Many people don’t know that the supreme court has ruled that an income tax like we think we have now would be unconstitutional. It’s only not unconstitutional because it’s nothing like we think it is.
If this is true, why do so many people pay the income tax? We can look at its history and see that the government used the same strategy they have used on us time and time again. There is always an emergency which justifies some grand, unconstitutional act, which most people fail to question because of fear.
The first income tax came around the civil war. Not many questioned it because they wanted to win the war. The tax stuck around, being modified and repealed and replaced. In 1895, in Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co., the Supreme Court ruled that this tax was unconstitutional. This was years after the government had used it to collect a lot of revenue. The primary reason behind the ruling is that the tax was “direct and not apportioned”, even though the constitution only allows “direct and apportioned” taxes and excise taxes.
The 16th amendment was ratified in 1913, and though many dispute that it was ratified correctly, that position is moot. The amendment stated “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment…”
However, in 1916 in Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad. Company., the Supreme court ruled that this effectively changed nothing. They ruled that if anything, this placed further limits on congress for such a tax to be an excise, not direct.
Also in 1916, in Stanton v. Baltic Mining Co., the Supreme Court said again that this amendment didn’t give congress any new taxing power, only that it limited an income tax to be an excise.
It’s important to understand that the government can’t just call something an excise and tax it. An excise tax is a tax on the exercise of a government privilege. They can only tax things which they grant you the privilege. In a free society, it is a RIGHT, not a privilege, to work, own property, trade property, trade labor, make contracts and profit from those rights. This is not a privilege, and can not be taxed with an excise tax. The supreme has upheld these statements in various rulings throughout history.
Don’t trust me, do your own research from official legal sources. If you think you’ve found something I got wrong, or if you have a question, ask about it in the forum.
I’ll see you next week.
Dan Taxation Is Theft Behrman