Tags: people | Constitution | tax | Scalia

Time for Tax Revolution Not Tax Reform

Monday, 21 April 2014 07:43 AM Current | Bio | Archive

On April 15, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia gave a speech at the University of Tennessee College of Law.

In response to a question asked by a student about his interpretation of the constitutionality of the income tax, he said the government has the Constitutional right to implement a tax, "but if it reaches a certain point, perhaps you should revolt," according to The Washington Times.

While not going further and defining exactly what kind of revolution he was musing about, Scalia did go on to tell the students that they had every right to express criticism of the government.

This led me to start thinking, what is the Constitution exactly? That is, how can the relationship between the People and the government be described as a matter of law? What was it supposed to do? And is the Supreme Court enforcing the agreed to written provisions?

There is a branch of Constitutionalists who take the position that the Constitution is a living document. In fact, many legal academicians and prominent lawyers take this position when they believe they are achieving a higher and nobler purpose of one kind or another.

Scalia, according to The Times, said, "The Constitution is not a living organism for Pete's sake. . . . It's a law. It means what it meant when it was adopted."

Here's where Scalia and I part ways. I think he misunderstands the nature of the Constitution. It is not a law. A law is passed by a government and imposed on its citizens.

The Constitution is a contract.

It is the agreement by the citizens to give up some of their totality of rights to the government. Thereby, each of the parties to this contract has agreed to the exchange of both rights and duties.

The Constitution was meant as a limitation on the government — a restriction of power. Essentially the People agreed that the government would have certain powers, but that it was prohibited from interfering with the rights — Constitutional rights — that the People did not cede and did not intend to cede.

With the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, the People permitted the government to impose an income tax.

But does that mean there is no Constitutional limitation on this taxing power that has been ceded by the People to the government?

Scalia seems to think so.

I don't. I think there is a fundamental principle upon which the Constitution is founded that is ignored by both the conservative and liberal Justices. They both like to wrap themselves with the cloak of nobility and righteousness when it suits their purpose. Principle be damned.

The founding principle of the Constitution is that the government must stay out of the People's private lives. Whatever taxing power the government has been granted, it is a limited power.

Either justices of the Supreme Court do not agree with that or they just do not have the guts to take responsibility for making a decision.

When there is an issue in doubt, deference should be given to the People and not the government. The Supreme Court has a long history of deferring to the government in matters involving tax as well as the most intrusive interference with their privacy.

It has been complicit in the creation of the circumstances that Scalia now recognizes as perhaps needing the people to have some sort of revolution. The implementation of the income tax is responsible both for the substantial destruction of the fundamental Constitutional rights of the People to be free of government and the means to use tax law to facilitate blatant political corruption.

The income tax incentivizes politicians to do bad things.

This failure of government to live up to its Constitutional contract includes the failure of the Supreme Court.

If a revolution is what it takes for the People to enforce the Constitutional contact, then the United States certainly has its own historical precedence for starting one over taxes.

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On April 15, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia gave a speech at the University of Tennessee College of Law.
people, Constitution, tax, Scalia
Monday, 21 April 2014 07:43 AM
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