Peak Constitutional Amendment - XVI, Part 3

Posted On: Friday - April 10th 2020 10:13AM MST
In Topics: 
  History  Liberty/Libertarianism  US Feral Government  Morning Constitutional  Taxes

(Continued from Amendment XI, Amendment XII, Amendment XIII, Amendment XIV, Amendment XV, Part 1 on Amendment XVI, and Part 2 on Amendment XVI from yesterday.)

What, no comments on post about our Founding Document? I find that frankly odd and irregular. Well, the hell with all you people, I'm going on my Morning Constitutional with y'all or without!*

Let's finish this off. This post should be subtitled "The 5 Evils of a personal income tax". (Can I still get a job as a speechwriter for the Chinese Central Communist Party?)

As I started off with last post on Amendment XIV, though the amount of money taken from American citizens** is massive enough to have grown the Federal Gov't into a Feral Beast, it is only # 2 on our list of these 5 evils.

(Note: I'm counting down from least to most important, in a David Letterman fashion. Somehow this does not put me in the same mood as his Top-10 lists did.)


5) Regulatory burden: It's one thing with sales or excise taxes, in which the burden for compliance and paperwork is put on a business. For small business sales tax is a bit of a pain and may have slight costs. However, it is a very simply calculated tax compared to the income tax.

It's become an "industry" of its own. This whole income tax withholding*** thing, the saving of receipts for itemization, the gathering of forms together, the ritual of filling out the forms at the bar during SuperBowl half-time (at least for near a decade, as mentioned here) are pretty much a part of Americana now. No, don't take that the wrong way, as it is absolutely NOT just like baseball, hot dogs, apple pies, and 1970s Chevrolets!

It's just that the whole thing has been part of life for so long, that many wouldn't know what to do without it. "What, you mean I just keep my money? All of it? I don't get it."

The amount of labor involved in not just the tax calculations and submission of forms, but the continual planning and document collecting throughout the whole year is staggering. It is not wealth creation and is not productive time spent in any sense of the word.

I've got an acquaintance who had made his career as a small businessman doing tax accounting. (I knew him better in the past, but he's still good for advice.) The complex US income tax system was his bread and butter, but he hates the whole waste of time in compliance as much as I do.

4) Privacy: ... or lack thereof. There is nobody left around in America who can remember the time when the US Gov't did not have to know one's place of employment, how much money he makes, or whether he is working at all. Yes, that's hard to imagine ... until you do.

Amendment XVI put the kibosh on that wonderful freedom of employment with NO INVOLVEMENT by the Feral Gov't. Once this deal was implemented, it's simply the law. If you're going to tax individuals by their wages, you've got to know this about them. That is, unless one is an illegal alien - which, in this sense, is more fun, "let me tell ya..."

The more complex the tax code, the more information you're going to have to tell the IRS in order to comply or not get screwed over. Yep, they need to know everything, cause, deductions. This aspect of Amendment XVI was just the on-ramp on the road to the Orwellian State.

3) Social Programming: I doubt is was old Ronnie who said it first, but "If you want more of something, subsidize it; if you want less of something, tax it." That is one big evil of the income tax system. I suppose you could say that about other taxes. A prohibition on sales tax on food, for righteous reasons, incentivizes eating more over buying a yacht, with perhaps some kind of 30% luxury tax on it. Sure.

With the income tax, and the Feral law-makers' use of the code, via their strong-armed outfit the IRS, all sorts of policy aims can be implemented. Instead of straight-out forcing people to do more of this and less of that, Police-State-style, it can be done with the income tax code. (Did I say code? Well it's not on a coupla sheets of paper - it takes big-ass books that need specially built extra strong bookshelves or, nowadays, broadband rather than dial-up for a download!)

2) The Money: We've gone over that one yesterday. I'll just repeat this from the Constitution Center interpretation page:
... the Sixteenth Amendment matters most because it has forever changed the character of the United States government, from a modest central government dependent on consumption taxes and tariffs on imports to the much more powerful, modern government ... blah, blah, save the world, blah, blah...
True dat!

1) The FLOW of the Money: See, now was this last one a surprise, as with David Letterman's final funny number 1? This is a serious evil of having a Federal income tax, but one about which I believe most people don't really think.

Excise taxes CAN be sent in directly to the Feds, and they probably are, but it's very easy for a State government to take control of that money. State and local governments do know what business goes on in their towns and States. With the income tax, if you picture a scenario in which the people or State government want to fight the Feds, how will that work? The money already flows directly from paychecks or checks for money still "owed" of individuals to the Feds. It is doled back out to the States and people in massive amounts in various ways.

Got a disagreement with the Feds, Arkansas? Tough shit. Do you want that highway money, that welfare money, those business incentives? Better get your mind right, son. "Yeah, well, we'll withhold OUR money. Uhh, we'll get everyone in Arkansas to get his employer to stop the withholding and then assure them that we will fight for them in IRS Federal tax court, and then ... OK, OK, how high, Sir?!!"


For a number of reasons there was never a civilized country before, and may never be in the future, with the freedom of America, from it's founding, until... oh, 1913? The 5 evils we've described hopefully illustrate why Amendment XVI to the US Constitution was an abomination and and end to much of the freedom enjoyed by Americans over history.

* Please understand the humor here if you are a new reader and/or don't see how that's funny to begin with.

** ... all over the world, for that matter. I'd read that America is either the only country, or just one of a handful of countries, with a tax organization that reaches out across all continents and the 7 seas (I can only name 4 off-hand ... seas, that is).

*** Come to think of it, the withholding business much further entrenched the income tax into American business and the minds of individuals. It'd be a good topic for another post - sorry about that!

[Updated 04/11: ]
Changed name of Evil #3 per suggestion by commenter Bill H.

Wednesday - May 27th 2020 4:20PM MST
PS: OK, so you recommend the avoidance over the evasion, DJF, Jr? Thank you. That was much cheaper than paying for a lawyer again this year (you know, to get the charges reduced and all...)

I appreciate the comment, Sir.
Wednesday - May 27th 2020 3:40PM MST
PS....Tax Evasion is the illegal act of diverting taxable assets to avoid paying taxes on those assets. This is how Al Capone was pinched. Tax avoidance is claiming Married with 9 Dependants on your W-4 (?) employers payroll tax form and then tell them to shove the 1040 EZ up their ass every April 15th. You cannot be sent to prison for debt in the USSA (yet).
Tuesday - April 21st 2020 11:02AM MST
PS: Oh yeah, Adam, 420 yesterday follows the mournful 4/19, right. I don't partake, as it never really did anything good for me, but I don't believe in depriving others.

I will paste in those links from your today's comment later on. Thank you.
Adam Smith
Tuesday - April 21st 2020 8:19AM MST
PS:Top of the morning to you kind sir...

Thank you for the box of rain. Cool Stuff Indeed!

That quote is from Bill Hicks. It found it's way into something a little heavier...

Monday - April 20th 2020 10:41AM MST
PS: On your quote from a few comments back: It sounds like it's out of "Box of Rain", by the Dead (a Phil song). Cool stuff.
Adam Smith
Monday - April 20th 2020 6:43AM MST
PS: Hey there Moderator, no worries about a late reply. It's the nature of this form of communication.

Montevideo looks nice. Cannabis is legal in Uruguay. Happy 420!

12.5 lbs of metal would definitely show up like a manhole cover on the xray screen. Too bad you can't get a direct flight from ATL to MVD. They would probably think it's just a manhole cover and let it slide, no questions asked.

Security in Atlanta is pretty chill. When flying out of ATL you have to check your long guns and your Tannerite. You are allowed one handgun in your carry on, for personal protection, but you're only allowed 3 extra clips and the chamber has to be empty...

I didn't know about the 11 lb limit for ammo. Seems arbitrary... Some folks just love playing “simon says”.

"Put this knife in there with the gun" does sound like a fun post. I look forward to reading it sometime.

Great to hear from you too...
Sunday - April 19th 2020 7:57PM MST
PS: Adam Smith, got busy myself, so sorry for the late reply here.

I was thinking of Waco. Now that I looked up the date for 1933 I see what you mean about that one too.

Your take on the TSA/Customs is about on par with mine. I meant Tierra del Fuego somewhat in jest, as I think Uruguay would be a slightly better bet. (A guy who commented here one time, and does so on unz, one AaroninMVD, lives there as an expatriate and has Montevideo news website in English. I will find his blog again soon.) There is a direct flight from Miami to Montevideo once a day, well NORMALLY.

Yes, 12 1/2 lb is not too heavy, but I meant it will show up like a manhole cover in that carry-on or checked-bag, so you will have to "explain" - no, you SHOULDN'T have to, but you WILL. Yes, you can carry 11 lb of ammo in the cargo bin. Why an odd-ass number like that, I have no idea. I could tell you a funny story about asking the counter agent to "put this knife in there with the gun" right there at LAX. Maybe it'd be a good post.

Great to hear from you each time.

Adam Smith
Sunday - April 19th 2020 12:18PM MST
PS: Hello again Mr. Moderator...

Indeed, April 19th should be a day of mourning for American freedom lovers.

I presume you are referring to April 19,1933.

Though I suppose you could also be referring to April 19,1993 or April 19,1995.

Waco let us know just what kind of evil we are dealing with. I believe it was a “Fire Sacrifice” to Moloch. Sort of like how the Bohemian Grove attendees perform the cremation of care ceremony, only with real victims and not just theatrics.

The Murrah building bombing was one of those days that lead to transformative change, and as is always the case, not for the better.

I think that originally license plates were for the purpose of keeping track of “motor vehicles” used in commerce, for hire and as a source of personal gain. What I call “Regulated Occupation for Hire”. (Before they applied these regulations, by trickery and deceit, to a class of persons for which the statutes were not originally intended.) Did you ever see an old truck on the road with a sign on it that said “Not For Hire”? I used to see them more often than I do now.

Automobiles did not (do not) need license plates, as they were not (should not be) regulated like “motor vehicles”. Americans used to know the difference.

I'm with you about these new(ish) cars with the tracking devices and black boxes. I want nothing to do with them. I drive a 1990 BMW and it is more computerized than I care for, but it does not talk to the cell phone network, it doesn't track anything, and I can still work on it myself.

A “friend of mine” or a “friend of ours”?

Adam Smith
Sunday - April 19th 2020 11:31AM MST
PS: Hello again kind Moderator...

Tierra del Fuego, eh? A little cold for my taste, but a nice choice.

199 gold coins would weigh about 12 and ½ lbs. A fairly sizable chunk of metal, but not so huge that it would prevent you from putting it in a carry on.

What are the chances you'll have all or even part of your money on the airplane? I don't know.

What are the chances that we are underestimating the honesty of the TSA/Customs agents?

What are the chances that we are overestimating the honesty of the TSA/Customs agents?

I share your apprehension regarding the TSA and customs personnel, not only here but also of the Argentinian variety. If you can't trust random “government” employees then who can you trust?Apparently you can get a direct flight from Miami to Ushuaia so this would presumably keep the Brazilians or the Chileans from stealing your coins. Unless you had to make an emergency landing in Brasilia or something.

I have a feeling that the average TSA or customs agent does not know anymore about the nature of coin, currency and credit than the average American. I imagine they have some sort of bureaucratic policy or edict they would probably follow. They might have to call their supervisor.(?) I think the more people you come into contact with along the way, the greater your chances of running into a dishonest agent who would relieve you of the burden of carrying your 12 and ½ lbs of coins to your destination.

It sounds like you've had the pleasure of the TSA rummaging through your checked bag(s) for your freedom and protection, of course.

About 8-10 years ago my wife visited her father. He gave her a rifle and she wanted to fly home with it. Unbeknownst to most Americans you can still fly with guns and ammo. So, she put the rifle in a case and the ammo in her checked luggage and went to the airport. (Americans notice when you walk through the airport with a rifle case. I suppose they are not used to seeing that anymore.) Long story short, the TSA has rummaged through her checked bags every time she has checked a bag since that day. One time they did a really bad job of repacking and a whole can of hairspray let loose it's contents on the way home. (What a mess!)

Thank you for the interesting discussion.

I look forward to our continued correspondence and hope you have a wonderful day...
Sunday - April 19th 2020 11:07AM MST
PS: Thanks for writing in again, Adam. Before I get into the rest, I happened to notice the date at the top of your comment. (I mean, I already KNEW the date, but this just popped out at me.) April 19th should be a day of morning for American freedom lovers.

Yes, that's what I meant about the ownership. You know more about the legal intricacies of vehicle paperwork, but I'd have said the same - the registration business is about taxing and regulation, as you say.

Think about license plates - do we really need them for their purported original purpose - letting you find your car or something? No, now they are for the cameras to keep track of you. It's not like pro thieves can't take the plates off, the VIN is in 4 or 5 places on the car, and many have the tracking devices (NOT something I'm into!)

Thanks for the great comment there on unz (just read it). Now, let me ask you, is that last quote from a "friend of yours", haha?
Adam Smith
Sunday - April 19th 2020 8:12AM MST
PS: Hello Mr. Moderator...

I hope this message finds you well. Sorry I haven't responded in a few days, I have been rather busy at work as of late.

Philosophically speaking, can anyone really own anything?*

You asked/commented... What does it mean? Does it mean one can't find anyone else who lays claim to it. The whole point of the title was to let the State of Idaho keep track of ownership for everyone. What a snow job!

While it is true that they sold the idea of motor vehicle title as a way to keep track of “ownership” for everyone, I do not think that was the real intent of it at all. I think the title scheme is designed to transfer superior title to the state so they can tax and regulate this class of assets. The state bundles these assets and pledges them as collateral on the glorious war debt. The ad valorem tax on a motor vehicle is, in my opinion, the interest payment on the assessed value of the collateralized debt obligation. (This is also how the so called “property tax” works for another, more valuable, class of assets.)

What a snow job indeed!

What most people erroneously refer to as title is really a "Certificate of Title".

It is not a title in and of itself but simply certifies that there is a title somewhere.

The original title is the Manufacturer's Statement of Origin sometimes called the Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin.

When a new car is sold by the automobile dealer, it is not yet a motor vehicle. When the car is registered as a motor vehicle the MSO is taken by the state in exchange for a certificate of title. In most cases the MSO is photocopied and destroyed.

You asked... Does ownership mean one can't find anyone else who lays claim to it?
I think this is exactly what this means. (philosophically and lawfully)

I'm pretty sure Mr. Gordon could have proven "ownership" with a bill of sale. Alternatively he could have run an ad in the local newspaper for 30 days and claimed the automobile as his own like someone would do with abandoned property. Essentially you have to make a public announcement and give anyone with a claim time to come forward.

As this morning constitutional is about taxation, I don't want to overload it with a bunch of “Right to Travel” stuff. For a little info on “Right to Travel” vs. “Regulated Occupation For Hire” you can check out my comment here...

It is my belief that a free people do not ask permission to travel or pay for the privilege to do so.
Only a slave would have to do that.

*“Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Here's Achmed with the weather.”

Thursday - April 16th 2020 10:21AM MST
PS: OK for Adam Smith and that great discussion on REAL MONEY and the US Government's using whatever side of the coin (get it?) that works to decide how to screw you - face value vs. intrinsic value. This is just on the detail of transporting it to, I dunno, Tierra del Fuego?

It's about the TSA now. Before that, you could take your chances with declaring over $10,000 to customs or not, with probably only a small risk. However, if it's face value, well, you can bring a lot of money without declaring it. Make it $9950 face value of US gold coins, and we're talking 199 coins. At the spot price of $1,500 each, that's almost $200 Grand. A rich guy like Adam Smith may have to make a number of trips, or have his wife go through separately, haha, but still that sounds like a way to do it.

Oh, or you COULD simple declare them and bring more. Here's the dilemma: For customs guys, they are bound to know a little bit about this, so you would have to trust them to be straight honest themselves AND not use some government rule designed to specifically screw you. Then, there's the TSA, but I'll get to that, as it applies slightly differently to both choices. What's the chances you'll have all or even part of your money on the airplane?

If you bring less than $10,000 face value and don't declare it, then that's a huge chunk of metal in your carry-on luggage. The TSA, comprised mostly of people who won't have a clue about real money, would at least have you take it out of the luggage. People would swarm over to look, and knowing nothing, likely to send you to customs. Get there, and it's "Sir, it goes by spot price, and you have lied on your form.". Or even if not that, you'll have same problems as before.

If you put this stuff in your checked-luggage, it can and likely WILL be rummaged through by the TSA, for protection our freedoms!, or course. Again, even with a clueless guy, he's gonna know they are worth something, and you may arrive at Tierra del Fuego with no real money, and this guy, after visiting a coin shop, can quit the TSA and retire to, I dunno, Tierra del Fuego?

Thursday - April 16th 2020 10:07AM MST
PS: Hey Mr. Smith, those were very enjoyable and informative comments! I used to read more of guys like Mr. Gordon, on, or linked off of, Lew Rockwell and other Constitutionalist sites. (It looks like George Gordon died about 6 years ago, BTW, but the webmaster is keeping the site up - interesting feud with the widow Gordon, too...)

I don't know what else the guy was to do to prove to that judge that he owned the car. What does it mean? (is the philosophical question). Does it mean one can't find anyone else who lays claim to it. The whole point of the title was to let the State of Idaho keep track of ownership for everyone. What a snow job!

I hope you will continue to comment here, and I'll see you on also, Adam. I've got another reply (well, I'm sure you'll see it, with a little more info about bring precious metal out of the US.

Adam Smith
Thursday - April 16th 2020 7:26AM MST
PS: Hey Moderator,

Check this out...

31 U.S. Code § 5103. Legal tender

United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues. Foreign gold or silver coins are not legal tender for debts.

31 U.S. Code § 5112. Denominations, specifications, and design of coins

(h) The coins issued under this title shall be legal tender as provided in section 5103 of this title.

Adam Smith
Wednesday - April 15th 2020 8:57AM MST
PS: Good Morning Mr. Moderator,

Would have been nice to see the real Live Dead. Phil and Friends was fun, as close to the real thing as possible at the time. Youtube is great when it comes to live shows, live music. Or how to do just about anything.

If something like the gold/silver coin thing went meat-space-viral (I like that phrase, never heard it before) I think they would either take the coins out of circulation like they did in 1933, or they would use it as an excuse to go fully cashless so they could run real negative interest rates. They certainly would not let it slide. The constitution is no protection against a lawless “government” that no longer respects the rule of law.

The following could be evidence about the reality of the gold/silver nominal face value thing.
(Wish I had more time today to find a better source for such things.) I guess I could call someone at the border or TSA and ask...

I am under the impression that bullion is treated by customs officials differently than currency when crossing the border. I think this is why legal tender gold and silver carries a premium.

“When traveling between the United States and Canada, recognized legal tender gold coins such as the US Buffalo and Eagle, the Canadian Maple Leaf, the Austrian Philharmonic, or the Australian Kangaroo are valued for their legal tender face value, not the intrinsic gold value they sell for. The One ounce American Eagle and Buffalo carry a $50 face value, so does the Canadian Maple Leaf and Australian Kangaroo. And the Austrian Philharmonic bears a 150 Euro denomination. It means that for the purpose of travel between the US and Canada, the face value of the coin is the value that needs to be considered when determining if you are carrying more than the reportable threshold limit of $10,000.”

“The American Silver Eagle coin has a tender value of $1. It is possible to use this coin as legal tender, but because the value of the silver greatly exceeds the face value of the coin, this is not recommended.”

Sorry this link is not more concise... I wish I had the time today to sift through the archive to find the stuff most pertinent to our conversation.

So... I have not listened to any of these audio clips in years. I remember enjoying the series called “You Can Beat City Hall” from June of 2006. “The Check Story” is pretty good. I like his take on the Kelo Case, his ideas on farming, common law, contracts, privacy, homeschooling, tax law, rainwater harvesting, making money with hard money... There is a lot of information there, but you kinda have to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. His stuff on mosaic law and religion is a bit not of my taste, but still interesting. I learned about the gold/silver ratio by listening to Mr. Gordon. Some of his stuff on business is pretty good too...

I never met Mr. Gordon myself, but I have a friend who took his tax and status class probably about a dozen years ago. He traded him 4 gold coins back when gold was around $400 an oz.(maybe that was more than a dozen years ago?) Gordon also taught classes on pro se litigation, title 42 law suits, how to make $100,000 a year on 25 acres or less... stuff like that.

Sometimes he is a little like a broken record, I suppose that is the nature of taking a topic and presenting it in seven one hour audio clips. Sometimes he is little boring, other times very thorough.

Some of his stories are amusing to me. He tells a story somewhere in that archive about the time he made it to the Idaho supreme court on a “Right to Travel” by automobile case. He tried to assert his right to travel by automobile without a license or registration. The judge asked him who owned the car. He said “I do”. The judge asked him if he could prove it. So he held up his “certificate of title” and pointed to the line that says owner with his name next to it. The judge asked him if he had any other proof of ownership. Gordon said no. Then the judge said something to the effect of “If you could prove that you own the automobile then we would have a very different case before us today”. “You are guilty of driving a motor vehicle without a license”. Evidently the certificate of title proves that the state holds superior title, partner.

Also somewhere in the radio archive he tells a story about one of his students who wanted to be paid in gold coins and not currency (the gold/silver coin thing). This guy was highly paid for his labor and expertise. This student was one of those guys that built/serviced/maintained those penny press machines you see at a tourist attraction where you put your penny in, it flattens it and then stamps it with whatever design and you get your souvenir... Turns out there are only a few people who do that, it's a really small industry. So he went to his employer and told them he would rather be paid in gold coins. At first they refused. Most employers don't operate that way. So he quit. The next Monday they called him, explained that they would like him to return to work and asked where they could get these coins he wanted. Most people are not in such a fortunate position with their employer.

I'll try to find some better info about the legal tender gold/silver coin thing.

Hope you have a good day...
Tuesday - April 14th 2020 12:59PM MST
PS: Mr. Smith, that deal with the gold/silver coins is extremely interesting to me. I'd call it BRILLIANT, in fact! Do you have any links you could paste in?

If something like this went meat-space-viral, I think the US government would think of some way to squash it all. What do you think they would do, Adam?

Sorry you missed the real Live Dead. It's not like I ever followed them around. I kind of lost my interest from a few years after we lost Jerry till youtube got big. I can all kinds of whole shows. Commenter Ganderson could steer you to the best, better than I could.
Adam Smith
Tuesday - April 14th 2020 8:22AM MST
PS: Hey there Moderator,

I heard a rumor about the 16th being not properly ratified. I'm sure that is what the u.s. tax court would call a frivolous argument.

I heard a story from an old man that a one dollar u.s. silver eagle coin is not bullion for tax purposes because of the nominal face value. He claimed that he tested his hypothesis. He said he went to the local IRS office to pay his taxes. He slapped a $50 gold eagle on the counter and asked them to accept it as payment. They accepted it as $50 towards his tax bill.

From then on he demanded payment from his customers in gold or silver coins with the nominal dollar value. Since you can have $12,200 dollars of income each year without filing, he never filed again. He never went to tax court and he never went to tax prison. He was investigated by the FBI when he started teaching this to others in exchange for gold and silver coins at his "school of law", but nothing ever came of it. He has since passed away. ($15.81x12,200=$192,882)

This gels with my hypothesis that what they are actually taxing is the use of the federal reserve notes and not "income" per se. Maybe he was just lucky?

I did notice your message about the Dead topic key. I have been perusing it and thoroughly enjoying it. Sorry to hear about Jerry's wolf raising so much cash for those hate group scammers.

It's cool that you got to see the Dead.(Lucky) I saw Phil Lesh & Friends once upon a time, a long time ago. It was a really good time. When the sun went down it got quite chilly so we built bonfires in the grass. Fun times.

I was 17 at the time of Jerry's passing.
I wish I could have seen a proper Grateful Dead show.
Monday - April 13th 2020 7:31AM MST
PS: Thank you, Adam Smith. Yeah, some rabbit holes I won't go down, but I know there is a lot more history and detail that I don't know about. Some say that this Amendment was never correctly ratified - some of those are in jail for tax evasion, whether they were right or not ;-}

BTW, did you see we have our "The Dead" topic key? You are not the only dead-fan-commenter here, so chime in ...
Adam Smith
Sunday - April 12th 2020 10:17PM MST

Happy easter to you too Mr. Moderator...


Please understand when I say omissions, I mean it in the lightest sense possible...

Simply something overlooked...

Love your website...

Sunday - April 12th 2020 1:56PM MST
PS: Thanks for the comment, and happy Easter to you, Mr. Smith.
Adam Smith
Sunday - April 12th 2020 11:52AM MST

The 16th Amendment did not amend or change the constitution and conferred no new powers of taxation to the feral beast.

Ctrl-F "Brushaber" = Phrase not found...
Ctrl-F "Stanton" = Phrase not found...

Interesting omissions...

There is a common misconception that the 16th amendment removed the rule of apportionment. It (not so clearly) did no such thing...

So what is the so called "income tax"?

The "income tax" is an indirect excise tax.
A privilege tax.

But what privilege are they taxing?

It all comes down to franchise, partner.

Franchise. A special privilege to do certain things that is conferred by government on an individual or a corporation and which does not belong to citizens generally of common right.

conferred by government on an individual or a corporation = partnership

You wouldn't want to deny your partner it's fair share of your profits to which it's entitled? Would you?

I am of the belief that the "income tax" is an indirect excise tax on your privilege to use the Federal Reserve's private currency. (Which is really the privilege of discharging your debts in equity instead of paying your debts at law. Article 1 section 10... No State shall make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.)

So why is there a 16th amendment at all if it grants no new taxation powers?

"It is clear on the face of this text that it does not purport to confer power to levy income taxes in a generic sense, -an authority already possessed and never questioned," ...

"Indeed, in the light of the history which we have given and of the decision in the Pollock Case, and the ground upon which the ruling in that case was based, there is no escape from the conclusion that the Amendment was drawn for the purpose of doing away for the future with the principle upon which the Pollock Case was decided;" ...

Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad Co., 240 U.S. 1 (1916)

The Amendment acts strictly and solely upon the Supreme Court so that the Supreme Court can not rule on a similar topic in the future in the same way as it ruled in the Pollock case.

Happy Easter!
Saturday - April 11th 2020 2:36PM MST
PS: Bill H, I just hate the word "engineering" used for things that have nothing to do with engineering AND often times with the connotation of it being a bad thing.

I'll go 1/2 way with you and change it to "Social Programming". Oops, the computer guys may not like that .. can't please everyone on a blog called Peak Stupidity!
Bill H
Saturday - April 11th 2020 10:05AM MST
PS I would call your number 3 "Social Engineering" rather than "Policy Making." Encouraging people to buy houses by making mortgage interest tax deductible in order to enrich the mortgage lending industry should not be dignified with the term "policy."
Saturday - April 11th 2020 7:51AM MST
PS: MR. Ganderson, Milton Friedman, "free-market economist", took partial responsibility for creating the withholding tax during WWII. In later life he regretted the necessity of it. Like a lot of temporary emergency measures, e.g. employer-paid health insurance, it has persisted--a precedent that should be uppermost in our minds right now.

Robert, you describe the dilemma leading to the money laundering industry. Most people try to avoid taxes. Those with a lot of illegal income want to pay taxes on it, at least some of it, so that they can enjoy the money. You have to have some way to explain your nice house, car, etc. So they have to buy a parking garage or laundromat or some other cash-receipt business through which they can funnel the illicit revenue stream.
Friday - April 10th 2020 5:02PM MST
PS: Hail, I've heard of Grover Norquist since, like, forever, but I have never heard that theory. Were the income tax to be truly automated, as they may fear, it would be even worse. One couldn't even TRY to cheat.

You're right about the typical American and taxes. For some, it's like "hey, what a great savings plan that was! I've got 478 bucks coming - thank you Uncle Sam!" and others, like me, don't want to be the first or last to hand in the test. I want mine smack dab in the middle of the pile, when the IRS is busy as hell!

Thanks to all of you for all the comments on this post (you know I was joking in that line right?) and for all the recent comments. It brightens my day.
Friday - April 10th 2020 4:54PM MST
PS -- Re: "The 5 Evils of a personal income tax"

Good list. It's hard to understand why the "tax industry" exists at all especially in this era.

If you look up people's thoughts on this online, there is consensus that the whole thing is wasteful and pointless.

A lot of people then go on to say, "Why hasn't this changed," and they give a few reasons you might guess at, but then one other name always creeps in: Grover Norquist. There is this idea that anti-tax conservatives are responsible for the US income tax boondoggle and block any moves to simplify the process. It is a conspiracy theory, by definition. The idea is, Grover Norquist (puppetmaster) and the gang think that if income taxes were simpler, or if the whole thing were done automatically, the government could secretly raise taxes without anyone realizing it, because they no longer "file their taxes."

This belief is strange because it's not like the typical person understands much about taxes anyway. For most it's always like taking a test they forgot to study for, struggling through, and being the last guy to hand in the test paper.
Friday - April 10th 2020 4:37PM MST
PS: An amendment, you say? I don't like the sound o' that...

Friday - April 10th 2020 4:35PM MST
PS: I'm not a lawyer, Robert, so I'm warning you that I cannot guarantee complete confidentiality between us here in the comments section of Peak Stupidity.
Friday - April 10th 2020 4:33PM MST
PS: Never heard that one, Mr. Ganderson, from a clever bastard himself.

I did know that this withholding chicanery was implemented during the WWII years, but I want to look up more about who should hang for it. Is it wrong to hang 120 year-old?
Friday - April 10th 2020 3:26PM MST
PS: Oh, forgot to add:
If only there were some kind of amendment against self-incrimination in criminal cases.
Friday - April 10th 2020 3:23PM MST
PS: If at some earlier point of my life I were engaged in a certain illegal business, I would have felt my self to be in a pickle. Do I
1) declare my entire income, and possibly provide evidence against my self is a later court of law proceeding? Or
2) file a false return, and possibly get in trouble with the IRS?

Friday - April 10th 2020 11:48AM MST
PS- just recorded a lecture on the home front in WWII- featuring TAH DAH!!! Mandatory Withholding. Most of us have no idea how much we pay to the feds. Clever bastards!
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