Death and Taxes. The two inescapable realities of life that are constant through all civilized history. After all, you need to fund government right?
Next to family and faith I believe the most powerful weapon the government controls is in taxes. In essence the power of taxation is the power to control the populace. Does this in any way mean that I am saying that government should not collect taxes? Absolutely not that’s nothing but anarchist drivel. What is meant when I said that is that taxes must be kept in control, because once control of government has overtaken the power of taxation the real problems start to occur.
There were plenty of deviations over our history that meant harm to the constitution and its principles; from Theodore Roosevelt and the national parks, to FDR and social security, to the supreme court decisions in the 60′s and 70′s as well as many more real examples of our country leaving our founding documents behind as the “living breathing document” farce was becoming more and more accepted in political and judicial circles. The largest affronts to our long term constitutional health occurred in a legal way. The 16th and 17th Amendments. With the 16th Amendment it granted the federal government the right and mandate to violate your 5th Amendment rights by making you turn in your income statements for taxation. This amendment was broad in its power and allows for the tax structure currently in place which the founders would honestly start throwing tea in a harbor over.
Why is the current tax structure harmful? First, its unequal enforcement. The idea that one individual would be taxed at a higher percentage of another individual was completely devoid of any inkling in the founders heads at the time. In fact they set up the tax structure to avoid both of the problems with the current system. The other of course being the willing favoritism to individual corporations and individuals who fall under certain circumstances or tax brackets/industry.
This power of unequal enforcement allows for the federal government to give tax breaks to corporations it like while leaving their competition paying a higher rate making it near impossible for the competition to survive. This also keeps individual entrepreneurs from entering the industry to make it more competitive. What this contributes to is the current situations with both sides arguing the benefits of cronyism in one form or another to one industry or another. Tax breaks for donors. Corruption existent throughout the entire federal infrastructure with increasing power of both government and lobbyists representing the large corporations that can afford an army of lawyers and lobbyists. The idea that this is ok is completely inconsistent with the idea of conservatism.
Ronald Reagan did maintain the graduated tax scale, but he limited the progressive nature of the tax. His ideal was not what he accomplished, but because of his ideals and commitment to doing the most he could to accomplish them within the system we had the most success we have had in modern history at accomplishing conservative goals.
In the end, what I believe conservatism is on this front is the ending of special breaks for different status’s. The ending of a progressive tax system (that is a key point in the communist manifesto). The eventual repeal of the 16th amendment. The return of apportioning taxation from the states where preferably the taxes are collected in a means that does not require surrendering your 5th amendment rights of self incrimination and rid the power of the Internal Revenue Service.
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. -Thomas Jefferson
If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare… The powers of Congress would subvert the very foundation, the very nature of the limited government established by the people of America. -Alexander Hamilton
I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer. -Benjamin Franklin