Can we stand up against an Income Tax?

In Federalist 31 Hamilton states that,

[T]he national government should possess an unrestrained power of taxation… A government ought to contain in itself every power requisite to the full accomplishment of the objects committed to its care, and to the complete execution of the trusts for which it is responsible, free from every other control but a regard to the public good and to the sense (consent) of the people… As in republics strength is always on the side of the people, and everything beyond this (conflicts on what can be taxed) must be left to the prudence and firmness of the people; who, as they will hold the scales in their own hands.

To summarize, we control what can be taxed.

In Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution, “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes… to pay of the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.”

The phrase “general welfare” can have many meanings. Today “general welfare” implies education, Medicare, social security, public transportation, public housing, food stamps, and the list goes on.

Under the Constitution, Congress has the power to tax in order to pay for these things.  In Federalist 30 Hamilton says, “Who can pretend that commercial imposts are, or would be, alone equal to the present and future exigencies of the Union?” So from the jurisdiction of Article 1 Section 8 and the reasoning of Publius, an income tax is legal to provide for the “general welfare.”

I believe that “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.” So personally, general welfare (as it is currently understood) be damned. An income tax is legal and the funding of the entitlement state is legal because “WE THE PEOPLE” are consenting to it.

If you like paying income tax then stop reading now. (I’m expecting no one does…)

If you do not like paying income tax we need to form local coalitions within our communities to educate people on this point. If the people do not want an income tax, they can elect people to office who will amend the income tax, not enforce it, or defund the entitlement programs that use the income (and payroll) tax to survive.

Realistically a repeal of the income tax would have to be done in steps to insure that our investments in entitlements are not completely lost in a blink of an eye. Overtime, the number of people on government assistance, unemployment, and our national debt would all decrease. Businesses would be able to save billions to reinvest in themselves and create new jobs. Businesses by their very own nature will want to expand with their extra cash that would have gone to found unemployment benefits and other entitlements. A repeal of the income tax would force government to either find new means of revenue or toss the entitlements. Government would be more reliant on a consumption tax, and to increase revenue from a consumption tax, government would have to promote employment so the public has money to buy things from businesses.

To conclude, I plan to one day bring the issue of the income tax to a national stage. The relinquishing of this tax is truly the only way to secure the future prosperity of our nation. How else can we ever hope to gradually get off the entitlement bandwagon, or live debt free. (Or even below 10 trillion for a start) We the people of the United States are the sovereign authority over our government. We get to live in such a time where we can reverse the despotic course we are on. Are we worthy of it?

Content published on the Young Americans for Liberty blog is only representative of the opinions and research of the individual authors. It does not necessarily reflect the views, goals, or membership of YAL. 

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