exempt large numbers of people
and businesses from paying any income taxes. If that is indeed what the
law says (as dictated by congress, as the 16th amendment requires) then
those people do not, in fact, have to pay the tax if it does not apply
to them under congressionally passed tax law (which congress can change
as it sees fit, but the IRS cannot by itself).

There are arguments that the IRS tax code itself states that income tax
is voluntary for most people. Where they get you is that most all
government programs that involve some sort of payment of money or
services to individuals from the government involve a contract clause
where the individual agrees to comply with the section of the tax code
that specifies them volunteering to pay income tax. Even having a bank
account at a federally insured financial institution 'volunteers' you
for the income tax (because that federal deposit insurance makes you a
federal beneficiary), and it is in your account agreement.

I happen to know an author here in New Hampshire who has not paid income
taxes for 20 years, and belongs to a Tax Patriot protest group.
Membership fees entitle you to fully paid representation AND
compensation for all confiscated property in the event that a member is
successfully prosecuted by the IRS. They have somthing like 50,000
members, and claim zero successfull prosecutions by the IRS.

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