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#1 Aug 28, 2019 2:14:AM

TheGayGene
Member

Should we stop paying taxes?

Of course, this is geared toward the United States Constitution.

"No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken."

There was a case that was heard at the Supreme Court... On the constitutionality of removing the requirement that direct taxes be apportioned.  One of the Justices, if I recall correctly, stated that proportion my no longer be a requirement, but the object of taxation wasn't changed.  This got me wondering for quite a while what this meant.  Not understanding the terminology, it took me a while, and it was that case that eventually made it seem clear.

Direct Taxes - Can only be applied upon the state.  That is the property being taxed.  And the Constitution allowed a tax Directly upon the states, but to be fair, the State Governments only had to pay according to the population at the time the Census was last taken.  So if the Federal Government needed $10 Billion, the states would be responsible for their share based on the percentage of the population of their state, compared to the others.

So, Income taxes are unconstitutional.  Most European countries have a Valued Added Tax (VAT) that they use to fund their governments. 

Not to mention, the 16th Amendment doesn't really seem to distinguish the sources of income.

"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."

So why is it that Income from labor is taxed at 20%... and income from investments is only taxed at 10%? 

Why isn't this discussed among the politicians?  Status Quo I guess.  Don't bite the hand that feeds you.

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#2 Aug 28, 2019 3:24:AM

FantasyDjinn
Member

Re: Should we stop paying taxes?

Yes. I am a proponent of automation in our world and using a VAT, as well as a corporate taxes, for such machines to pay in-lieu of people being under direct taxation. This would provide a dividend for society as a Universal Basic Income. The Age of Automation could drive us into a larger issue of "who does the money go to" and quite frankly: Societies with less government corruption and usher in a Golden Age for innovation by freeing up more time for us all.

Last edited by FantasyDjinn (Aug 28, 2019 3:25:AM)

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#3 Aug 29, 2019 12:29:AM

MikeSt1955
Member

Re: Should we stop paying taxes?

In 1913, the Sixteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. It 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."

So income tax *was* unconstitutional, but this amendment was passed specifically to permit it. Anyone saying income taxes are unconstitutional is over 100 years out of date.

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#4 Aug 29, 2019 12:28:PM

TheGayGene
Member

Re: Should we stop paying taxes?

MikeSt1955 wrote:

In 1913, the Sixteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. It 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."

So income tax *was* unconstitutional, but this amendment was passed specifically to permit it. Anyone saying income taxes are unconstitutional is over 100 years out of date.

Yes, but there are two problems with that.
1. Amendments weren't intended to allow you to state something contrary to the existing Constitution when passed.  So if you go to court, and your attorney submits a statement that says you'd never met John Smith or had any dealings with him, you cannot then amend the statement to say you were friends for 10 years.  The attorney would have to withdraw the statement, and submit a new one.  By definition, an amendment is intended to clarify or add to an existing document, not take away.

2. The Congress had the power to tax indirectly, or directly.  Indirect taxes were basically a Sales Tax of some sort.  A tax on the sale of alcohol.  A tax on horse carriage rides.  But it was a tax in addition to a sale at the time of the sale.  Direct Taxes, according to the constitution, is a Direct Tax usually apportioned according to something of value.  i.e. Property tax is a tax based on either the size of property, or the value of that property. or a Capitation Tax, which is a tax upon the head.  So each person will owe $500 to pay for said project.  Or more clearly, Project X will cost $5,000,000 - So a population of 5,000,000 would pay $1 each.  The Constitution allows for Direct Taxes upon the states.  Originally, only if they were apportioned by population.  The Constitution didn't allow for a person being taxed directly.  So if the Federal Government needed $1 Trillion for this fiscal year, then they would tell the states - okay... $1 Trillion direct tax.  That's approximately $3,057/person - so the state would owe their population multiplied by that number.  The state is the object of direct taxation.  The people are not.  So in a sense, the amendment could be construed as allowing the federal government to tax the states income, regardless of where it comes from.

Ultimately, the federal government is the "United States" of America.  Therefore, the citizens of the United States, are the states themselves.

Sorry, a bid wordy, but at least to me, it makes sense.

Last edited by TheGayGene (Aug 29, 2019 12:35:PM)

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#5 Nov 07, 2019 12:31:AM

colin1978
Member

Re: Should we stop paying taxes?

You're wrong on your two points, here is why.

POINT 1: It's in Article V that an Amendment is considered a legal part of the constitution.If you were right, slavery would still be technically legal. Amendments can be totally contradictory to the original text. That's why they are amendments: by definition it is a CHANGE to the original text, or previous amendments:

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

...SHALL BE VALID TO ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES, AS PART OF THIS CONSTITUTION, WHEN RATIFIED...

POINT 2: read the XIV amendment again, particularly the first sentence:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Taxation is here to stay, and so is the fact that we're organized into a REPUBLIC in which both halves of the federal legislative branch are directly elected. If you were right, congressmen would be, as under the old constitution, appointed by the States, and we would only be citizens of our state, not of the United States. As far as taxation, it's legal to tax people not just the states. The XVI Amendment makes that possible where it says "without regard to census or enumeration". I'm assuming, correct me if I am wrong, that you're one of those Libertarian-types who believes that all taxation is prima facie an act of theft. I'm sorry but the IRS is here to stay.

Last edited by colin1978 (Nov 07, 2019 12:33:AM)

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#6 Nov 07, 2019 8:17:PM

Re: Should we stop paying taxes?

Stop paying taxes? Only if you want to be a prison bitch.   

Amendments can change or repeal anything in the Constitution except for one thing.  A state cannot be deprived of equal representation in the Senate. That's the only thing in the Constitution that can't be changed.  Anything else--think of prohibition and its repeal.

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#7 Nov 07, 2019 9:15:PM

StraightScott
Member

Re: Should we stop paying taxes?

Stop paying taxes? Sure. Why get an attorney when you can get sound legal advice in an internet chat?

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#8 Nov 07, 2019 11:01:PM

colin1978
Member

Re: Should we stop paying taxes?

StraightScott wrote:

Stop paying taxes? Sure. Why get an attorney when you can get sound legal advice in an internet chat?

lol...

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#9 Nov 08, 2019 2:12:AM

TheGayGene
Member

Re: Should we stop paying taxes?

colin1978 wrote:

You're wrong on your two points, here is why.
...SHALL BE VALID TO ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES, AS PART OF THIS CONSTITUTION, WHEN RATIFIED...

POINT 2: read the XIV amendment again, particularly the first sentence:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Taxation is here to stay, and so is the fact that we're organized into a REPUBLIC in which both halves of the federal legislative branch are directly elected. If you were right, congressmen would be, as under the old constitution, appointed by the States, and we would only be citizens of our state, not of the United States. As far as taxation, it's legal to tax people not just the states. The XVI Amendment makes that possible where it says "without regard to census or enumeration". I'm assuming, correct me if I am wrong, that you're one of those Libertarian-types who believes that all taxation is prima facie an act of theft. I'm sorry but the IRS is here to stay.

Libertarian?  No, not really.  I don't really identify as one or the other.. and I try not to make assumptions.  Though I do think a lot of things are broken. Which is why a good discussion should be had by all.  Taking a different look on things isn't an evil.  is it?

As to Point 2: That's not entirely true.  You're assuming that amendment granted us United States citizenship.  However, it's already assumed.  "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President;"  There you go.  Citizens of the United States... at the time of adoption. Perception is an interesting thing though. 

As to the amendment point... Are we to assume that an Amendment prior to 1808 could have removed that section of Article V?  It doesn't expressly forbid it. But such an amendment would be contrary to a limitation of powers already put upon congress. If the founding fathers, who were meticulous at the wording, were under the assumption that the 5th Article could be 'amended' to remove such a restriction, why wouldn't they have included a restriction from altering Article V of the Constitution?  It seems illogical to me that they would specifically forbid amendments that would impact those sections, but neglected to secure the Amendment Power with a similar restriction.  I would say it's unlikely they would have.

Last edited by TheGayGene (Nov 08, 2019 2:13:AM)

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#10 Nov 08, 2019 2:45:AM

TheGayGene
Member

Re: Should we stop paying taxes?

I would also add that the second section of the 6th Article declares "This Constitution and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof, and all treaties made or which shall be made under the authority of the United States shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, ANYTHING in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding."

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#11 Nov 08, 2019 1:25:PM

temp0070a
Member

Re: Should we stop paying taxes?

indentured servitude and slavery never ended, honey.

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#12 Nov 08, 2019 6:37:PM

colin1978
Member

Re: Should we stop paying taxes?

You're getting off topic, Gene. Your point about not having to pay taxes because the XVI Amendment somehow doesn't count is a weak argument at most. Now you're talking about the supremacy clause.

In your first post, you mentioned a Supreme Court case. Care to tell us which one, and the date?

My point about the amendments is correct. An amendment, when ratified, is a legally binding change to the constitution.

I will however grant you--after some research--the Court's position on taxation is a little muddled, and has changed over time. There are several Supreme Court cases I found that are POSSIBLY relevant, but they were not heard after the 16th Amendment. More relevant is Stanton v. Baltic Mining Co. (1916), but that had more to do with a sort of corporate tax on a mine, of which Stanton was a shareholder. Stanton argued that the tax was invalid and was not covered by the 16th Amendment and sought an injunction against Baltic Mining Co. to stop them paying the tax. The Court disagreed and upheld the lower court's ruling which denied Stanton the injunction.

Other than that I was unable to find anything supporting the assertion in your original post that federal income taxes are somehow unconstitutional; or any of your subsidiary points.

Last edited by colin1978 (Nov 08, 2019 7:08:PM)

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#13 Nov 08, 2019 11:58:PM

TheGayGene
Member

Re: Should we stop paying taxes?

colin1978 wrote:

You're getting off topic, Gene. Your point about not having to pay taxes because the XVI Amendment somehow doesn't count is a weak argument at most. Now you're talking about the supremacy clause.

In your first post, you mentioned a Supreme Court case. Care to tell us which one, and the date?

My point about the amendments is correct. An amendment, when ratified, is a legally binding change to the constitution.

I will however grant you--after some research--the Court's position on taxation is a little muddled, and has changed over time. There are several Supreme Court cases I found that are POSSIBLY relevant, but they were not heard after the 16th Amendment. More relevant is Stanton v. Baltic Mining Co. (1916), but that had more to do with a sort of corporate tax on a mine, of which Stanton was a shareholder. Stanton argued that the tax was invalid and was not covered by the 16th Amendment and sought an injunction against Baltic Mining Co. to stop them paying the tax. The Court disagreed and upheld the lower court's ruling which denied Stanton the injunction.

Other than that I was unable to find anything supporting the assertion in your original post that federal income taxes are somehow unconstitutional; or any of your subsidiary points.

Not really getting off topic.  The Constitution is Supreme.  And an amendment is constitutional... Congress only has the power to create laws... and the Amendment process would in fact be forming laws according to the powers granted.  Though in the case of Amendments - they must be approved by the states... or via the people of the states through the convention process.

But perhaps I jumped the gun.  It's been a while since I've dug into it admittedly.  I believe the case was Brushaber v. Union Pacific - but I am having a difficult time finding what I remembered.  However, in this particular case, it ultimately throws the case out claiming an Income Tax is an excise.  And that the Amendment in question did not strike out the requirement that Direct Taxes be apportioned... it clarified what it could do.. under the excise tax... and that incomes could be taxed from whatever sources derived, and did not have to be apportioned.

But I suppose I recall being taught that this amendment actually crossed off the requirement that Direct Taxes be apportioned.  The Supreme court, it seems, declared that Amendments don't have that power.  I suppose confirming one of my statements at least.

https://books.google.com/books?id=DqzCq … ic&f=false

That particular taxing power is required to be uniform throughout the United States.  One might argue that taxing income from stocks vs. labor is a tax that is not uniform.  Though others would point out that a tax on labor vs. tax on corporate earnings vs tax on stock earnings are each a separate tax, and each uniform.   Just as a tax on alcohol vs. other taxes would also need to be uniform.

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#14 Nov 09, 2019 1:29:AM

SinfulBoy
Member

Re: Should we stop paying taxes?

Prior to the 16th amendment taxation as you initially described was unconstitutional under Article I, Section 9.  The Supreme Court even ruled it unconstitutional in 1895 after Congress passed the Wilson-Gorman Tariff which was a 2% tax on income over 4,000$ the year prior. Article I Section 9 also prohibited states from placing taxes on goods coming from other states, or favoring ports of entries between the states.

The 16th amendment however granted the federal government the authority to tax incomes (notice not properties/or sales). Which overturned the 1895 Supreme Court ruling, and the constitution acts like a "Whats Changed Log" where newer amendments override what would be conflicting prior laws.

As for the non-standard taxing? Many say that the income for investments should not be taxed at all since you would have had to have earned the money initially another way to have it available to invest it, so any taxes on investments is considered being taxed twice on the same dollar. This is not entirely correct as you can also earned money that is not through regular income methods by getting a return on investments...  this is probably the best argument that the lower rate on investment taxes has to stand on.

And you forgot to cover the case for taxing corporations. I recommend this by the way. (specially the part about consistency in taxes)

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/income_tax

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#15 Nov 09, 2019 2:32:AM

TheGayGene
Member

Re: Should we stop paying taxes?

SinfulBoy wrote:

Prior to the 16th amendment taxation as you initially described was unconstitutional under Article I, Section 9.  The Supreme Court even ruled it unconstitutional in 1895 after Congress passed the Wilson-Gorman Tariff which was a 2% tax on income over 4,000$ the year prior. Article I Section 9 also prohibited states from placing taxes on goods coming from other states, or favoring ports of entries between the states.

The 16th amendment however granted the federal government the authority to tax incomes (notice not properties/or sales). Which overturned the 1895 Supreme Court ruling, and the constitution acts like a "Whats Changed Log" where newer amendments override what would be conflicting prior laws.

Actually, what the Supreme court stated in the Brushaber v. Union Pacific case was that income tax in itself was an excise tax. But several cases kept making their way to the Supreme Court challenging income made from property, which the plaintiff complained was a direct tax, which required apportionment.  In the Pollack case, perhaps it was incorrectly decided that a tax on property would constitute a direct tax, and the Amendment intended to correct that perception.  The Supreme Court did clarify that Income Taxes were actually excise taxes.  (Page 16/17 on the link I provided above.

SinfulBoy wrote:

As for the non-standard taxing? Many say that the income for investments should not be taxed at all since you would have had to have earned the money initially another way to have it available to invest it, so any taxes on investments is considered being taxed twice on the same dollar. This is not entirely correct as you can also earned money that is not through regular income methods by getting a return on investments...  this is probably the best argument that the lower rate on investment taxes has to stand on.

And you forgot to cover the case for taxing corporations. I recommend this by the way. (specially the part about consistency in taxes)

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/income_tax

Technically speaking, you aren't taxed on the money that was invested.  You're taxed on the difference from what you invested, and what you cash out in.  So if you invested $10,000 - and it earns $1,000 in one month, then you're taxed on the $1,000 earnings.  Though I invested in my labor by feeding myself and making myself healthy.  That was done with money I was already taxed on.  So should I be required to pay taxes on labor that I was already taxed on to obtain the energy expelled to work?

Difficult argument to be had.  Though I would much rather have corporations pay the tax on the labor they use from me.  And leave me out of having to do my taxes.  Be done with tax breaks.

And the link you provided, yes clarifies what I stated above. 

"In 1913, the passage of the Sixteenth Amendment effectively overturned the holding in Pollock. The Revenue Act of 1913, passed after the Sixteenth Amendment's ratification, reinstated the federal income tax.

Reinstated something that had already been part of the powers, but restricted by this Supreme Court ruling.

The Supreme Court ruling was split... and effectively prevented Congress from taxing income based on the incorrect assumption that it was a direct tax.  It was thought that a direct tax was on property.  And I believe in this case, it was income earned from the property that was being taxed.

Last edited by TheGayGene (Nov 09, 2019 2:35:AM)

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