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(NewsMax)   U.S. Income tax may be illegal after all   ( divider line
    More: Spiffy  
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2970 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 Jul 2001 at 8:30 AM (16 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

105 Comments     (+0 »)

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2001-07-25 08:53:37 AM  
I always thought it was criminal ... word
2001-07-25 09:15:41 AM  
addressing the improper ratification argument:

US taxes compared to the rest of the world:

But if you just want out, here is info on renouncing your citizenship.
2001-07-25 09:19:51 AM  
I always wondered why people go on "hunger strikes"." Doesn't make much sense to me. If I don't want to let someone do something and they tell me they're not going to eat until I let them, I'd probably laugh at them and tell them to grow up. Then I'd go grab some Jack in the Box.
2001-07-25 09:54:03 AM  
The protesters might get further if they just threaten to eat Jack in the Box tacos until they get their way. The mystery meat is a little scary.
2001-07-25 09:54:06 AM  

"This in no way detracts from the applause Schulz is receiving for a willingness to put his life on the line to force public servants to be accountable to constitutional law."

Meaning... he was attempting to get them to do their job, and stop hiding behind their lofty positions. When your job depends on majority vote...bad publicity kills. So when someone says..."HEY...I'm gonna kill myself if you leeches don't start doing your jobs" on the TV.... the leeches start doing their jobs
2001-07-25 09:56:49 AM  
when i originally submitted this article, i gave it a "SILLY" tag....
2001-07-25 10:00:55 AM  
Great! I finally get to stop paying for bush's nose-powdering. I'm ecstatic.
2001-07-25 10:06:51 AM  
yeah, thats right Quik. bush is sitting in the white house "nose-powdering" all day. you are sooooooooooo smart.
2001-07-25 10:19:31 AM  
Dynein: You're right. Bush isn't sitting around in the White House powdering his nose all day. He's out making enemies with every farking country he can think of so we can go to war... to promote good military morale.
2001-07-25 10:21:35 AM  
Agreed, BunnyBir :)

BTW, this is the "news site" that carries all of the "Reagan is God" type merchandice. ;)

-= rei =-
2001-07-25 10:24:19 AM  
Hey, bunnyboy, this thread is called "U.S. Income tax may be illegal after all," not "make misinformed reactionist statements about the president."

take your whiny ass elsewhere.
2001-07-25 10:25:38 AM  
i have decided to entertain your petty concerns, but make no mistake you're campaign eventually be crushed and forgotten, just like Corey Feldman's career
2001-07-25 10:49:46 AM  
So when do we get our money back?
2001-07-25 10:55:04 AM  
What is it with Americans and taxes? Are you all going to chip together when you want your local freeway repaired instead?

Most of America's inrastructure is shiat because it's in the hands of private companies; at bit more tax and a bit of joined-up thinking would do the country a lot of good.
2001-07-25 11:17:58 AM  
Why should anyone be penalized/fined by the government for the right to work, aka income tax? I'd much prefer user fees, aka sales, highway, gas, etc taxes. Much more fair because then you have more of say in how to pay your taxes.
2001-07-25 11:21:18 AM  
Yes, because history has proven time and time again that the goverment can do ANYTHING much more efficiently than private enterprise.


2001-07-25 11:25:21 AM  
I've worked for private enterprise. It's as inefficient and idiotic as government because PEOPLE are in charge.
If private enterprise is so damn flawless, why do we have layoffs and bankruptcy?
2001-07-25 11:38:19 AM  
If private enterprise is so damn flawless, why do we have layoffs and bankruptcy?

Because our government, in its infinite wisdom, micromanages our economy, starting back around WWI. Watch closely through our economic history since then. We have been on a perpetual cycle of Boom-n-bust, ever since then.

Left alone, a free market economy will stabilize itself. But the biggest destabilizing factor in our economy right now is Uncle Sam and his buddies, Alan Greenspan, and the US Congress. It's like a pilot of a plane trying to fight the autopilot... constantly trying to muscle it in the direction he thinks it should be going in, and over-correcting and over-compensating with every adjustment.
2001-07-25 11:39:33 AM  
If this ever actually happened, Rich would be pissed he paid all that money to the Clintons for his pardon. He could've gotten off scott free!

This should be under the 'wishful thinking' category
2001-07-25 11:39:58 AM  
America is already controlled by giant corporations. Each one wants to get their own man into the white house, so they can get away with more stuff. Pretty soon we won't have "republican, democrate, independant." We will have "Tobacco, Oil, etc." We technically already do (oil companies... many presidents have been tied to them in one way or another).

Whats pathetic is people are destroying the world so they can make a few more bucks for their sponsers (and thus, have some money trickle down to them in the long run). I'm sure Bush could find another way to solve our energy crisis other than drilling on animal mating grounds in Alaska. The question is, is that profitable? To him, no. So we destroy the enviroment for not only a quick, temp. fix for our problem, but also to line the pockets of whatever corporate whore we have in office.

oh, and down with income tax :P There are other ways to regain that lost revenue which would be... you know... legal.
2001-07-25 12:21:35 PM  
Because our government, in its infinite wisdom, micromanages our economy, starting back around WWI. Watch closely through our economic history since then. We have been on a perpetual cycle of Boom-n-bust, ever since then.

Naturally, Boom-n-bust never happened before World War II. The Great Depression was a myth. *grin* You're just relying on the whole "things used to be better" argument. Its seldom true. It isn't true in this case.

The US economy took off for the first time, like a rocket, after World War II. It was the 80s when the rest of the world started to catch back up.

The problem with complete deregulation and privatization is... well, look at Britain right after the industrial revolution (actually, look at *every* country right after their industrial revolution). I don't think I need to explain any more than that, just take a look at the balance of wealth, the horrible working conditions, etc. Corporations are set up in a structure to draw wealth to shareholders - that is the *sole* purpose of a corporation. Governments exist to help people - that is their *sole* purpose. We can talk about efficiency, but as a person who's worked both in the most heavily government regulated industry in the US (healthcare) and in a completely private company, they both have their own inefficiencies. One just has a better purpose.

-= rei =-
2001-07-25 12:25:07 PM  
BTW, I thought I was actually going to be disagreeing with you for once on this issue, but... nope :) I'm for the abolishment of the income tax - and replacing it with a federal sales tax. You weight the tax based on how much of a luxury what is being purchased is - i.e., basic food products and investment have no tax, luxury cars and jewelry are highly taxed, etc.

Simply abolishing the income tax with no other method to ensure the US doesn't return to a class of non-working elite and a swarm of hard-working, starving/diseased/empoverished people, or a method to ensure government income to maintain everything, is irresponsible and cruel.

-= rei =-
2001-07-25 12:51:32 PM  
Demosthenes:Left alone, a free market economy will stabilize itself. But the biggest destabilizing factor in our economy right now is Uncle Sam and his buddies, Alan Greenspan, and the US Congress.

While this is true, to a point, the fact is that there are certain things private enterprise won't touch with a ten-foot pole. Economists blame this on "spillover benefits." For example, a private company could make a traffic light and (somehow) charge people who use that traffic light. Even if I don't use that light, I get the benefits from it: fewer accidents, better traffic patterns in the area, etc. So I get benefits even if I don't pay for the light. Government (or some other agency) has to provide incentives to make up for this spillover (or simply build the damn traffic light themselves).

Similarly, the government has to provide disincentives to make up for "spillover costs," or private enterprise will screw people for a buck (say, by dumping toxic waste instead of passing the cost of safe disposal on to consumers).
2001-07-25 12:52:10 PM  
If we have to have an income tax, it should be a flat tax with no deductions for anything. You make $1000, you pay (just picking the usual number) $170 (17%). You make $100,000, you pay $17,000. Nice and easy and puts the IRS out of business.

Private enterprise always does better than a government in running things because they're in for profit, not because they want everyone to feel good and get re-elected. The reason private enterprise screws things up is because of overwhelming government regulation.

If the space program was allowed to private enterprise, the Moon and Mars would have been colonized by now.
2001-07-25 12:53:44 PM  
Walkman: I'm psychic, so I wrote my last postr just for you. :P
2001-07-25 01:07:49 PM  
why doesn't fark censor this rag? if you don't want to pay taxes, get the hell out of the country and stop benefitting from the government's services.
2001-07-25 01:22:31 PM  
Private industries (though not flawless) have huge advantages over government schemes. Look at the post office compared to Fed Ex or UPS.

Also, I believe the gov't is necessary to help in some area (road development, regulations) but income tax goes toward more than that. I work for the gov't (not much longer) and right now your tax dollars are paying me to surf the internet. Literally. They don't give me any work to do, it's why I'm leaving. For the past three years that I have worked here I have heard and seen them spend time and money (in some cases millions upon millions) to either abandon the project or sell it off for a fraction of the cost. Of course this is nothing new. But it is an outrage. Aren't you pissed that the gov't grants money to scientific studies like that one last week about the shower curtain?
2001-07-25 01:24:05 PM  
Philthpig (and other morons): Have you ever read the constitution? Do you even know how your government works? I bet you think that comunism was invinted by the devil.

Read the constitution... dont just pretend to...actually read it. Read the ammendments. The rules are laid out very clearly in the constituion, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people" These powers are very clearly stated within the document. The 16th ammendment violates the rules... its illegal ratification violates the rules. And if you could please do me a favor, learn to read... it will help you in your future endevours.

on a less flamey note... please think about what you have been told. Think about what some of the greatest thinkers of all time wrote. Think about where your political beliefs come from... you'll usually find they come from cold war sentiments... even the liberal stuff. please learn for all of our sakes.

sick of ignorance,
Spiked Synapse
2001-07-25 01:24:41 PM  
Because I'm single, no debts and in the fu*king 39% tax bracket, that's why. I have every right to biatch about how much I pay when I use far less of the infrastructure than someone with 6 kids.
2001-07-25 01:25:27 PM  
I see where one of the contributors to the above conversation finds fault with the site on which the item appeared, because the site humps Reagan souvenirs. Well, the fact is, Reagan never used his office to lift a finger against the IRS. A further fact is that only a feckless lackey, someone who doesn't even aspire to freedom, someone who loves his chains, would favor keeping the income tax. Think of it: your government can contact you out of the blue and demand that you produce records of some transactions from like five years ago and demand that you produce substantiation of your assertion that it was business-related. This is KGB stuff. Furthermore, no one, and I mean no one, can say he understands the 10,000-page tax code. It is gibberish, and every time we sign our names to attest the fact that we have complied with the code, we are lying, for we have no idea what obscure rule we violated. Allowing the federal government to pry and to seize and to issue commands while we cower in fear has permitted that government to attain its present grotesque proportions. Washington, D. C.,needs to be cut off at the knees, and until it is, it is ludicrous to sing that song about "the land of the free and the home of the brave."
2001-07-25 01:28:32 PM  
Question - would you be opposed to taxing luxuries more than nesessities?

While I agree with your viewpoint, I disagree with the approach. The system exists so that we can influence and change it, (hopefully) for the better. "leaving" isn't always a realistic option.

The post office example is a poor one. The post office isn't bad because its run by the government - its bad because it is horribly managed. It is run like a private company. The only reason it is still around is because is has special federal benefits to keep it going (the reason for this is because it is a national symbol; I disagree with doing this, personally).

Also, a private company's dollars are paying for me to surf the net. Same difference. Private companies are also horribly inefficient - you wouldn't believe some of the appalling things I've seen here, or at other companies. Its not a government problem. Its a problem with managers in general - they're not always the brightest, and they're usually poorly informed.

-= rei =-
2001-07-25 01:39:41 PM  
but my point is that you are surfing the net at the companies loss, I am (unless you want to go out on a tangent) unaffected by that. Meanwhile you are being forced to give money to projects that you have no clue about that might not even exist. If a company is poorly managed, it has the potentail to fail. From what I see, when gov't projects start to fail, it is covered up or thrown more money.
2001-07-25 01:42:40 PM  
"potential to fail" that is.

I'm not paying for you to surf the net, you (and all other tax paying citizens) are paying for me (along with four other people in my office, hundreds in my command, and milliards of others elsewhere.
2001-07-25 01:50:40 PM  
SpikedSynapse: Of course income tax is illegal according to the (pre-6th amendment) constitution. If it weren't illegal, there would be no need for an amendment to MAKE it legal.
2001-07-25 01:59:16 PM  
Eventually, private companies that are as poorly managed as the one REI works for go under. And support of the company is not subsidized by taxpayers, unless government mandates it.

The post office, despite its poor management, is still in business because of the government.

WebVan, because of its poor management, is out of business.

I am not forced by some intern farking bureaucrat to give WebVan money. I am forced to give it to the PO.
2001-07-25 02:01:49 PM  
Not at all. Necessities such as food, basic housing and clothing would not be taxed at all. Anything else would be taxed on a sliding scale. A vehicle, state registration and fuel would be a different rate because it's not quite a necessity and not really a luxury (in most cases but that $200,000 Lambourgini is). Things like a 35 room manison and a 300' yacht which would really get hammered.
2001-07-25 02:16:35 PM  
Ah, but you know what that amounts, don't you? It amounts to a bracketed income tax (I think the system I mentioned is more fair, but still). The reason for the bracketed income tax is to tax luxuries at a higher rate. As the wealthy spend most of their income on luxuries and the poor on nesessities, they are taxed at different rates.

Again, I think the system I mentioned is overall more fair, as it *guarantees* those spending money on luxury pay a higher rate than those spending money on nesessity, but the current system achieves it to some extent.

-= rei =-
2001-07-25 02:19:00 PM  
A luxury tax system allows for even more government manipulation of the economy. Micromanagment, in fact. With such taxation we will be giving up our freedom as consumers in a supposedly FREE market.

Defining a luxury is a subjective issue. What happens when the "moral majority" starts lobbying to tax the things you like out of existence?

Flat tax is fair. Sliding scales are dangerous, slippery slopes.
2001-07-25 02:22:38 PM  
You obviously missed the whole point - the post office is an *exception*, not the rule, because its a symbol of the nation.

but my point is that you are surfing the net at the companies loss, I am (unless you want to go out on a tangent) unaffected by that.

Its that logic that causes people to think that stealing from a company is harmless, but stealing from individuals is wrong. What happens here is irrelevant to the individual case, but the overall case. Overall, companies have people surf the net. Overall, governments have people surf the net. In the overall case, it is the same situation.

SnipDaddyDad (later post):

I work for Rockwell Collins. Look us up on the S&P 500 some time.

-= rei =-
2001-07-25 02:25:10 PM  
"Flat Tax is Fair".

Then, you're for effectively raising the price of nesessities and lowering the price of luxuries, at a time when the poor are having enough trouble with nesessities as it is, and the wealthy are having no trouble at all with the price of luxuries (top 1% owns more than the bottom 90%, for example. top 3% more than the bottom 97%).

I could never be so heartless.

-= rei =-
2001-07-25 02:55:57 PM  
"(top 1% owns more than the bottom 90%, for example. top 3% more than the bottom 97%).
I could never be so heartless. "

fark em, I worked my ass off to make the money i do now. oh and that 3

Caustic: True, but the 16th ammendment was ratified illegally. I cant imagine giving away this much power it's ridiculous.

Also it reads:
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.

Proposal and Ratification

The sixteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States was proposed to the legislatures of the several States by the Sixty-first Congress on the 12th of July, 1909, and was declared, in a proclamation of the Secretary of State, dated the 25th of February, 1913, to have been ratified by 36 of the 48 States. The dates of ratification were: Alabama, August 10, 1909; Kentucky, February 8, 1910; South Carolina, February 19, 1910; Illinois, March 1, 1910; Mississippi, March 7, 1910; Oklahoma, March 10, 1910; Maryland, April 8, 1910; Georgia, August 3, 1910; Texas, August 16, 1910; Ohio, January 19, 1911; Idaho, January 20, 1911; Oregon, January 23, 1911; Washington, January 26, 1911; Montana, January 30, 1911; Indiana, January 30, 1911; California, January 31, 1911; Nevada, January 31, 1911; South Dakota, February 3, 1911; Nebraska, February 9, 1911; North Carolina, February 11, 1911; Colorado, February 15, 1911; North Dakota, February 17, 1911; Kansas, February 18, 1911; Michigan, February 23, 1911; Iowa, February 24, 1911; Missouri, March 16, 1911; Maine, March 31, 1911; Tennessee, April 7, 1911; Arkansas, April 22, 1911 (after having rejected it earlier); Wisconsin, May 26, 1911; New York, July 12, 1911; Arizona, April 6, 1912; Minnesota, June 11, 1912; Louisiana, June 28, 1912; West Virginia, January 31, 1913; New Mexico, February 3, 1913.
2001-07-25 02:57:43 PM  
Actually, I don't have a problem with the current sales tax system. It is essentially a flat tax with some exceptions at either end of the spectrum as you are describing.

I just wanted to throw out a thought to people who seemed to be in favor going further with the concept. There is potential for abuse of such as system as there is with most any subjective policy.

Regardless of the tax system, the poor are still going to have a hard time affording things and the rich will not. Personally, I'd rather see the poor better educated and helped to find better jobs than to just give them a little discount so they can keep scratching out their meager existence.

I could never be so soulless.

(sorry, could not resist the pretend catty-ness)
2001-07-25 03:15:47 PM  
I don't see how they are the same situations. That is just whitewashing over them, but I feel I got of the point with the surfing.
In my job I have seen several projects receiving millions of dollars, and the end product (which is a miracle in it own right, some can produce nothing) was unusable. In the past 3 years $10 million dollars have been spent to produce a better gas mask for our soldiers. Nothing to show for it except requests for further study (study=money). The near by high school was fitted with facility so that incase the nearby chemical storage yard was bombed the kids would have a place to go. After construction it was realized that the students would not be able to get there in time if the event did occur, the 2 million spent for nothing.

I know private companies have flaws and management problems. My beef with the gov't is that they should not be allowed to make such careless errors with mine, your and everybody else's money. I never said get rid of all government funding/spending, or that private companies are perfect. But we need to scale it back big time. $3 billion dollars goes to Israel a year, a county that has a high GNP then several other countries in Europe. My problem is the government has too much money, my money that I want, that's my argument.

However, hypothetically if a private company had spent $10 million and came up with nothing, something would have happened. Either it would have failed resulting to a loss to the people directly invested in it, or it would have never gotten that far because they would have realized it was leading nowhere.

The private sector encourages competition and entrepreneurship and responsibility, this seems to be absent in the government funded programs. How can it not piss you off the government gives universities grants for scientific studies that are of little use if any at all?
2001-07-25 03:33:29 PM  
SpikedSynapse: That looks like a legal supermajority to me... remember, the original Constitution had no provisions for taxation, so the 16th was drafted. And go read the columns MojoMonkey posted if you're going to do that "Ohio wasn't a state" bit. "Ex Post Facto" and "retroactive" are different under the law.
2001-07-25 03:37:48 PM  
I guess I phrased it wrong when I said a 300' yacht would get slammed. There are essentially 3 levels of market. Necessities such as food, basic housing and clothing- no taxes. Median necessities such as a vehicle which aren't necessary but make getting the necessities much easier- something like a 10%-15% tax. And then the absolute luxuries starting at say, the bassboat and vehicles beyond the number of drivers in a household, which are way beyond what's needed for life, would get something like a 50% tax.

Income taxes are immoral to start with because we're being penalized for working, basically paying the government for the right to earn a paycheck. If this is done by private individuals (protection from the mob), it's called extortion. The government calls it taxes but same end result. If taxes must be levied should be a flat tax so that all pay the same rate. Just because someone makes more money than is needed for necessities doesn't mean they should pay more %% in taxes.

If you don't think so, how about this analogy? When you go into a store to buy something, you'd have to show a tax certificate stating what your annual income is with the sales tax based on that. You want to buy a non-essential item and your income is something like $50,000, you might pay 15% but if your income is $100,000, you'd have to pay 30%. Same logic but I'd much prefer that because I'd have the CHOICE on whether to purchase the item.
2001-07-25 03:38:48 PM  
Rei - the problem, as I see it, with only a sales tax is that it gives the wrong incentives. It places the entirety of the taxation burden on consumer goods, and most of it on luxury consumer goods. While it's true that this ensures that onlyh those living lives of luxury pay high taxes, it has two possible problems:

1. Where do you draw the line of luxury good? Is a computer a luxury good? How about a television, or a stereo? If so, this tax would seem to put these items out of the range of affordability for many people. Not saying that this is right or wrong, but it does seem a bit troubling in my mind.

2. It discourages people from consumer sepnding, by raising consumer prices. People already do strange things to avoid the 5% sales tax, imagine what they'd do to avoid a 30% tax. The top 1% owns so much stuff, as you point out, because they bought it, thereby putting money into the economy. An income tax leaves them with less disposable income, and so curbs their spedning a bit, but not nearly as much as taxing the products they want to buy.

Some have claimed consumer prices would remain the same under this tax scheme. I find that very hard to believe, but really need to do more looking into it. It's an interesting proposal, I'm just wondering how well the details of it work out.

Oh, and one more thing, you talked about boom and bust before, in relation to after WWII. A minor point, but the post you were responding to talked about WWI, making your point about the depression less valid.

The one nice thing about private companies (well, to be more specific publicly traded private companies) is that they're a lot more accountable to their shareholders. Wouldn't it be beautiful to just fire some of our leaders right after they screw up, instead of having to wait four years to unelect them? Private companies are inefficient, sure, but I don't think they can even aspire to government levels of inefficiency.
2001-07-25 03:39:37 PM  
Regardless of the tax system, the poor are still going to have a hard time affording things and the rich will not. DasWookie:
Personally, I'd rather see the poor better educated and helped to find better jobs than to just give them a little discount so they can keep scratching out their meager existence.

The latter is almost completely correlated on the former. The former is soley dependant apon money. Money is what we're debating here - the so called "discount".

P.S. - please realize that income taxes and sales taxes amount to the same thing.

-= rei =-
2001-07-25 03:44:09 PM  
BTW, I live in Oregon and we don't pay sales tax but we do have income tax but I'd rather it was the other way. Sales tax are a user fee where you pay for what you get, not just because you work.
2001-07-25 03:45:36 PM  
The problem is, is this country is run by the wealthy. You never see the common man in office - its always an oil tycoon, or a law firm owner. Few people get elected for their focus, and intelligence. The media only plays upon the charisma the canidates display - nothing more (typically). The government doesn't have too much money, it just doesn't have enough common people running it.

Its time the democracy we are living in, started to act like one, and listen to its populace more often. Of course we can't vote on everything (and thats where the houses come into play), but something has to be changed to allow more tax payer involvement. As it stands now, the houses are too busy bickering about what party is running it. We shouldn't have a party for the rich (republican) and a party for the rest of 'em (democrates)(of course this can have special circumstance, but for the most part, its correct). I know a lot of people will disagree with me on this one, but I believe I've made a point. The poor will always be the poor, the wealthy will always be the wealthy, and the middle class will always be the middle class. But why should the wealthy get tax cuts when trickledown economics don't really work when you have greedy bastards whom will just horde their money? Why should the poor have to pay nearly the same as the middle class when they can't afford it? Why should the middle class have to make up for all the money the wealthy gets rebated on?
2001-07-25 03:57:32 PM  
You're right about the way representatives are elected and it does seem to be the weathier, upper-class who are basically out of touch with the real world. I've often thought the best way to get a true representation in political offices is not by using the Republicrat party but a lottery.

Every non-crimal adult would be registered in a database (yeah, let's ignore hackers for now, it's the idea I'm tossing out) and receive a number (shades of the draft!). Once every term for whatever office, wherever it might be, a drawing is held of all available and eligible and the winner (loser?) would be required to serve that term.
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