Posts Tagged ‘sixteenth amendment


Fair Tax Is a Good Start, but Not a Standalone Solution

On July 14, 1999 Representative John Linder (R-GA) first introduced a bill that would spark a major grassroots effort across Georgia and the country and change the way everyday people looked at their paychecks. That bill was dubbed The Fair Tax. To help the Fair Tax gain traction Linder co-authored a best-selling book with radio talk show host and self-proclaimed talkmaster Neal Boortz.

In a nutshell the Fair Tax repeals the sixteenth amendment, abolishes all income taxes and replaces it with a 23% national sales tax. This means that even though sales tax rates across the country will double or triple, the operating expenses and manufacturing expenses that are involved in making goods will drop dramatically due to the removal of taxes in the intermediate processes. A tax will only be collected at the retail level. Furthermore this national sales tax will not apply to the “basic necessities of life” such as food and clothing. So under this system it is conceivable that would might pay no taxes at all if no purchases besides food and clothing are made.

Prior to the sixteenth amendment in 1923, the federal government had twice instituted a temporary income tax: during the War Between the States in 1861 and then again in 1890. But 1923 and the 16th amendment marked the first time that Congress was granted carte blanche to collect income taxes at any time, to any degree, and at any rate without apportioning it among the several states. The original text of the Constitution demands that all taxes be the same throughout the Union and any direct taxes was to be based on population. The sixteenth amendment made taxes on income the only exception to the Constitutional rule.

Despite being quite revolutionary, the Fair Tax is still not without its problems. One of the purposes of the Constitution is to clearly define the role of government in our lives and to limit its scope in order to prevent tyranny and encroachment on personal property rights and liberty. The Constitution accomplishes this task handily whenever it is properly followed. However in the 20th century the United States government has taken on the role of a nanny to a degree that is unmatched by any prior period in U.S. history. The fundamental problem with Linder’s Fair Tax is that it does nothing to curb the overspending and fiscal irresponsibility that currently plagues federal government. The national sales tax simply moves the overreaching power of Congress from one sphere to another. If the taxing power of the government on income is quashed, then, with the current mindset, it will simply extort funds from citizens in other ways. Big government must change the way it thinks and the voters must help it do so by only electing representatives who will tighten the reigns on the federal government and guide it back to strict adherence to the delegated powers enumerated in the Constitution.

Josh H.


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