Some months ago, copies of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were sent by AAPS to its entire subscriber list as an enclosure with a monthly AAPS News. Let me suggest you dig yours out and follow along with it as we study the Constitution in these columns.
By the school of hard knocks, the Founders of our Republic had learned the hard way, both in Europe and here in the new world, that Justice John Marshall was correct when he later stated that "The power to tax involves the power to destroy." These scholarly men had also learned this maxim from world history. So, in the Constitution, they placed strict limits on the central power to tax when they created this Union of American States.
Some of you old timers will remember the Ivory Soap slogan, "99 & 44/100 % Pure"; and Bon Ami's, "Hasn't Scratched Yet"; or "When Better Cars Are Built, BUICK Will Build Them"; even Packard's, "Ask The Man Who Owns One."
Whenever the subject comes up proposing the repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment graduated confiscatory personal income tax, close to 99 & 44/100 percent have a knee-jerk response, conditioned by their thought control engineers. They retort, "That would be great, but we can't do that. If we do away with the income tax, what will the government do for revenue funds to run on?" Amazingly, the victims of confiscatory personal income tax, who abhor it, readily come to its defense with this slogan.
That the Ivory Soap purity percentage of citizens supinely acquiesce is probably due to the fact they do not remember (if they were ever allowed to learn it in the first place in the government indoctrination centers called "public schools") that the original Constitution of the Union of These American States
provided (and still provides) for revenues to the Union sufficient to cover its authorized (legitimate) expenses, while forbidding income, estate, inheritance, and gift taxes. And such was the norm for 124 years --- from 1789 until 1913.
Article I, Section 8, Paragraph 1 reads: "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts, and Excises [get money], to Pay the Debts...of the[se] United States";
And as long as the Federal government operated legally (constitutionally), expenditures and income virtually canceled each other out. It was when Congress started dabbling in constitutionally forbidden activities that deficit spending produced a national debt. Keep in mind that implicit in the Constitution by Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 7, Congress is admonished to keep
a balanced federal budget: "No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time."
Rather than extirpating the expensive, illegal activities as would be logical and honorable and oath-obeying, the power hungry big-spenders-of-other-people's-money then took to soap boxes to promote the Sixteenth Amendment that called for a graduated personal income tax, using as their excuse the slogan "to pay off the national debt." Never mind a graduated personal income tax is one of Karl Marx' Ten Planks in the Communist Manifesto that lists the steps necessary to transform a free, constitutional republic into a socialist democracy (a form of government more akin to collectivism and communism). And never mind the Constitution in Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 4 reads: "No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid..." And explaining why he favored indirect sources of revenue such as consumption taxes over direct taxes such as income taxes, Alexander Hamilton wrote: "It is a signal advantage of taxes on articles of consumption that they contain in their own nature a security against excess. They prescribe their own limit, which cannot be exceeded without defeating the end proposal --- that is, an extension of the revenue...If duties are too high, they lessen the consumption; the collection is eluded; and the product to the treasury is not so great as when they are confined within proper and moderate bounds. This forms a complete barrier against any material oppression of the citizens by taxes of this class, and is itself a natural limitation of the power of imposing them."(1)
But today, that protection from tyranny no longer exists. By the Sixteenth Amendment, "ratified" in 1913, the Constitution now reads: "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived..."
And Pandora's box was opened. The 1913 debt, that was in the few millions, is now $17 trillion. The income tax that was levied at 1 percent in 1913 (with the promise that it would never reach 2 percent) has been as high as 92 percent at one time. And, even more importantly, when personal income tax came in, FREEdom blew away with the wind.
At present, 80 percent of the Federal government's activities are unConstitutional, and thus illegal. The personal income confiscated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) hardly pays just the interest on just the admitted $5.5 trillion statutory national debt, much less the interest on the Federal obligations that total over 3 times that amount --- and it pays back nothing on the outstanding principal.
This in spite of the fact that the President and all Federal and State legislators and officials are bound by oath to abide by the U.S. Constitution. To not honor that oath is an impeachable offense.
So, if the Federal government were made to operate legitimately, it would be only 1/5th its present size. And it would cost 1/5th its present price. And even better, it would harass and regulate us 1/5th as much. There would be a Treasury surplus with which to pay off the national debt. With no national debt; ipso facto, there would be no interest to pay on a non-existent debt! Therefore, there would be no necessity or excuse for the personal income tax --- and the Sixteenth Amendment could be repealed! Take home pay would be 100 percent of salary. Can you imagine what a minimum of 28 percent increase in take home pay for Americans would do to the spending/saving/market economy? All this, and FREEdom, too.
In January 1997, Dr. Ron Paul (R-TX) of Lake Jackson Texas, a Life Member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), returned to Congress. He immediately introduced legislation to force a return to Constitutional government by compelling balancing the budget, paying the national debt, repealing the Sixteenth Amendment, getting the U.S. out of the United Nations, etc. We need to instruct our Senators and Representatives in Washington and each State Capitol to sign-on.
Today, further amending of the Constitution is neither needed nor desirable. The Constitution of The(se) United States of America already provides for paying the national debt; eliminating deficit spending; voiding estate, income, inheritance, and gift taxes in Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 4, which, in addition to that portion quoted above, further reads: "No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid,...unless in Proportion to the Census..." [Emphasis added.]
Article I, Section 2, Paragraph 3 further still reads: "...direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States...according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by...Enumeration [the census]."
These provisions say that any shortfall between Federal income and expenditures is to be made up by the States in proportion to the census. At the end of each year, any unpaid Federal obligations are to be paid by the States in proportion to the number of its citizens. A State with 10 percent of the national population would get a bill from the U.S. Treasurer for 10 percent of the deficit. A State with 1 percent of the population would receive a bill for 1 percent of the deficit. How each State proceeded to collect its proportionate share would be up to that State's Legislature.
A Legislature faced with this accounting would be very reluctant to ever seek "federal funds" because there would be no such thing as the illusion of free money-tree "federal funds." In the final analysis there would be only "state funds." And, in reality, there would be no such thing as "state funds" because the apportionment according to the census would make all such funds hinge "direct(ly)" on each individual citizen. Each upset citizen would tell his U.S. Senators and Congressman: "Don't you dare spend anything that will make me have to pay for it." This would force each State Legislature to then also tell the Senators and Congressmen from that State: "Don't you do anything that will make it so that we get a bill from the U.S. Treasurer at the end of the year that would oblige us to extract more money from our already mad citizens." Before the 1913 Seventeenth Amendment, the State legislature would simply have recalled any Senator it had appointed to the U.S. Senate who voted in such a manner that his State's legislature got a bill for its per capita proportion of the national debt every year.
Since so much of what is wrong has devolved from the Seventeenth Amendment that changed the method by which U.S. Senators are sent to Washington, from appointment by the State legislature to popular election, the Seventeenth Amendment must also be repealed so each legislature can again discipline its U.S. Senators.
Taxpayers would then realize that pork barrelling isn't done with "other folk's" money, but is done with their own money, and the process would come to a screeching halt. Each citizen would be made painfully aware that "free federal money" is in reality "my money" and thus not free, but very expensive. Deficit spending would be stopped. The national debt would be paid off. Big government would shrink to minimal (Constitutional) government. The flood of burdensome regulation and harassment would be choked down to a trickle. Enterprise would flourish. All of this and FREEdom (the condition of being free of/from the dominance or oppression by one's own government) would again be ours.
Lord, please hasten the day!
1. Hamilton A., Madison J., and Jay, J. The Federalist Papers. No. 22. New American Library, NY, 1961, pp. 142-143.
Dr. Caine is an anesthesiologist in Jackson, Mississippi, and a member of the Editorial Board of the Medical Sentinel. His e-mail address is LandCCaine@msn.com.
Originally published in the Medical Sentinel 1998;3(3):102-103. Copyright © 1998 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).
(This column on the Constitution appears in the Medical Sentinel to remind us that it is the unConstitutional (and thus illegal) activities in medicine and all other facets of our lives that have trampled on and outlawed our God-endowed freedom and liberty.)