According to a report dated January 18th, actor Nicolas Cage stated he is paying the Internal Revenue Service $14 million in back taxes owed from 2007 and 2008. Cage said he has already paid over $70 million in federal income taxes over the course of his career. This brings the total he will have paid the IRS to $84 million.
Regardless of whether you are a fan of Nicolas Cage, allow that figure to soak into your thinking for a moment...$84,000,000. I have no idea how much money Mr. Cage has made in his acting career. It’s really none of my business. He provides a service which movie production companies are willing to pay large sums of money for. Should the federal government be able to confiscate $84 million of his lifetime earnings? Thanks only to the 16th amendment to the Constitution, it can do just that. However, contention still exists as to whether the 16th amendment was legally ratified.
Contentions to its legality aside, from a liberty perspective the income tax is an onerous and unnecessary burden to Americans, and it actually punishes financial success! This country fared quite well prior to 1913, the year the tax came into existence. Furthermore, eliminating ALL income taxes today would leave the federal government with about the same revenue it had in 1996. If spending is limited to the government’s constitutionally permitted functions, this is ample revenue.
A history of the income tax reveals an all-time top rate of 94% in 1944-45, reduced to 35% in 2009. While this is a significant reduction in the amount of earnings the IRS can confiscate (at gun-point, if necessary), Ron Paul had the right idea in the 2008 presidential campaign, when he suggested an income tax rate of zero per cent. I would like to take his idea to the next level and push for a repeal of the 16th amendment, which would effectively eliminate the possibility of any more federal income tax - ever.
Let’s get the repeal ball rolling, and get the Feds out of our wallets!