Amendment That Violates the Constitution   3 comments

The 16th Amendment was in direct violation of Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution, which states “No capitation, or other direct Tax, shall be laid unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration.” Essentially, this meant that the federal government could collect revenue from the states according to population, but had to leave the method of collection to them. The federal government was therefore limited in the amount of money it could raise by its own authority … keeping it small and not terribly intrusive … usually. Occasionally, there were special taxes implemented to pay for a crisis … the Civil War, for example. These were of short duration and for a specific, time-limited purpose … and they enjoyed broad popular support, often.

The 16th Amendment led to the Internal Revenue code, which is incredibly complex, inefficient and abusive, and frequently used by overzealous bureaucrats and politicians to restrain the liberty of American citizens. It was really the first of the Progressive Era amendments and it led to a rapid and unchecked advance in the growth of the federal government.

Repealing the 16th Amendment would force the federal government to examine its spendthrift ways and would return us to the federalism of the federal government because states would now be in control of federal finances. States could decide for themselves how to collect taxes to send to Washington DC, based upon population. So, for example, Alaska might decide not to tax our citizens, but to tax the oil companies instead – which is how we fund a portion of state government now (the majority of our revenue is actually derived from the sale of our royalty oil on the world market, making the State of Alaska a profit-making entity). Clearly, if the federal government required our state to pay taxes directly to DC instead of individuals doing so, the state would need to collect move revenue, but as individuals would no longer be taxed directly by DC, a state income tax might be more manageable. The State of Alaska has a great deal more clout than I do individually when it comes to fighting Uncle Sam.  We might decide to tax Alaskan citizens’ sales transactions or income to provide for the federal maintenance.

States would once again have a stake in deciding how the federal government spends our money, which would make 50 US governors watchdogs to Congress and the President.

And it would be true to the original intent of the Constitution.

Yes, there is a risk that it might be replaced through amendment with some other national tax, but not if states were careful in their instructions to their delegates. I think most states, especially those west of the Mississippi, would rather stop taking orders from Washington DC and start giving them.

Can I get an AMEN?

3 responses to “Amendment That Violates the Constitution

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  1. I’ll give you an amen, I absolutely agree with you. But, I just can’t see our federal government giving up the power of taxation without a fight.


    • Oh, no! There’s no way they’re going to give it up without a fight. In the 1990s, Congress sought to avoid an Article V convention with Gramm-Ruddman, leading people to believe that Congress would act to fix the problem. Now we’re $17 trillion in debt and digging a deeper hole by the minute.

      Congress thought the discussion was over. There are some who have even put out that the applications for an Article V on this subject have stale-dated, that we should have to start all over again. But if you read Article V, there is no clause for sunsetting these applications. If the first application had been filed in 1800, it would CONSTITUTIONALLY still be valid.

      We have 32 applications already. I read on one liberal site that two states have sought to rescind their applications. I don’t know that is true and I don’t think it matters. If your state legislature has not already applied for an Article V on a balanced budget amendment, start lobbying for them to do so.

      Congress is going to fight to prevent it, but this time, we’re so close, they either have to forward an amendment of their own or call the convention. Personally, I think if Congress does forward an amendment of its own, we should still procede for a Article V because Congress is the problem and anything they forward will not be strong enough to fix the problem.


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