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Sunday, 29 November, 2020

The Income Tax

Date: 01 August, 2001

By: Chief

Imagevery April 15th the 'tax man cometh'. Most people dread, with good reason, that day. I cannot say that I blame them. I despise income tax. I despise the income tax amendment. And I truly despise the way Congress uses our money.

That said, I thought it would be interesting to examine the XVI Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. With all the hoopla within government pertaining to the recently passed tax cut and with all the various tax groups trying to either keep or repeal the income tax amendment, now is an appropriate time to discuss it.

The XVI Amendment is one of the shortest amendments, yet, without doubt, one of the most, if not the most, powerful amendments contained within the Constitution. It is exactly 1 sentence in length. Thirty words, three commas, one period. That's all.

Let us now take a look at the XVI Amendment — by using the language of the amendment only. Nothing else, just the language of the amendment.

Amendment the XVI reads as follows:

"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 first thing one sees is the purpose of the amendment. It has a very specific mission, to generate revenue for the federal government by means of placing a tax on income. Nothing else. Secondly is the means of the amendment. The means, in support of the purpose, are three fold:

The third item one sees is that the amendment is not an exclusive power granted to Congress. Indeed, it is a concurrent power. One which is shared with the several states. Hence the Congress has the constitutional power to tax income and so do the states as there is no proscribing language within the amendment.

The fourth item one can easily discern is what the amendment is not. It does not limit the means. The power of the Congress. To be sure the opposite is true. The amendment is open-ended. Congress and only Congress has to power to determine what is income, to place a tax on income and to collect said tax. These determinations are subject to change at the whim of the Congress. A very, very powerful amendment indeed.

The XVI Amendment is beautifully worded. It is the epitome of tyranny. Because it is a part of the Constitution, the supreme law of the land, We the People granted, as in gave our permission, to Congress the utter and absolute power to define, to lay and to collect, by any means, a tax on income. That is why the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not need to follow or adhere to the provisions of the IV Amendment, the V Amendment, the VI Amendment, the VII Amendment or the XIV Amendment. No way, you say. I disagree. Where is the limiting language within the amendment to constrain the Congress from:

It does not exist. In fact, because it is an amendment to the Constitution, a very specific amendment and very carefully worded, We the People created a constitutional exception — pertaining to the income tax and its methods to collect, etc., to the existing constitutional provisions and protections contained within the Bill of Rights and the XIV Amendment.

If the above is not true then why is the Congress considering enacting, or did enact, a 'taxpayers bill of rights'? If the provisions of the constitutional Bill of Rights applied to the income tax amendment, a statutory bill of rights is not needed or necessary. If the above is not true, why can, and does, the IRS seize property, bank accounts and other assets as payment for an existing tax debt? All done without warrant. Further, if the above is not true, when you fill out the 1040 form are you not waiving your V Amendment protection against self incrimination? There is no voluntary waiver of right(s) form contained on a 1040 form. None whatsoever. Lastly, if the above is not true then why is there a separate federal court for tax issues and claims? This court is neither civil nor criminal. It is a federal tax court and a tax court only.

I submit to you, upon your careful review and consideration, that the XVI Amendment does create a constitutional exception to provisions and protections contained within the Bill of Rights and the XIV Amendment.

There are groups, associations and individuals who make the claim that the XVI Amendment was illegally ratified. That the ratification process was fraudulent. To that claim, I respond by saying — so what. Like it or not, legal or not, the XVI Amendment is 'on the books'. It is part of the Constitution. Further, choosing the road of illegal ratification is a road of many pitfalls. If one group can make that claim about the income tax, another group could make the same claim against the Second Amendment, the right to keep and bear arms. Or the Fourth Amendment. Or any of the amendments for that matter.

No, like it or not the XVI Amendment is part of our Constitution. As such, there is a method to remove or to change it. The amendment process itself. We amend the Constitution again. Repealing or modifying the XVI Amendment with, let's say, the XXVIII Amendment. Now I shall not contend that repealing or modifying the income tax amendment shall be easy to push through the Congress and majority of the several states. It can, however, be done. It has been done once before — prohibition. Thus, let no one say it is impossible, for it factually speaking is not. In that regard I see three options:

In closing, Chief Justice John Marshall wrote:

"The power to tax is the power to destroy."

You bet it is.

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