(Editor's note: This is a sidebar to the editorial " Is Your Government Your Servant or Your Master?" This package also includes the commentary "The More You Make, The More They Take.")
Several different limited-government initiatives address the issue of the income tax.
The Contract from America
The Contract from America (TheContract.org) is "a grassroots-generated, crowd-sourced, bottom-up call for real economic conservative and good governance reform in Congress." Its top 10 priorities are scheduled to be released April 15 at Tax Day Tea Party rallies. Among the top three is "Demand a Balanced Budget," which reads: "Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax hike."
Two other income-tax proposals were included among the ideas up for consideration and voting by activists:
- "Stop the Tax Hikes. Permanently repeal all tax hikes, including those to the income, capital gains, and death taxes, currently scheduled to begin in 2011."
- "Enact Fundamental Tax Reform. Adopt a fair and simple single-rate tax system by scrapping the internal revenue code and replacing it with one that is no longer than 4,543 words - the length of the original Constitution."
The Articles of Freedom
The Works of Continental Congress 2009
According to a press release, "The Articles of Freedom are the non-political work of the Continental Congress 2009, a group of 116 citizen-delegates who met for 11 days in St. Charles, Illinois, from November 11 through 21, 2009. The contents address 14 violations, each of which has had a devastating effect on our economy and our Nation."
The release also says: "The Voice of Freedom will be heard across America on April 19, 2010 (Patriots Day), as people in every state gather at their state capitols to participate in a Re-Dedication Ceremony to Creator, Country, and Constitution and to serve the Articles of Freedom on elected officials - a non-political document which seeks to stop violations to the Constitution and restore constitutional governance."
The articles (ArticlesOfFreedom.us) include 15 sections. The eighth (ArticlesOfFreedom.us/TOC/Article8IncomeTax.aspx) deals specifically with the income tax. It is reproduced below, with some repetition removed.
INCOME TAX AND THE SIXTEENTH AMENDMENT
A. BACKGROUND AND STATEMENT OF THE FACTS
WHEREAS, from November 11th to the 22nd of 2009, the Continental Congress convened pursuant to the People's formal "Petition for Redress of Grievances Relating to the Federal Income Tax", and the long train of abuses and usurpations relating to the federal income tax. After a comprehensive, exhaustive, and lengthy deliberation of the current and historical facts and law, the Delegates find:
1. That our servant federal government has failed to directly respond to the People's Petition, and in fact, has indirectly responded with threats, intimidation, and repeated harm;
2. That the Sixteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution definitively and conclusively failed to be properly and legally ratified, thus, rendering it void, ab initio;
3. That the income tax as currently applied is definitively and conclusively an unconstitutional, direct un-apportioned tax on labor, "the most sacred and inviolable" property of the citizens of the United States (see Butcher's Union Co. v. Crescent City Co., 111 U.S. 746, 757);
4. That the institutionalized withholding from the paychecks and earnings of the citizens is definitively and conclusively unconstitutional.
Joe Banister: Former IRS Enforcement Agent, presenting to Continental Congress 2009 (via Skype) Saturday November 14, 2009.
B. REMEDIAL INSTRUCTIONS TO CONGRESS
NOW THEREFORE, without delay, the Congress of the United States is hereby instructed to:
1. Immediately conduct a review of the facts surrounding its ratification, and recognize that the Sixteenth Amendment is void;
2. Immediately cease the enforcement and collection of the direct un-apportioned income tax on the labor of the citizens of the United States;
3. Immediately cease the imposition, enforcement, and collection of withholding of earnings from the paychecks of the citizens of the United States;
4. Immediately release and fully restore all citizens wrongfully imprisoned as a result of the unconstitutional application of the income tax.
Jeffrey Dickstein: Lead Counsel for Defendant in USA v William J. Benson - presenting on Saturday November 14, 2009 at Continental Congress 2009. Documents Mr. Dickstein presented can be downloaded here:
Power to Lay & Collect Taxes PPT
Labor is Personal Property PPT
USA v William Benson PDF
Hirmer Declaration to Dismiss (16th Amendment Not Ratified) PDF
C. REMEDIAL INSTRUCTION TO EACH OF THE SEVERAL STATES
THEREFORE, each of the several states shall:
1. Repeal any and all state income tax laws to the extent that they are rooted in or based upon the unconstitutional operation and enforcement of the federal revenue laws;
2. Preserve, protect, and defend the liberty and property of its citizens against unconstitutional seizures by the federal government, pertaining to the unlawful collection of income taxes;
3. Cease the unconstitutional imposition and collection of the state income tax upon the unalienable right of its citizen's labor. To wit:
"It has been well said that 'the property which every man has in his own labor, as it is the original foundation of all other property, so it is the most sacred and inviolable. The patrimony of the poor man lies in the strength and dexterity of his own hands, and to hinder his employing this strength and dexterity in what manner he thinks proper, without injury to his neighbor, is a plain violation of this most sacred property." (See Butchers' Union Co. v. Crescent City Co., 111 U.S. 746, 757).
"Compensation for labor can not be regarded as profit, within the meaning of the law. The word "profit", as ordinarily used, means the gain made upon any business or investment - a different thing altogether from mere compensation for labor." (See Commercial League Association of America v. The People, ex rel.,90 Ill. 166, 173).
D. RECOMMENDED CIVIC ACTIONS BY THE PEOPLE
1. Study and understand the research done by Bill Benson in his book, The Law that Never Was,and once they have a firm understanding of the argument, they are encouraged to educate their family, friends, and fellow Americans about the truth behind the 16th Amendment;
2. Contact their local county government, (including the sheriff) and demand cooperation in enforcement of state and federal laws, prohibiting the illegal filing of notices of federal tax liens and the filing of a federal tax lien or levy without proper federal court orders attached; it is the duty of the sheriff to protect the citizens of the county from rogue federal agents acting under a color of law;
3. Put their banks and employers on notice that federal income tax levies should not be honored without a federal court order attached and without an affidavit from the sheriff that the levy is legal and proper;
4. Prepare to replace any sheriff or county or state government officials at the next election or sooner, through impeachment or recall, who refuse to cooperate and honor their Oath of Office to protect and defend the federal and state constitutions and the People;
5. Be prepared to withhold their income tax from the government once the above steps of self-defense are in place.
6. Furthermore, without delay, the public is advised to contact their county sheriff, state, and federal representatives and senators demanding the unconstitutional taxation and withholding of earnings be stopped immediately.