We are all slaves. We are in shackles from the first day we work until the day we die through IRS tax codes and the formidable income tax. What is it that gives Congress this elusive power to tax one’s livelihood? It is the 16th Amendment. The 16th amendment was established in 1913 by a group of bankers in a smoke-filled room to completely enslave the American people and to fund a government that is stronger than the people it is supposed to represent. The 16th Amendment states that “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.” This is not only unconstitutional but is downright theft. The 16th amendment should be repealed because theft is against the law, forcible taxation is theft, and the Government is not above the law.
The 16th Amendment should be repealed primarily because theft is against the law. Theft is against the law because only the individual has the right to his or her property. Recently, there was the infamous Seahawks/Packers game in which the Seahawks won the game through a bad call. The reason the call was bad is because only one person can have possession of the ball, and in that same way, only one individual can own his or her property. I do not own my friend’s bag of chips; thus, I am not guaranteed rights over his chips. So, if I eat them without getting his permission, then I am stealing. Laws like the ones that prevent theft are in place to protect the rights of individuals. For example, shoplifting is against the law simply because the owner of a store has the exclusive right over his or her merchandise, so his or her property (merchandise) is protected by making it illegal to steal it, unless one faces the consequences. Another example is that I will go to jail for killing someone because it is that individual’s right to his or her life, and I infringed on that right and, thus, must pay the consequences. These laws allow for Authorities to take over the process of defending the individual’s rights and for the due process that is allotted to those that break these laws. Former United States Secretary of Agriculture, Ezra Taft Benson, explains the process of these laws being formed:
In a primitive state, there is no doubt that each man would be justified in using force, if necessary, to defend himself against physical harm, against theft of the fruits of his labor, and against enslavement of another… Indeed, the early pioneers found that a great deal of their time and energy was being spent doing all three – defending themselves, their property and their liberty – in what properly was called the “Lawless West.” In order for man to prosper, he cannot afford to spend his time constantly guarding his family, his fields, and his property against attach and theft, so he joins together with his neighbors and hires a sheriff. At this precise moment, government is born. The individual citizens delegate to the sheriff their unquestionable right to protect themselves. The sheriff now does for them only what they had a right to do for themselves – nothing more (Benson Para. 14).
The final reason theft is against the law is because it is morally wrong. Here in America the individual is valued and is believed to have the exclusive rights over himself and his property; this is a moral belief, and believing this makes life better for everyone. In most religions, it is even considered a sin to steal. In an exchange with prolific anarchist and author Larken Rose, Carl Watner says that the government’s survival “is beside the point” and that the “argument is that it is not morally proper to steal from people, even for a good cause” (Rose 7). So, theft appears to be an immoral action overall. One can now see why stealing in any form is against the law.
Forcing someone to give money to another person against his or her will is just a fancy way of theft and is another reason why the 16th Amendment should be repealed. Forcible taxation is theft primarily because the individual is not given the option to refuse to pay the tax. If I make a decision not to pay income tax, I may receive a penalty such as a fine or even jail time. The Internal Revenue Service, or IRS as is commonly referred to, sends hundreds of people to jail for tax evasion every year, but all these individuals are doing is choosing not to give up his or her money. Although there may be many people evading income tax, the government is gaining vast amounts of income from those that do pay their taxes. According to the Tax Policy Center, as of 2011 the federal government receives over forty-seven percent of profit from the individual income tax. This is up from fourteen percent in 1934, which means the government has only increased the amount of theft they participate in (Tax Policy Center Data). Forcible taxation is theft, also, because income is just another form of property. When one works, he or she is giving a skill of either physical strength or mental ability that comes from the individual, who is a property unto his or herself, in exchange for another property known as money. Money, then, can be exchanged for other properties like food, clothes, and other luxuries. All of these luxuries are property, including the money itself. Now, because I have the exclusive right to my property, including my income, it is contradictory to forcibly tax me. “If a thug were to accost you in the street and demand your wallet or purse, you wouldn’t hesitate in knowing what to call it -theft” (Chris Tame 2). This, forcible taxation, is a blatant example of theft, but it is disguised in rhetorical verbiage. Although some might argue that taxation is in place to help the poor and needy, as Chris Tame explains, it is no different than a robber who steals someone’s wallet and tells them that they will be using the money in their wallet to help out some less fortunate people in the area. This is re-distribution and on the grand scale seems to be disregarded as a natural part of the system of government (Tame 2). As it stated earlier, only one person has the possession of his or her money. It is clear that no one has the right to steal another’s money; thus, theft of property is against the law.
Finally the 16th amendment should be repealed because the Government, in using forcible taxation, is breaking the law, and the Government is not above the law. One might question whether or not any person or entity is above the law. The Government is not above the law for many reasons. One reason is because individuals are not above the law. I am not allowed to steal as an individual. If I steal, I go to jail, and thus, am clearly suffering the consequences of immoral actions. One might think this does not answer the question “Why is the government not above the law?” He or she might think the government is greater than individuals who are not above the law. The Government, however, is just a collection of individuals. If there were no people, there would not be government. For example, if people suddenly stopped existing all at once, the ideas, philosophies, and institutions that they represent would also disappear. Every position held in government is held by an actual person, so it is clear that the Government is just a collection of people. Just as a sheriff is set up in Benson’s Story above, so is any form of government. Benson says that the two functions of the government are to maintain the court systems and to create and control a standard monetary system. (para. 21). Government is given its power by those people it represents only so far as they have the right of themselves to do. I cannot give power to a government body to do an immoral act, like murdering out of hatred because I do not have that right myself. Another reason that the Government is not above the law is that the Government is set up only to protect the rights of individuals, including those in the Government themselves. This may sound redundant, but it is not inherently obvious to everyone. Military is established to allow for individuals to band together and help fight off a common enemy, or to protect these individuals properties. If my mother were to hire someone to mow her grass because she does not wish to mow the lawn herself, it would not give the hired lawn mower the right to cut down my mother’s favorite tree. In the same way, if the United States of America gives the Government the right to establish laws that protect its citizens, then the Government does not have the right to establish laws that infringe on the rights of its citizen’s property. Mr. Rose, as mentioned in the first paragraph, agrees with Mr. Watner that he also does not see a difference between the government taxing and a robber stealing, and he finds it appalling that people even try distinguishing the two (7). The laws that the Government passes are for everyone, including themselves, so it is clear that the government does not have the right to steal and is not above the law.
Understanding the logical implications of these claims can only lead one to the conclusion that the 16th amendment is theft and should be repealed. If theft on all accounts is immoral and illegal, the Government is instituted to protect the individual and his or her property, and the laws are in place to serve as justice for those that practice immoral and illegal acts, then a law cannot be set up that is contradictory to these ends. The Government is not above the laws that are created to help protect the individual from those that wish to do immoral acts. So, all laws that are immoral are contradictory and should be repealed. If anything more can be said on this topic, it is that the Government is an employee and the people that it represents are the employers. An employee that does not obey his or her boss will be fired, and this should be no different for those who work in the Government. If the Government workers stop representing the people that put them in place, and the Government workers make laws that oppress the people, then the Government workers have out-lived their purpose ad should be replaced, or possibly even brought to justice for breaking the law by stealing. Americans must press their legislative bodies and show them the absurdity of forced income tax, and must sure that the 16th amendment is repealed immediately. This is the only way America can truly be free.
Benson, Ezra T. “The Proper Role of Government.” The Eisenhower Administration.
West Jordan, UT. 1968. Web. 19 Oct. 2012.
Rose, Larken and Carl Watner “Taxation = Theft: Correspondence with Larken Rose.”
The Voluntaryist 119 (2003): 7-8. ProQuest Research Library.
“Share of Federal Taxes Under Current Law, By Cash Income Percentile.” Tax Policy Center.
Brookings Institute; Urban Institute, 24 Aug. 2011. Web. 19 Oct. 2012. <http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/numbers/displayatab.cfm?DocID=2433>.
Tame, Chris R. “Taxation is Theft.” The Voluntaryist 153 (2012): 2-3. ProQuest Research
US Constitution. amendment. XVI. Print.