Taxation Is Theft
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Taxation Is Theft

Looking into the historical details, it is astonishingly clear the 16th Amendment was illegally ratified.

Taxation Is Theft
Michigan Radio

Whether it be via means of a bumper sticker, protestor, or historical text, one has most definitely heard the phrase “taxation is theft.” Many simply encounter the phrase with a mere shrug, moving on with their everyday lives. Others laugh at the phrase, labeling it as some obscure radical notion. Very few people who encounter the phrase take the time to stop and analyze it. I am one of those few people.

From a young age, I was always perplexed by my parents filing their taxes. In history class, I learned how the founding fathers revolted against the British because they disdained what James Otis labeled “no taxation without representation.” The founders despised the tea taxes, stamp taxes, and other excessive forms of taxation in general. As a young student, it never quite made sense as to why my parents paid so many taxes in a nation that was quite literally founded on the premise of refusing excessive taxation.

Fast forward to 2017. There are currently 97 forms of taxation in the United States, with the U.S. Tax Code spanning a hefty 3.8 million words. Nothing seems more pyridoxal than a nation founded on freeing itself from excessive taxes, to later institute 97 taxes as law and form a 3.8 million tax code. Many people argue that the founders were just in their tax evasion simply because they lacked representation, thus since we now have representation, taxation is perfectly legal. That seems to make sense, but it is hard to believe that Americans truly have representation.

For example, no reasonable American wants their internet history sold to corporations, so they have no intentions to vote for an individual who would do this. So when the individual’s representative votes for a bill that will sell off their internet history, is that individual truly being represented? Many Americans forget the fundamental principle of representative democracy. Congress works for the people. We the people are the boss of Congress; thus the people are in charge of the binding contract.

To the likeness of John Locke’s Social Contract Theory, the U.S. Government and the American people have a contract which has been verbally articulated by James Otis. The contract is much simpler than the current 3.8-million-word tax code, and is as follows:

“There will be no taxation without representation.”

-Signed by the American people 7/4/1776

The premise that taxation is a breach in a social contract between the people and the government is undeniabable, but philosophical to say the least. Therefore, it is essential to find concrete arguments as to why taxation, to some extent, is illegal. The answer can be found in an array of forms, but the first is focused primarily on specifically the income tax.

The great philosopher Robert Nozick wrote the following concerning income tax in his book Anarchy, State, and Utopia:

“Taxation of earnings from labor is on par with forced labor. Some persons find this claim obviously true: taking the earnings of n hours labor is like taking n hours from the person; it is like forcing the person to work n hours for another’s purpose.”

It is incredibly hard to argue with that logic, but if one still holds doubt, there is another argument toward not only the invalidity of the income tax but more significantly, the immorality of it.

In a monarchy, the king held the divine right and had the right to tax his subjects. The subjects had no rights. Now ask the question, what happens if an individual in 2017 America does not pay the income tax? That person will be imprisoned. How does the government get that right? Well, the government must have right over its people’s labor. Thus, one does not own their labor. The king, rather, the government owns your labor and have right over it.

The same goes with property taxes. Property taxes make individuals serfs of the government. This means the government holds the right to take one’s property if one fails to pay the Kings, rather, the government's property tax. If the Founders fought so hard to move away from the monarchy, why does it appear as if the modern day American tax system has pushed ever so close to it?

Porth v. Brodrick, United States Collector of Internal Revenue for the State of Kansas is a case which often gets thrown against the anti-income tax argument. The involuntary servitude argument, and variations of this argument mentioned above have been officially (in my view unsubstantially) identified as legally justifiable federal tax return positions for purposes of the $5,000 frivolous tax return penalty imposed under Internal Revenue Code section 6702(a).

The IRS and other Washington cronies have seemingly found a way to silence anti-income tax protestors by throwing out a Supreme Court case and a statutory law. Accordingly, one must dig deeper and prove the 16th amendment (the income tax amendment) invalid. This is where things really begin to get good. There is an argument out there which basically claims the 16th amendment's ratification was not ratified properly in a numerous amount of states, thus leading to its unconstitutionality.

The 16th amendment was sent out in 1909 to the state governors for ratification by the state legislatures after having been passed by Congress. There were 48 states at that time, and three-fourths, or 36, of them were required to give their approval in order for it to be ratified.

In Kentucky, the legislature acted on the amendment without even having received it from the governor. In Oklahoma, the legislature changed the wording of the amendment so that its meaning was virtually the opposite of what was intended by Congress.

Attorneys who have studied the subject have agreed that Kentucky and Oklahoma should not have been counted as approvals by Philander Knox, and, moreover, if any state could be shown to have violated its own state constitution or laws in its approval process, then that state's approval would have to be thrown out. This puts one past the "presumptive conclusion" argument, which states the actions of an executive official cannot be judged by a court, and admits that Knox could be wrong.

If one subtracts Kentucky and Oklahoma from the 38 approvals above, the count of valid approvals falls to 36, the exact number needed for ratification. If any more states can be shown to have had invalid approvals, the 16th amendment must legally be regarded as null and void.

The state constitution of Tennessee violated their own state constitution by failing to read the resolution on three different days as prescribed by Article II, Section 18. These state constitutional violations make their approval of the amendment null and void. Texas and Louisiana violated provisions in their state constitutions prohibiting the legislatures from empowering the federal government with any additional taxing authority. Now the number is down to 33. Many more states followed suit in failing to legally act upon the 16th Amendment. Accounting for these illegal ratifications, there would not have been enough legal states to ratify the 16th Amendment, thus deeming it unconstitutional.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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