There was a time, not so long ago, that I had a severe drinking problem. You get more than three beers in me and I’d lose all control, drinking until I passed out or until I did something REALLY stupid. When I first started drinking there was no such thing as Lite Beer. In fact, we used to tease people for drinking it, saying it was just watered down piss.
Why do I bring all this up? Well it seems like this whole LITE thing has taken on a life of its own. You hear about Lite this and Lite that in reference to a more mellow approach to the subject to which the Lite heading was attached. And why do I bring THIS up? Well I have to wonder, with all the hoopla regarding Rand Paul, especially since his announcement of his 14.5% flat tax plan, is he just a Lite version of his dad, Ron Paul?
Ever since 2010 I have kept an eye on Rand Paul, hoping that he would be a carbon copy of his father. In some ways he is, and in others he isn’t. Yet I still thought he was far better than the average Republican in the Senate. Then came the 2012 presidential campaign and I heard that Rand Paul had endorsed Mitt Romney for president.
I’m not Rand Paul so I can’t say why he did that, but a few thoughts have crossed my mind about it. First I was wondering whether he was a closet RINO posing as a Tea Party Republican. Then I asked myself whether he did it just to garner support from the GOP machine for a possible future presidential bid. All I know is that a seed of doubt about him had been planted and still sits there in the back of my mind questioning his motive for the things he currently says and does. He may still be the best the GOP has to offer, although I’m liking more and more of what I see of Trey Gowdy out of South Carolina. But he’s not running now and Rand Paul is.
My dad once told me something a long time ago that sticks in my mind every election cycle. He once said, “If you don’t vote you have no right to complain about how things are in this country.” Well those aren’t his exact words, he used the word bitch instead of complain, but you get the idea. So I feel it is my obligation to vote in every election or forfeit my right to complain about the way this country is being run. But it gets so hard to muster up the desire to vote when there is no one worth a shit to vote for. Lately I’ve taken to scribbling names across the ballot just so I can say I voted. I have no clue as to whether that invalidates my vote or not, but I simply refuse to cast my vote for someone who I do not fully support. That will also include the upcoming election, whether or not Rand Paul makes it past the Primaries and on to the Republican ticket for president.
So that means I must at least take a look at what Rand Paul is saying if I want to even consider voting for him. And for those of you on the left, you have to be out of your damned minds if you think I’m even going to consider anyone you guys put forward for president. I’d rather swallow a bullet than vote Democrat. The ONLY good thing about Democrats is at least they are in the open about being liberals. The Republicans hide behind the banner of conservatism, all the while trashing the Constitution. But if you think I’ll ever vote for one of you I’ll tell you something else my dad once told me, “Wish in one hand and shit in the other. See which one fills up first.”
Getting back to Rand Paul now, awhile back he made quite the news when he announced his plan for a flat 14.5% tax upon all Americans which would replace the graduated tax scale we have now. Taxes are something we all live with now, as the saying goes the only two things in life which are certain are death and taxes. So unless you are above the age of 102 yrs you have probably never seen the time when your income was never taxed by the government.
Why 102 yrs? Well that’s when the 16th Amendment was ratified, giving Congress the power to tax our income. Prior to the year 1913, when the 16th Amendment was ratified, taxes were levied in pretty strict accordance to what the Constitution says.
The subject of taxation is one which most people, including myself, do not fully understand. The difference between most people and me though is that I have tried to learn about the different kind of taxes and how mightily we are being screwed by them. There are so many different kinds of taxes that it can make your head spin if you thing about it too much. There is the income tax, Social Security taxes, Medicare tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, sales tax, excise taxes, capitation taxes, so on and so on. To understand them all would require you spend hours studying a dull subject like tax law. But to not at least give it a shot means that you are only at the mercy of those who say that any and all forms of money and financial transactions can and will be taxed.
But being the kind of guy I am, I am always willing to share the info I have learned by my studies. So here goes.
Well to begin with, in Article 1, Section 2 it states, “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers…”
What does all that mean? Well it means that any direct tax upon the people must be apportioned among the several states according to population. Say if the total amount of money the government intends to tax the people for to operate is $1 billion then a direct tax would be divided by the census numbers so that each person paid an equal amount towards the funding of the government. That is what a direct tax is, a tax levied directly upon the people, and not upon goods or transactions. Is that what we have now? No, it isn’t. We have a graduated tax system in which the more you earn places you in a higher tax bracket, meaning you pay more than someone making less than you.
Before I go one step further I want to quell any arguments I hear from those who say the rich should pay more. Why? Because they have more? Well to those who say that the rich should pay more I say this in return, they should get better service and treatment from the government because they do. If you only pay $1,000 in taxes per year and they pay $45,000 in taxes don’t you think they are entitled to $45,000 worth of service from their government? Fair is fair right? But that’s not how our system was initially set up, taxes were to be spread equally for all, based upon the numbers provided by the census.
This was reaffirmed in Article 1, Section 9 where it states, “No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.” What is a capitation? Well as I said in a recent article to find the meaning of a word, a legal term in particular, it is often best to look to a legal dictionary for the definition. Therefore, according to Bouvier’s Legal Dictionary, 6th edition, printed in 1856 and was used a the time the Constitution was written, a capitation is, “A poll tax; an imposition which is laid yearly on each person upon his estate and ability.” In the case of Pollock v. Farmers Loan and Trust, the Supreme Court quoted from Albert Gallatin, saying, “The remarkable coincidence of the clause of the constitution with this passage in using the word ‘capitation’ as a generic expression, including the different species of direct taxes–an acceptance of the word peculiar…leave little doubt that the framers of the one had the other in view at the time, and that they, as well as he, by direct taxes meant those paid from, and falling immediately upon the revenue…”
Finally, in Article 1, Section 8, the Constitution also says, “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and General Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.“(my emphasis)
I think I have made it pretty clear that what we have now is not what those who wrote our Constitution intended when it comes to taxation. But like I said, unless you are over the age of 102 you probably don’t recall a day in which your income was not taxed. You see in 1913, for some unknown, and completely illogical reason, the people of this country ratified the 16th Amendment, or at least we are told they did. It has been said that the 16th Amendment was never properly ratified, as claimed in the book The Law That Never Was by William Benson and Martin Beckman. Regardless of whether they are correct in what they say, the tax laws are enforce now by the collection agency we call the IRS and if we fail to comply we are penalized heavily for our supposed crimes.
Anyway, the 16th Amendment states, “The Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.” What this did was take the gloves off Congress and gave them the ability to tax us however they see fit. The ONLY thing stopping them from taking all our income is the fact that people would rebel if they did. But it is fair to say that the average American works nearly 5 months out of the year to earn enough to pay the taxes they are required to pay over the course of a year. Look at your bills and see all the taxes levied upon you. Then you pay tax on the gas you put into your car. You pay income, Social Security, Medicare, Disability, and a whole slew of other taxes that you barely even think about. Like I said, we are getting screwed.
So what does all this have to do with Rand Paul? On November 20, 2008 Rand’s father Ron said, in a New York Times interview, “I want to abolish the income tax, but I don’t want to replace it with anything.” Dr. Paul went further by saying, ” About 45 percent of all federal revenue comes from the personal income tax. That means that about 55 percent — over half of all revenue — comes from other sources, like excise taxes, fees, and corporate taxes.
We could eliminate the income tax, replace it with nothing, and still fund the same level of big government we had in the late 1990s.”
Yet Rand wants to impose a 14.5% flat tax upon all Americans, which is essentially a direct tax upon us, which is NOT what our Founders wanted when they wrote the Constitution. Sure, it may be ‘better’ than what we have now, but it is still my firm belief that ANY form of direct taxation is a distortion and a perversion of the intent of our Framers and therefore I oppose it. That is why I have to wonder if Rand is merely Ron Lite as he is halfway between where his father stood on the issues and where the average GOP hack stands today. He still has a long way to go before he gains my full support is what I’m trying to say.
And this comes back to my opening statements about voting. I really hate the idea of not voting on election day, especially on a presidential election. But I also hate the idea of compromising my beliefs to vote for the lesser of two evils. Has America sunk so low that we cannot find, and support, one decent candidate for president?
All I do know is that I am deeply saddened by the caliber of the candidates I have seen toss their names into the bid for who will be our next president. It would really suck seeing that bitch Clinton in the oval office, probably even more so than it sucks now seeing Obama in there. But to see another Bush, or a Huckabee in there is just as distasteful to me. I don’t care that there would be a capital R next to their names, that doesn’t mean shit to me. What matters to me is character, and I haven’t seen anyone yet who has enough character to get my full support.
Anyway, who the hell am I? I’m just one guy, a lone voice shouting out at a country full of people who will vote for whoever makes the best sounding campaign promises, or has the support of their respective political party. We are so easy to fool, us Americans. As Jackson Browne sang in his song Lives in the Balance, “They sell us the president the same way they sell us our clothes and our cars.” It won’t be until the people of this country begin to study the origin of their government and the reasons for which our Founders framed it the way they did that people will change the way they vote. And I don’t see that happening anytime in the near future. So until then I have to suffer the consequences of their ignorance.