16th Amendment

Destruction of the Financial Barriers to Tyranny

The Financial Barriers

The founders of our nation were concerned about the power to tax being abused. When the US Constitution was signed, they were already fighting a war because, among other things, an oppressive tax was being imposed by the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Tyrants, like Great Britain, need funding, access to wealth, in order to impose their rule. The US Constitution was written with limits and restrictions to prevent our government from having access to the wealth of the nation to prevent tyranny from getting a foothold. For that reason, the power to tax given to Congress was restricted to ‘two great classes’ of taxes and was limited by ‘two great barriers’. These restrictions were included in the US Constitution to limit the taxing power of Congress (1) and to ensure the wealth of the nation would remain in the hands of the residents of the United States of America.

The first class of taxes and the financial barrier. In the same clause that granted Congress the power to tax, it reads, “…but, all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States (2) .” The barrier imposed on this class of taxes, which was that, “… shall be uniform …”, was intended to prevent taxes from being imposed selectively on states, businesses, and individuals.

The second class of taxes and the financial barrier. “…That no capitation or other direct tax shall be laid unless in proportion to the census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken (3). The barrier imposed on this class of taxes, which reads, “… unless in proportion to the census …”, was to ensure that any direct tax levied was consistent per person across the nation, and to ensure that no state, business, or individual would suffer from the imposition of an unequal and prejudicial tax.

The two allowed classes of taxes and the respective financial barriers barred Congress from levying a direct tax on income (4).

The Destruction of the Financial Barriers

In the 1880s, Congress had some grandiose plans, but they required much more revenue than was being collected. In 1894, Congress passed a bill that authorized an “income tax”. The direct

income tax was to be the revenue panacea for Congress. In 1896, the US Supreme Court declared the ‘income tax’ was a ‘direct tax on income’ and was unconstitutional because the US Constitution does not authorize direct taxes apportioned among the citizens, it states, “direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States … .”(5)

In 1909, congress passed a bill that would give congress the power to issue a direct tax on income. It read

“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.”

It is clear from the wording, this bill trampled over the limitation on the classes of taxes and destroyed the financial barriers placed in the US Constitution[i]. This bill was sent to the states to be ratified as an Amendment to the US Constitution. Prior to 1909, Congress had already finagled, with convoluted logic, a tax on the income of professionals, referring to the tax as an excise tax. It was subject to the rules of uniformity. Indeed, this was a very difficult tax to manage. With the 16th Amendment ratified, income tax could be levied as a direct tax that was no longer subject to the rules of uniformity, and no longer subject to the rule of apportionment. Anyone’s and everyone’s income could now be taxed regardless of source. And, the taxes did not even have to be uniform. The tax levied can vary from person to person.

By ratifying the 16th Amendment Congress (the Democrats and the Republicans) brazenly walked around the Constitution’s two great tax barriers and ignored the limitations on the type of taxes that could be collected.

Why the unconstitutional 16th Amendment remains the law of the land.

Congress deliberately did not levy a tax immediately after the 1909 bill was passed. They did not want a repeat of the 1894-1896 tax debacle with the bill being declared unconstitutional again. They were determined to wait. When the 1909 bill was finally ratified as the 16th Amendment on Feb 3, 1913, Congress immediately levied an income tax. The US Supreme Court finally had an opportunity to review the 1909 bill, except this time it was reviewed as the 16th Amendment [i]. After nearly three years of arguments, the US

Supreme Court finally ruled that there was no support in the Constitution for collecting a direct tax on income. The bill that passed Congress in 1909, the 16th Amendment itself, and the income tax levied was unconstitutional. The US Supreme Court stated that Congress abused the taxing powers granted it by the US Constitution, but then ruled that because the 16th Amendment was ratified by the States, it is now the Law of the Land.

The US Supreme Court concluded with this statement:

The US Supreme Court cannot change the Law of the Land.

Only the Congress, at the insistence of the people, can change the Law of the Land.

With the barriers to levying taxes shattered and a new power to levy taxes with impunity created, Congress began to pursue grandiose plans and passed major bills, clearly tyrannical in nature, legislation designed to dramatically change the structure of our society. (See “The 16th Amendment – The Constitutional of Our Society has been Destroyed”.) Upon review, those bills evoked the same response from the US Supreme Court, but to no avail(6) . Each time the citizens of the US ignored the US Supreme Court’s plea to intervene. Instead, the overwhelming majority remained docile, accepting the tyranny that was being implemented with each new bill. The first two major bills that immediately come to mind that elicited such a plea from the US Supreme Court were “The New Deal” and the “The Great Society”. The most recent pleas were issued after the US Supreme Court reviewed the Republican’s “National Defense Administration Act” and the Democrat’s “Affordable Care Act”.

With the restriction regarding taxes be from one of two ‘great classes’’ destroyed, governments began to create new classes of taxes: Gift taxes, inheritance tax, tobacco tax, real estate taxes and other property taxes, gasoline tax, beer tax and various alcoholic taxes, sales tax, luxury tax, business revenue taxes, and many more (7). What all the taxes have in common is that the tax rates applied are different for each class and subclass of taxes created. Of those identified, the only tax that even comes close to being constitutional, being uniformly applied, is the sales tax. The property tax has been the favorite of tyrants throughout history because you either pay the property tax or lose possession of your property (and the tyrant takes your possessions).

Let’s end the tyranny, all of it. Let’s break the Slave/Master relationship that the 16th Amendment created between you and the US Government. Rescinding the 16th Amendment is the greatest challenge Americans will ever face. But it must be rescinded if we are ever to restore the structure of our society and reestablish the liberties and freedoms that the US Constitution was designed to create and preserve.

Where to start

Being realistic, it will take time to unweave the tangled interrelations between government agencies and departments that have been created since the 16th Amendment was ratified, but it is doable. It will take time to get our obese government trimmed down to be lean and efficient, and with a lower appetite for taxes, but it is doable.

There are several ways we can begin this process. The first is to get the state to operate within a balanced budget, and by creating that budget by cutting spending, not increasing taxes. We need a legislature that is aware of and pursues non-governmental options when issues are being addressed, and a legislature that is willing to apply Libertarian solutions, thus eliminating the need for the wealth of the nation to support the government’s involvement. Here are just a few places and activities we could proactively begin.

  • Provide the ability of our governor and legislature to take control of expenditures by providing both with the equivalent of a ‘line item’ veto ability.
  • End the practice of legislation being placed in budgets (it is unconstitutional).
  • Remove barriers that prevent local governments from spontaneously working cooperatively together again. (The discussions recently between Genesee County and Orleans County regarding the prisons are a good example. Unfortunately, no matter what they agree on, the barrier now in place is that the state government has oversight of county governments (instead of the other way around) and the state has in place barriers that prevent spontaneous intra-governmental cooperation. (8))
  • Allow all local governments (county, city, town, and village) to put more of an emphasis on sales taxes and less on real estate taxes and real estate based service charges.
  • Eliminate real estate taxes altogether. They effectively cause you to not actually own the property you paid for. As with any property tax, if you don’t pay your real estate taxes you will be evicted by the Government and will lose your property.
  • Dismantle the Industrial Development Agencies and the Economic Development Zones (famous for setting up a competition for existing businesses with taxpayer money and dictating to counties, towns, and villages what they can and cannot do.)
  • Initially reduce the immense number of grants, and then eliminate grants altogether. Grants are nothing more than acts of tyranny, where the government takes money from you and gives it to companies and individuals for projects that are not economically viable (such as putting up 640 ft windmills) and companies with poor business plans (like the local yogurt company that disappeared shortly after state funding ran out), and grants to pay for studies to find out where new grants can be issued (as happens in such projects as the Finger Lakes Forward initiative). The government is going out of its way to find something worthwhile to do with your hard-earned money rather than letting you keep it.

Let’s put a stop to the government wasting your hard-earned money. If we are successful we will see more activity by private enterprise to help spur the economy and build a better community, such as the grant program set up by Heritage Wind (9).

Support my efforts to become your NYS Assemblyman and I assure you, restructuring our financial (tax) structure, rescinding the 16th Amendment, and restoring financial barriers to taxing will be among my top objectives. As your Assemblyman, I will work to initiate a call to rescind the 16th Amendment and will seek the support of the Assemblies in 35 other States. I will work to give you back control over your wealth and possessions.

Vote Libertarian

Vote for Mark Glogowski for Assembly, District 139

(1) US Supreme Court, 1916, Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad Co., 240 U.S.1

(2) The US Constitution, Article 1, §8, cl.1, The Congress shall have power: (1) to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises,…” “All duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United states,…”

(3) US Constitution, Article 1, §9, cl.4, “No capitation (or other direct) tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.”

(4) I bid, “In fact, the two great subdivisions embracing the complete perfect delegation of the power to tax and the two correlated limitations to such power were thus aptly stated by Mr. Chief justice Fuller in Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co., supra, at 157 U.S. 557.”

(5) U.S. Constitution, Article 1, §2, cl.3, “Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states which may be included within this union, …”

(6) the “New Deal”, the “Great Society”, the National Defense Administration Act (NDAA), the “Affordable Care Act”.

(7) https://www.investopedia.com/articles/tax/10/history-taxes.asp#:~:text=The%20first%20estate%20tax%20was,it%20was%20implemented%20in%201916. \

(8) https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/genesee-officials-energized-by-the-possibility-of-a-shared-jail-with-orleans-county

(9) https://orleanshub.com/heritage-wind-offers-grants-for-community-projects/