Tag Archive for: taxation

What is an "American" company? Should Trump assess a tariff upon General Motors?  

Today’s #Point2Ponder

Many in America are angry because Trump wants to increase and/or establish tariffs (import taxes) on the importation of foreign goods.  They are particularly upset when “American” companies manufacturing goods in foreign countries are assessed these tariffs.  But what is an “American” company? What is a “tariff?” Let’s answer these questions.

Constitutionally and historically speaking, Foreign Tariffs are how our founders intended for our central government to be funded for the most part.

Only a small portion of funding for the central government was to come from the American people through consumption taxes upon certain goods.

Our founders anticipated that America would become the commerce center of the world because it was so very resource rich.  George Washington and Thomas Jefferson shared the philosophy that America should have neither allies nor emenies; we just simply engage in commerce equally and leave the other parts of the world to bicker with themselves.

There is actually a good bit of noise errupting over these tariffs being assessed upon General Motors for the vehicles manufactured in Mexico.

Those opposed to these tariffs (import taxes) are claiming that Trump is “penalizing” these companies by placing the tariffs upon their goods.

Consider the following Points to Ponder…

1.  What makes a company “American?”  How can General Motors be considered an “American” company if the goods they produce are created and imported from a foreign country?  When Toyota manufacturers vehicles in America, using American workers and American goods, isn’t Toyota more American than General Motors?

2.  If a tariff  (import tax) is a “punishment” against a corporation then wouldn’t income tax be considered a punishment against the people?  Why is income tax considered “fair” and tariffs considered unfair punishments?  Why shouldn’t these corporations be expected to pay their fair share for engaging in the American economy?

For additional research please reference the following resources –

Direct Taxation, Part 2

Article 1 section 2 clause 3 establishes that all taxation must be collected by direct apportionment to the States through a census of the population.

“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers… The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.”

This section of the Constitution secured to the people the ultimate power and protection against an unlimited central government by putting the States in control of the federal purse through the consent of the people.  Government is easier controlled at the local level.  James Madison, the Father of our Constitution, reminded the Constitutional delegates in 1788, the power of the purse is historically the “most effectual” and complete power of the people to control government.  Therefore, keeping that essential power at the State level gave the people greater control to prevent misappropriation of funds on the federal level.

“This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure… finally reducing, as far as it seems to have wished, all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of the government.” Fed #58

Thanks to a bipartisan move, endorsed and encouraged by two Republican Presidents and Republican Congressmen, this essential check and balance was stripped from the people, creating an uncontrollable central government limited only by its own whims and desires.

The history of our independence from Great Britain proves this essential truth; taxation was to be left to the control of the people.  Our founders saw the power to tax as a direct and unlimited power to oppress.

“But if our Trade may be taxed why not our Lands?  Why not the Produce of our Lands and every thing we possess or make use of? This we apprehend annihilates our Charter Right to govern and tax ourselves…are we not reduced from the Character of free Subjects to the miserable State of tributary slaves?”  Samuel Adams May 15, 1764

Adams knew an axiomatic truth:  if the central government could assume the power to lay taxes on whatever they choose, they would soon over take the common Rights of the people, thus creating an unlimited government, and subjecting the people to complete despotism.  The designers of our Constitutional Republic wanted to ensure that this history would not repeat in the new, independent America.   They knew that if the central government could take money directly from our pockets, not only would we have no immediate recourse but it would be theft.  Therefore it is ridiculous to even assert that our founders would have endorsed or even tolerated our current form of income tax.

“I think the Parliament of Great Britain hath no more Right to put their hands into my Pocket, without my consent, than I have to put my hands into your’s, for money…”  George Washington

It is only through this direct theft that our current government has been able to grow exponentially.  If the people were still in control of taxation through the protective mechanism of apportionment to the States there would be no funding for the multitude of federal offices that plague the Liberties of the People.  The States would naturally refuse to supply the federal government with the money demanded for services that are not authorized by the Constitution.  This was to serve as the ultimate check and balance on federal power.

“when all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the centre of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another…If the States look with apathy on this silent descent of their government into the gulf which is to swallow all, we have only to weep over the human character formed uncontrollable but by a rod of iron…” Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson also knew the power to control the purse of government was an essential Right of the people and continually asserted that a refusal to pay taxes was not treason or sedition but a mechanism of petitioning the government for a redress of grievances.

“That this privilege of giving or of withholding our monies, is an important barrier against the undue exertion of prerogative, which if left altogether without control, may be exercised to our great oppression; and all history shews how efficacious is its intercession from redress of grievances, and re-establishment of rights, and how improvident it would be to part with so powerful a mediator.”  Thomas Jefferson to Lord North 1775

Since we have failed to teach the facts that led to our independence from Great Britain, the American people have been brainwashed into believing that income tax is actually “fair” when the complete opposite is true.  It is because of the established income tax and the inability of the people to remove their consent to spending that we have the overgrowth in government that we have.  James Madison has explained that this power in the hands of the people is to ultimately and “finally reducing, as far as it seems to have wished, all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of the government.” Fed #58

Our designers of our Constitutional Republic were no strangers to government overgrowth, the Declaration of Independence lists government overgrowth as a symptom of “complete despotism.”

“He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.”

It is absurd to assert that these people would seek to remedy a problem that required the most drastic measure of separation from their government by creating the opportunity for their newly designed government to exercise a power they deemed despotic!

Read Direct Taxation Part 1 Here

Legislation Without Representation

We No Longer Have A Representative Government. We have been taught in school that the Boston Tea Party was the result of taxation without representation, This is not totally correct. The reason for the Tea Party was not taxation without representation but legislation without representation. The same thing is happening today.

Alternatively you can listen to “Legislation Without Representation” by KrisAnne Hall on YouTube

The Taxation That Our Founders Hated

In light of all the distortions and half-truths that are constantly repeated, let’s be clear –what sparked the ire of our founders was not taxes; it was tyranny. Their theme was not simply Taxed Enough Already – it was Tyrannized Enough Already. Their tolerance for tyranny was taxed to the max – that’s the taxation the founders could no longer take.

The original tea party was not just about money and the driving force toward American independence was not simply taxation. At the crux of the matter were the PRINCIPLES OF GOVERNMENT that created the taxation – taxation WITHOUT REPRESENTATION. It was about government eliminating the common rights of the people. The motivation behind the tea party event was Great Britain’s attempt to remove the people’s right to electively engage in trade, by mandating purchases only from the government…

But if our Trade is to be curtailed in its most profitable Branches, & Burdens beyond all possible Bearing, laid upon that which is suffered to remain, we shall be so far from being able to take off the manufactures of Great Britain, that it will be scarce possible for us to earn our Bread…? [Samuel Adams, May 15, 1764, Boston Record Commissioners’ Report, vol. 16, pp. 120-122]

Sam Adams went onto explain that the act of arbitrary taxation makes slaves out of a free people:

For if our Trade may be taxed why not our Lands? Why not the Produce of our Lands & every thing [sic] we possess or make use of? This we apprehend annihilates our Charter Right to govern & tax ourselves–It strikes at our British Privileges, which as we have never forfeited them, we hold in common with our Fellow Subjects who are Natives of Britain: If Taxes are laid upon us in any shape without our having a legal Representation where they are laid, are we not reduced from the Character of free Subjects to the miserable State of tributary Slaves? [Samuel Adams, May 15, 1764, Boston Record Commissioners’ Report, vol. 16, pp. 120-122, emphasis added]

Sam Adams saw the big picture. He knew that if the king assumed the power to lay taxes contrary to the common rights of the colonists, without giving the people any voice, there would be no limit to the power of this government.

This current government feels it may force the citizens to purchase healthcare based entirely upon the condition of being alive. If the government is granted such power over the people, ignoring the voice of the people and denying their proper representation, then where are the limits to this power?

Adams, attempting to make this point very clear, emphasized that “among the natural rights of the Colonists are these: First, a right to life; Secondly, to liberty; Thirdly, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can. These are evident branches of, rather than deductions from, the duty of self-preservation, commonly called the first law of nature.” [Sam Adams, The Report of the Committee of Correspondence, to the Boston Town Meeting, Nov. 20, 1772]

Was it the money that caused our founders to demand independence? No. It was the erosion of Liberty. The violation of sound principles of government. One quick look at the Declaration of Independence will tell the tale.

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

It was not money; it was the King controlling the entire government, eating away at the separation of powers and coercing Parliament into submission, creating a government ruled solely by the whim of the King. How does this compare to the government we see today?

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. •He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people. •For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever. [Declaration of Independence]

America now has a Congress that is unwilling to fulfill their solemn oath to stop the current “Kingly” administration from usurping legislative power. Instead, we are subjected to empty words and political gamesmanship like the ones from Sen. Mitch McConnell and his great petition of the people to grovel before Obama and beg him to stop stealing legislative power. This Congress has never stood with “manly firmness,” but this King has none-the-less dissolved their power by their own cowardice and has forced them into compliance through their own negligence.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within. [Declaration of Independence]

America now has a Congress and King refusing to protect the people. Although protection from invasion is actually one of the delegated powers of the Federal Government, our federal government has refused to provide for America’s protection. Instead of dealing with the threats, they argue that limiting the people’s Liberty is the way to keep America safe. And the “State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.”

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers. [Declaration of Independence]

America has a Congress who will not respond to the King’s veiled threats and open chastisement of the Supreme Court? Are not these actions an attempt at obstructing the Administration of Justice and an open declaration that he will refuse to assent to the law?

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance. •He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: [Declaration of Independence]

America has a Congress who will not reign in Executive Regulatory Agencies? How many NEW regulatory agencies, czars, and regulations must we suffer before Congress acts? What about the regulations and government intrusions by these arms of the King that are literally “harassing our people and eating out their substance?” Do we just dismiss the raids on the farms and co-ops over raw milk? Do we forget that Abner Scheonwetter spent 6 years in prison after a regulatory agency prosecuted him for violating an unconstitutional foreign law? Do we allow the EPA to override the Bill of Rights and enforce THEIR OWN law upon the people without due process as they did to the residents of Bonner County, Idaho, among others?

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury: For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences: [Declaration of Independence]

America has a Congress that will not only do NOTHING to stop the usurpation of power by the King, but contributes to and enables this tyranny through laws like the Patriot Act, sections 1021 and 1022 of NDAA, and The Federal Building and Grounds Improvement Act [HR347].

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power. [Declaration of Independence]

America has a government that attempts to regulate out of existence our right to bear arms. Where will the power of the Department of Homeland Security and the TSA end? When will Congress step up and become the “sure guardians of our Liberty” as demanded by James Madison? Our Congress has failed to be a government of the people, by the people and for the people. It has become a government of the King.

For our founders, it was never just about the money and it was always about the tyranny of a King and his government that felt the “good of the Kingdom” was more important than the common rights of men. For more than a decade, they continued to speak and continued to be ignored.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. [Declaration of Independence]

We have been ignored too long, but we will not be silent. We will continue from now until November and beyond. We the people will recover our nation. We will not quit. We are resolved to give our last breath in the defense of Liberty. It is time America, to declare that these princes and their King are unfit to be rulers of a free people. It is time America, to put Liberty FIRST. It is time America to reclaim the once great nation our founders sacrificed all to give to us. It is time America to determine that we will once again be a government of the people, by the people and for the people. It is time America, to save our children from the burdens of tyranny and the price to be paid for Liberty. It is time to continue to identify the hypocrites and cowards. It is time to support TRUE CONSTITUITONAL CONSERVATIVES, ones who have proven themselves by actions, not by idle words. It is time to fire the rest of them, regardless of their personality, their former occupations, or their charming good looks. Do we want Liberty or do we want slavery. The choice is just that simple, because it is NOT about the money.

21st Century Slavery

“Our tax code is the 21st Century version of slavery…the IRS has become the overseer of the American People.”  To many, this seems like an absurd radical statement; but, when you look at this statement from an historical perspective, you might just come to a different conclusion.

Throughout history, taxes have been a way to control the people.  My Bill of Rights presentation begins with the year 1014.  England was constantly being plagued by Kings who were greedy or wanting to finance their own adventures through the taxation of the people.  Although the oppression of taxation is evident throughout history, the best place to analyze this statement on modern taxation begins with King John and his reign in 1189.

King John, popularized by the tale of Robin Hood (who by the way was not robbing the rich and giving to the poor, but returning oppressive taxes back into to the hands of the people), took over while his brother Richard the Lion-Heart was fighting in the Crusades.  It was said of King John that he “plundered his own people”, he was “cruel towards all men” and “Hell itself was fouled by the presence of John”.  In 1207 King John introduced the first income tax in England.  Taxation at that time was established at one thirteenth of “rents and moveable property”.   Taxes were collected locally by sheriffs and administered by the Exchequer.  His brutal policies and excessive taxation brought him into conflict with his barons, the land and business owners. Taxes imposed by King John were excessive to the point of oppressive.  This did not matter to the King as these taxes served to double his income for the year, and served to finance his adventures.  Even though the taxes levied by King John were exorbitant, he is most known for his punishments against defaulters.  He was ruthless, showing favor only to those who suited his needs.  The taxations of King John lead to a rebellion of the barons.  A direct result of this rebellion was the adoption of the Magna Carta.  The Magna Carta of 1215 made the King promise that no taxes except the regular feudal dues were to be levied, and except by the consent of the Great Council, or Parliament.

All the way back to 1215 people agreed that excessive taxation was an evil and oppressive form of government.  That did not stop Kings from becoming tyrannical with taxation.  In 1628, to end rebellion and secure the crown, Charles I had to sign the 1628 Petition of Rights, once again, promising that there would be no taxation without proper representation.  Again, in 1689, as a result of the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the fathers of our founders made William of Orange promise to not impose taxation without proper representation.

The fundamental importance of this brief trip through history is to first to recognize throughout history that taxation was often used as a tool for oppression.  Secondly, we must understand that our founders, when coming to this continent, carried with them not only their Bill of Rights of 1689, but all the promises of each King contained in each of these documents listed.  These promises all recognized the evil and oppressive nature of excessive taxation and the promise of each King to not abuse this tool of government.

So when George III began engaging in the very behavior of oppressive taxation, that each of these documents guaranteed he would not do, our founders called it like they saw it.  Thomas Paine wrote in Common Sense:

If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised to furnish new pretences for revenue and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey, and permits none to escape without a tribute…What at first was plunder, assumed the softer name of revenue

Take note of the long tradition of tyrants to use the word “revenue” to describe their oppressive acts.  Terms like “greedy” and “plunder” were not the end of the strong language used by our founders.  Sam Adams made the following observation in his response to King George III’s taxes invoked in the Stamp Act.

for if our trade may be taxed, why not our lands? Why not the produce of our lands and everything we possess or make use of? This we apprehend annihilates our charter right to govern and tax ourselves. It strikes at our British privileges, which, as we have never forfeited them, we hold in common with our fellow-subjects who are natives of Britain. If taxes are laid upon us in any shape without our having a legal representation where they are laid, are we not reduced from the character of free subjects to the miserable state of tributary slaves?

The women of the Revolution were not foreign to this understanding either.  Over 50 women, led by Penelope Barker, signed this oath in opposition to the oppressive taxation of George III:

 “We, the aforesaid Ladys will not promote ye wear of any manufacturer from England until such a time that all acts which tend to enslave our Native country shall be repealed.”

Hannah Winthrop, while observing the destruction of Tea in the Boston Harbor, a direct protest of the oppressive taxation of George III, stated:

Yonder, the destruction of the detestable weed, made so by cruel exaction, engages our attention. The virtuous and noble resolution of America’s sons, in defiance of threatened desolation and misery from arbitrary despots, demands our highest regard.

This assessments of our government’s policies on taxation, especially under this current administration, are not so radical after all.  Many of us have come to these conclusions on our own.  Understanding that oppressive taxation is a direct assault on Liberty should give us a boldness and courage to stand against this popular form of tyranny.  Sam Adams gave this challenge in 1771 that seems rather relevant today:

Let us remember that “if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom!  It is a very serious consideration, which should deeply impress our minds, that MILLIONS YET UNBORN MAY BE THE MISERABLE SHARERS IN THE EVENT.”

Maybe we should be asking the same questions of our neighbors that Patrick Henry asked of his in 1775:

“What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?”