Thursday, April 15, 2010

High court declares income tax unconstititional

This is true. It did - in 1895. Today, the Supreme Court wouldn't even listen to arguments opposing the income tax, and not because it's part of the Constitution. Government growth, to which both major parties are fully committed, requires government to squeeze every penny it can get from wherever it can get it. The Court understands that, and sees to it nothing interferes with government's revenue stream. As Thomas Paine wrote in Rights of Man, government "watches prosperity as its prey, and permits none to escape without tribute."

It wasn't always this way. For the first 70 years of our history, the country somehow got by without an income tax. Then Lincoln decided he would have a bloody war, and government's expenses grew astronomically. It turned to counterfeiting by issuing greenbacks, and it stretched its taxing powers. Congress approved an income tax in 1861, and the first deadline for filing returns was June 30, 1862. There was no collection agency then. The government's haul that year amounted to $0.00. Obviously, it would need credible threats to carry out the theft, since the unpopularity of Lincoln's war and the low level of egalitarian influence meant that no one voluntarily surrendered the money they had earned

On February 25, 1913 the "soak the rich" amendment - the Sixteenth -- became part of the U.S. Constitution. The income tax went from a "class tax to a mass tax" during World War II, with the passage of withholding - a temporary measure needed to fund Roosevelt's war. It's no coincidence that the bloodiest war in mankind's history - 50 to 70 million deaths, most of them civilians -- occurred when governments had their hands deep in their citizens' pockets, by means of the income tax and their central banks.

Withholding and monetary inflation are the twin pillars of government revenue, craftily designed to "fry" as much revenue as possible from U.S. citizens and dollar holders without igniting a rebellion.

Today, few people care about any of this one way or another. Of those who do care, most believe taxes should be more equitable, with loopholes closed, etc. Those opposing big government, or government at all, are marginalized as kooks or racist right-wingers. And that is government's greatest victory of all.

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