By Robert Greenslade Price of Liberty February 16, 2009
In the first article on the FairTax entitled The FairTax and The Sixteenth Amendment, I presented documentation that shows the FairTax plan is flawed because the FairTaxers have a misconception concerning the Sixteenth Amendment, the nature of excise taxes, and the system of taxation established by the Constitution. The Amendment, contrary to the assertions by the FairTaxers, is not the constitutional basis for the federal government’s power to impose the taxes known as “income taxes.” All of the various income taxes (employment taxes are income taxes) the federal government is imposing on businesses and individuals are indirect excise taxes because they are taxes measured by income; none of these taxes are taxes on income. The federal government’s constitutional power to impose these taxes is Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 of the Constitution-not the Sixteenth Amendment.
I believe the FairTaxers are inadvertently focusing on the wrong problem when it comes to federal taxation. In their zeal to repeal the Sixteenth Amendment and devise a “more efficient” tax system, they have lost sight of the fact that the Constitution, as written by the Founders, strictly limits the federal government’s power to tax and spend. The power to tax and spend is not the problem; it is the usurpation of power concerning the power to tax and spend that is the problem. The FairTax, if implemented, will only make this problem worse because, if the plan is successful and generates additional tax revenue, Congress will simply devise new ways to unconstitutionally spend the money and drive the nation further into debt.
From a strict Constitutional standpoint, what the FairTaxers are actually saying is: we have devised a more efficient system for the federal government to extract money from the American people to fund programs not authorized by the Constitution. Sorry but I would rather spend my time and resources attempting to right the wrong rather than advancing it.
The bottom line is this: there is no constitutional duty placed on the American people to pay federal income taxes or a 23 % national sales tax to fund programs not authorized by the Constitution. Period end of story! That being said, the purpose of this article is four fold. First, show that the federal government is violating the core principle of the Constitution. Second, prove that even if the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment had granted Congress a so-called “new” taxing power, as the FairTaxers believe, the Amendment could not be the constitutional basis for any additional federal spending. Third, expose Congress’ violation of the taxing clause of the Constitution (this will be discussed briefly and covered at length in another article). Fourth, show that the constitutional solution to the tax problem is NO tax, not a so-called FairTax. READ MORE…