AEIdeas

The public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute

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Discussion: (23 comments)

  1. The sixteenth amendment should be repealed and the income tax abolished. There is no reason for the government to have intimate knowledge of your personal finances. Ever.

    For the majority of its lifetime, the republic got on very well without an income tax. Not until the leftists decided it was the government’s business to know what everyone’s financial situation was did this tax come into being.

    1. Jon Murphy

      And all it has done is cause problems ever since.

  2. mesa econoguy

    The income tax is nefarious.

    Current tax law makes it even more so, as withholding is geared to overestimate the amount people owe.

    I am for complete repeal of the 16th amendment, but failing that, we should reduce withholding to zero, but require people to file quarterly taxes so they can see how much government is stealing from them.

    Currently, people are conditioned to feel lucky if they get a refund, which was their money in the first place, since they pay little to no attention to how much is coming out of their checks and going to bloated leviathan government.

    1. mesa

      The income tax is nefarious.

      Taxation is theft.

      1. mesa econoguy

        Taxation is illegal.

        1. mesa

          Taxation is illegal.

          Oh, if only that were true. Could you imagine the prison overcrowding problem we would have then?

          1. mesa econoguy

            The taxing power as currently enacted is illegal, and far beyond the scope of any founders intent.

            But you are right; the current socioeconomic and political structure of the country is beyond repair, and taxation is one of a long list of government abuses.

          2. morganovich

            mesa-

            well, not all of it. not even most of it. the 16th amendment is actually pretty broad.

            “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.”

            it seems to me that it is their spending far more than their taxing that is out of line with constitutional principles.

            once the 10th amendment was basically totally negated by some deeply revisionist and questionable interpretation of the preamble, the feds basically gave themselves the power to do anyhting they describe as being in the “general welfare”, a term so broad and all encompassing, that it’s impossible to even see why the 10th amendment was written if the intent of that phrase in the preamble was as courts have construed it.

          3. mesa econoguy

            Exactly right, and as I mentioned above, taxation is only one of many government abuses, having basically granted themselves unlimited powers.

            The history of taxation is quite interesting (yes, I just said that). But that’s for another time.

          4. mesa

            The taxing power as currently enacted is illegal, and far beyond the scope of any founders intent.

            True, but the dichotomy legal / illegal only applies to us individuals, not to government actors and agencies that are above the law.

            We might have a valuable energy source if we could harness the heat generated by the Founders spinning in their graves.

          5. morganovich

            “We might have a valuable energy source if we could harness the heat generated by the Founders spinning in their graves.”

            ron-

            that would be inefficient. instead, we should just wrap them in wire and surround them with magnets.

          6. morganovich

            that would be inefficient. instead, we should just wrap them in wire and surround them with magnets.

            Heh! Of course. Thanks for the reminder that we should always favor clean energy alternatives. Sometimes I forget how serious global warming is.

    2. morganovich

      mesa-

      too true.

      somehow, the irs has managed to get most folks to think about april 15th as the day they get a prize, not the day that the balance of their involuntary interest free loan is returned.

      the feds should, at the very least, pay interest.

      when you underpay your estimated taxes, you get penalized and pay interest.

      why not apply that to the treasury when they over withhold?

      but i like you system better. let’s get everyone paying quarterly so they can write a check with money that was actually in their account at some point and make the system more visible in its totality.

      as someone who pays quarterly, i sure do not look forward to tax day…

      1. morganovich

        mesa-

        i see that you are doing your year end taxes too…

  3. Benjamin Cole

    Remember, of your income and capital gains taxes (read carefully, not FICA) the DoD, VA, DHS, intelligence and USDA eat up 70 percent.
    We can replace income and capial gains with a smaller federal government and consumption and pollution taxes.
    We would be a richer stronger and cleaner country.

    1. mesa econoguy

      What the hell are you talking about?

    2. mesa econoguy

      Income tax covers nothing, because if people understood how much government is spending OF THEIR MONEY they would revolt.

      Taxation is driven by spending. You need to worry about outlays, i.e. spending, i.e. actual debt, i.e. politicians who can’t keep their spending shlong in their pants:

      http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Documents/103013%20Tables.pdf

      While the EPA wacko margin is now significant, FICA is about to explode.

    3. mesa econoguy

      Here’s the pretty picture 2013 version for your simpleton consumption Benji:

      http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2013/11/Govt%20Spending%2012-13.jpg

      FICA & HHS will destroy the country, and already are. DOD is nowhere to be seen.

      Comment again when you get a goddamn clue idiot.

      1. Benjamin Cole

        Mesa-

        1. Try Sanka brand!

        2. The USA will spend $10 trillion in the next 10 years on national defense. There is no nation on Earth eve with a plan, let alone the desire, to invade the USA.

        That is federalism, US govermentism, ran wild!

        Keep paying your income and capital gains taxes…..the feds will take more next year and more after that….

        1. mesa econoguy

          Benji, try minimizing your retarded ramblings.

          Defense is nowhere to be seen, if you combine top outlays 1, 2, and 4. Those are your drivers. Math is hard.

          You re an exceptionally stupid person.

        2. mesa econoguy

          And they are going to take much, much more, irrespective of ANY defense spending.

          Defense spending could go to zero tomorrow, and rates would still rise – all of them.

          The setup is having a dysfunctional political process where things like tax adjustments occur automatically (like the sequester), because no one wants to be responsible for removing benefits, which will have to happen. Until we deal with entitlements, the question isn’t if the country collapses, it’s when.

          The country is broken, and the tax system along with it.

  4. The Fairtax makes April 15 just another day.

    End the Half Trillion Dollar burden of tax compliance.

  5. Ken Seabury

    The Income Tax has been in existence in the U.S. since 1862, 51 years prior to the Congressional enactment of the Sixteenth Amendment in 1913.

    The Sixteenth Amendment was passed to close a loophole created by Pollock v. Farmers Loan & Trust 158 U.S. 601, U.S. Supreme Court (1895). Mr. Pollock argued that FEDERAL stock he had purchased was his personal property and that the FEDERAL dividends from that stock was equivalent to taxing personal property, which was an unapportioned direct tax prohibited under Article I. The Supreme Court agreed, and struck the relevant sections from the Code. The purpose of the Sixteenth Amendment was indeed to close this loophole and restore to Congress the power to tax FEDERAL dividends, even if those FEDERAL dividends were derived from personal property – hence, the “source derived” language.

    http://www.losthorizons.com
    http://losthorizons.com/Documents/The16th.htm
    http://www.losthorizons.com/tax/MoreVictories26.htm

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