Article 1 Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution limits the taxation powers of Congress, saying:
“No capitation, or other direct, tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.”
This simply outlaws income taxes.
The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ends:
“…nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
This says the government may not deprive the accused of natural rights, and that the government cannot take private property without paying for it.
Some would argue that the last part does not apply to income or labor, but only to physical property, such as land or belongings. Let it be recognized, however, that land and belongings are nothing more than tangible storages of income and labor. Moreover, it would be absurd to suggest that a man’s labor is not his property, and therefore, according to this amendment, the government may not take a person’s labor (income) for public use without just compensation.
The Sixteenth Amendment grants Congress the authority to tax incomes:
“Congress shall have the 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.”
This is a clear contradiction of Article 1 Section 9.
Section 1 of the Thirteenth Amendment:
“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
This prohibits any entity from forcing any individual to work by force or by state-imposed coercion (or threats thereof), unless as a punishment for a crime.
The income tax is not technically a form of involuntary servitude to the government, because the government does not force anyone to work. However, under the income tax, everyone who chooses to work is forced to work for the government, so the spirit of the amendment may very well apply to outlawing the income tax.
There are certainly those who feel like slaves to the government, because the government takes a great part of the fruits of their labor; but technically, this is not true, because they may always choose not to work, and while this choice may be a threat to their survivals, it is not a direct threat from government. This unhappy choice, however, contains the implicit threat: “work for the government, or die.” So it is not completely clear whether the income tax qualifies as universal slavery, which would be prohibited by this amendment.
When this amendment ended slavery, note that it literally scribbled out all other portions of the Constitution that contradicted the new amendment. Note also that, when the Sixteenth Amendment was written to allow income taxes, none of the previous portions that outlaw such taxes were removed from the Constitution.
This practical difference, I believe, shows the spirit with which these two amendments passed. When slavery was ended, the public was quick to remove from the record all evidence of its existence, because slavery was a stain on liberty and justice; it was an embarrassment to an otherwise proud society of free individuals. But when the income tax was instituted, the amendment allowing it was the embarrassment to freedom, and all else in the Constitution that contradicted it was left to bear, so the people could still call it their own, and perhaps retain some nostalgic feeling of what it was to be free.
Need to solve the health care problem? Easy: allow healthcare providers to deduct from their taxes the costs of treating those who cannot pay. It’s beautiful: doctors and patients make all the decisions (not insurance companies or the government).
This proposal helps everyone, but Congress ignores it–won’t consider it, would never allow it–because most politicians care not about the poor, the rich, nor any individuals but themselves. Most politicians, left and right, are statists. Though they may make a show of attending a church or synagogue, the statist faith falsely preaches that the state is god, and that politicians are angels of infinite benevolence.
Statists are no angels; they are demons. They are fear personified. Behind his smiles and handshakes, the statist harbors a secret fear of every elector. He fears the poor in numbers, the rich in power, but his greatest fear is that the people will realize this truth: freedom works.
When government is limited to establishing equality under the law, enforcing contracts, and protecting life, liberty, and property, the politician is small and powerless. This is the statist’s greatest fear, and his greatest desire is its polar opposite: to become all-powerful. He marches through history toward that desire, at times leaping forward, occasionally nudged back, but never ceasing in his effort to advance against the freedom of individuals.
The statist’s end is always to relieve the individual of power, that it may be lost in the abyss of centralized control. To be clear, power taken from the individual by government is lost, because the government cannot use it. Government is a force that may prevent individuals from using power, but it has no creative energy, and when government’s force rises, society’s power falls. When the demon achieves his ultimate goal of becoming all-powerful, he establishes a society of individuals who have no ability to exercise power at all. What follows is hell.
Only government would be so backward as to take functioning used automobiles–objects of great value to many people who cannot afford to buy new ones–and require that they be destroyed. This decreases the supply of used cars, causing the price of used cars to rise generally, and therefore making it harder for lower income Americans to buy them. Of course, we should not be surprised to see the government hurting lower income Americans under the pretense of helping them; this is how the government expends much of its (our) resources.
Moreover, our entire economic crisis was caused by a credit bubble. Before the crisis can end, bad credit must be liquidated. Cash for clunkers only exacerbates the credit crisis; it encourages many people (who may or may not lose their jobs within the next year) to take out new car loans, and the government is effectually paying their down-payment in the form of a $4,500 rebate. This is exactly the sort of government “solution” that caused over-investment and distorted demand in the housing market. Cash for clunkers will certainly be a contributor, albeit a minor one, to financial firm failures around the country over the next few years.