By Michael Webster: Syndicated Investigative Reporter
According to the Fair Tax people in an e-mail to me and I’m sure to many others they indicated that recently, America celebrated Constitution Day; the day the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in 1787. I bet most people think the then-Constitution included provisions for our current income tax system. But they would be wrong.
The Fair Tax people pointed out that the Founding Fathers had very strong feelings about taxing income. So did Karl Marx.
In 1848, after outlining the evils of Capitalism, Marx described in his Communist Manifesto how to affect a Communist Revolution. He then lists 10 requirements for what he termed, “advanced countries.”
His second requirement was “a heavy progressive or graduated income tax.”
Cindy Canevaro Executive Director of Fair Tax said in her e-mail “I submit Marx’s heavy progressive or graduated income tax was precisely what our Founding Fathers were guarding against when they wisely called a tax on labor “direct taxation.” The Founding Fathers believed that taxing the fruits of our labor worked against the principal of individual liberty – the essential foundation of our government”.
James Madison, while discussing the power delegated to Congress to lay and collect taxes said, “…a national revenue must be obtained but the system must be such that, while it secures the object of revenue it shall not be oppressive to our constituents.”
Note Madison’s concern with avoiding constituent oppression.
Alexander Hamilton, in “Federalist 21,” written in 1787 before ratification of the Constitution said, “It is a signal advantage of taxes on articles of consumption that they contain in their own nature a security against excess. 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 the 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 imposing on them.”
Like Madison, Hamilton was also concerned about citizen oppression.
From 1777 to 1787, the Articles of Confederation only stipulated that taxes would be collected by the various states, “within the time agreed upon by Congress” to pay for war.
The Founding Fathers believed so strongly that taxing income was so dangerous, that they banned it from the Constitution signed in 1787. In fact, there was no mention of an income tax in our Constitution for 126 years until 1913. It was then that our 62nd Congress passed the 16th Amendment and gave us the gift that has kept on giving for 100 years. The Federal Reserve was also created that year.
The e-mail went on to say It is time to return to what our Founding Fathers envisioned when they formed a more perfect union.
It is time for the FairTax®. Canevaro said “I believe our time is drawing close and now is the time for a major push. It appears the Committee on Ways and Means will take substantive tax reform action within the next 30-60 days”.
In 1775, while speaking before the colony of Virginia, Patrick Henry delivered a passionate oratory (without notes) outlining why Virginia’s delegates should be a part of the American Revolution. As he neared the end of his speech, his voice began to crescendo and he thundered, "The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave."
Virginia then joined the American Revolution.
Canevaro calls on all of us to today to be ever vigilant, to be extraordinarily active and to stand incredibly brave against the forces of opposition as we write the next chapter of our great nation’s history.
“The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.” - Aristotle