That’s it then

If the constitution allows Congress to do practically anything it wants, so long as it can be called it a “tax” by some stretch of the imagination (remember the NFA?), then we’ll have to repeal the 16th amendment.


Has anyone else made this point?  I had Rush on for about an hour, he was talking about the SCOTUS decision on nationalization of the medical industry the whole time, and he never mentioned the 16th.  That’s where most of this social engineering crap comes from– “nudge” us this way and that using the tax code.

8 thoughts on “That’s it then

  1. You’re the first I’ve seen so far. I have to agree,that repeal of the 16th is the only way to stop this kind of madness.

  2. Now we are serfs or slaves of the republic.
    Only the rich elites can escape the forthcoming edicts backed up by “taxes” to compel us.

  3. The 16th had nothing to do with this decision, so repealing it is, unfortunately, not the solution. The 16th was passed after the Supreme Court struck down the Income Tax as being a violation of the Constitution’s prohibition of direct taxes. 16 only allows an Income Tax, not any other type of direct tax.

    In this case, the Court has continued a line of reasoning that has reduced the Constitution’s words “direct tax” to a term of art. This started with other taxes such as the Estate Tax. It has no enabling amendment, but the Court determined that it was not a “direct tax” but rather an Excise Tax levied on the Privilege of Gratuitously transferring property.

    Ponder that for a second–you have the right to trade for value and the government can’t stop you (though they can tax the amount they determine to be income) but GIVING your OWN property away for nothing is a PRIVILEGE and you have to pay a tax to access that privilege…but at least they are nice enough to give you an unlimited credit against the tax you owe when you give to qualified charities or to your spouse (as long as he or she is a US Citizen).

    Now, today, we have something even harder for the Court to justify, so rather than just tell us why this isn’t a direct tax, they tell us that they do not think that term means what we think it means. When you look at Roberts’ opinion on pages 40 and 41 of the decision, he explains that “direct tax” only means a tax levied directly on your real and personal property. He cites precedent that I have not had time to verify, but if his analysis is correct, it just shows how long ago we started down this path–i.e. long before the excuse making that allowed the immoral Estate Tax.

    Roberts also defines away “capitation” as an unconditional head tax. Since this tax can be avoided by satisfying a condition (buying approved insurance) he says that it is kosher here too.

    The result of this decision is that rather than reading the Constitution’s forbidding of capitations and direct taxes as only allowing levies on the states, tariffs, etc., we are left with an official interpretation that allows any “tax” they can dream up so long as it has Some condition for avoiding it and so long as it is not a property tax.

    MSNBC has been fretting at the “poison pill” of weakening the Commerce Clause in this case, but as you can see, the expansion of the taxing power more than makes up for anything Roberts might have tried to do for limited government.

    Sorry to rain on your parade, Lyle. It would be a good idea if our situation weren’t so dire, but the cancer started before the 16th Amendment and continued apace after it. Repealing the 16th is a step in the right direction, but more will be needed just as if Alcohol prohibition was still going today, we would need to do more than repeal the 18th Amendment to rid ourselves of Marijuana prohibition. Unless we get a Court that will throw out generations of bad precedent or we pass such a mass of carefully written amendments that we practically rewrite the Constitution to reassert the original intent, we won’t see any quick fixes. And, as can be seen from those two options, those quick fixes could go dreadfully wrong as such a court or such a rewrite could be used to hijack the Constitution and drag it even further down this road.

  4. @UTLaw, so it sounds like the only good remedy is a complete and total repeal to strike this messy law from the books?

  5. A total repeal would get rid of this particular law; unfortunately, we’re stuck with this horrible precedent until either SCOTUS reverses itself, or we pass an amendment that specifically delineates Congress’s taxing power and strictly limits it.

  6. The only way this monstrosity of a law got passed was because of teh fig-leaf of cover provided by saying “oh, no-no-no, it’s NOT a tax – we’d NEVER raise your taxes!” This strips that away. Yes, they *could* do all sorts of undesirable carp in a similar way, but the opposition can easily raise hell over the other side boosting taxes, which will tend to make such things much harder to do. Also, the potential to start limiting somewhat the commerce clause will be good. It also makes the court look, to the average politically-disconnected dude/dudette on the street, LESS political, which makes other parts of their job easier in the long term. I think the decision had much suckage in it, but it could have been worse in the details.

    As for repealing the 16th, I’d be up for it – but adding a simple spending cap of, say 20% of GDP, and tossing the current tax code and replacing it with the FairTax would work better, IMHO.

  7. I think the decision had much suckage in it, but it could have been worse in the details.

    In other words, “I’m glad that my shit sandwich has more bread than I expected.”*

    * Someone else came up with that wonderfully… descriptive turn of phrase. Unfortunately, I can’t remember who, or where I saw it. But I’m totally stealing it anyway.

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