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Author Topic: License to Vote?  (Read 4599 times)
Jerrymac
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« on: December 27, 2010, 04:13:23 PM »


If we can require driver's ed for teens, then why not voter's ed?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20101227/cm_csm/351092
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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2010, 04:32:37 PM »

errrr, drivers ed is not required for teens (some states you can get your license a bit earlier if you have a drivers ed certificate, usually you can get better insurance rates).

but a required civics course for voting?  there is too much room for "bias" (note that the article, written by a Harvard history major, considers obama's inaugural speech "essential reading").  what do you think a "how to vote" course, taught by unionized teachers will teach?  how do you think a student with a conservative view (or simply conservative parents and no view of their own yet) will be treated in such a class?

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AllenF
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« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2010, 07:37:46 PM »

That sounds like it is on the same line as a poll tax or a poll test.
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« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2010, 08:29:39 AM »

I agree that there is a lot of room for abuse or bias here but........so many people just vote for the candidate they are told to vote for. They have no idea what the candidate stands for and how their views agree or disagree with theirs. I love the shows where they ask random people on the street simple civic questions. Most do not have a clue but they can tell you who they are going to vote for but not what they stand for. If nothing else, people need to peal back the layers and fully understand party platforms and their agendas and not just the flap they hear on TV. An informed educated public will make better choices. I always liveed in the South and that is the way it has always been.

Steve     
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« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2010, 10:03:42 AM »

how about defunding all these idiot organizations that scrape people off the sidewalk to vote?  we already have an example of an organization that had, as part of it's mission, voter education.  they got federal funding for that, and other things that they claimed to be doing.  that group was ACORN, and we know how corrupt they are.

teach basic civics in school as we always have.  after that, people who care will vote.  people who don't, are better off left at home.

licensing would be a mistake, i think.  never mind the legal aspect, it would be another way for states to get money from folks.  it's not like they'd do it for free?  someone would pay,  either in fees or taxes.  besides, they can't keep the registration of voters straight as it is.  dead people decide elections.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2011, 09:36:46 AM »



  In the U.S.A people have the right to be as stupid as they want to be.

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AllenF
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« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2011, 11:10:50 AM »

Then why do we have seat belt and helmet laws?
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« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2011, 10:32:52 AM »


If we can require driver's ed for teens, then why not voter's ed?

I agree, bad idea. For lots of reasons, other than the ones other people mentioned:
-Plenty of American citizens are illiterate. There are college grads who are functionally illiterate. They still manage to work, pay taxes, contribute to the economy, fight for our country, and generally make the world a better place. I happen to think they deserve some say in government.
-Historically, voter tests of any kind have been used to limit voting to people of a certain skin color, gender and income level. Why not let only the demographic most likely to be college educated vote? Oh, wait...that would disqualify a whole bunch of Congresscritters...
-Voting right now has lots of troubles: machine inaccuracy, ballots being lost/miscounted, the folks who count the ballots being prejudiced, voter registrations thrown out illegally, voting machines lacking an auditable paper trail, poor voting machine security, poor voting equipment, not enough equipment per voter in some districts with state-of-the-art oversupply in other districts...There's no shortage of practical problems to solve that could help voting be fairer in a concrete way.
-There's no cure for stupid.
-There's no cure for unethical or immoral.
-Voter education would not make our choices of Stupid vs. Evil any better.

Actually, now that I think about it, maybe we need Candidate Ed. :
Lesson 1: Do not take money from lobbyists
Lesson 2: Do not take bribes from lobbyists
Lesson 3: Do not take golf outings, vacations, home repairs, cars, promises of a job after Congress, or the services of pretty ladies from lobbyists
Lesson 4: Keeping your underpants on...
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2011, 10:56:15 AM »

Don't need voters education. Even the most illiterate person out there can listen to the candidates and pick the one that mostly goes along with the individual's ideals. And then find out he was lying all along anyway.  grin

Perhaps everyone needs to be educated on body language and facial expressions in order to tell who is lying.

OH wait. That wouldn't have worked on B. Clinton. He thought everything he said was the truth.  rolleyes
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« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2011, 12:57:04 PM »

Rather than a test, how about past records. A felon isn't allowed to vote. Anyone with a recorded, certified IQ of say, 50 or less, not be allowed to vote.

Or a test such as feeding ones self with a fork, buttoning ones own shirt, ETC.

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« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2011, 02:22:15 PM »

But that test just cuts out 0.00001% of the population.   
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« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2011, 04:44:13 PM »

... a required civics course for voting? ...what do you think a ...course, taught by unionized teachers will teach?  how do you think a student with a conservative view ...will be treated in such a class?...

In a class on how to vote, I feel a unionized teacher will treat a student expressing conservative views just as shabby as that same student is currently treated by the same unionized teacher, especially if this teacher is pushing his or her own warped world view.   

The video of the current Egyptian President's supporters riding into town on camels and lashing out at democracy protesters with clubs, swords, and whips is a good example of how teachers' unions operate today, in order to burnish the shine on their own iron rice bowls.

The quicker Americans tempt or goad the teacher unions into dropping the guise and displaying their true colors, the quicker Americans will demand the total abolition of teacher unions.  Hey, don't look at me, this same tactic worked against slave owners, it will work against unionized public education just as well.  You do realize do you not that not all plantation masters planted cotton, some plant false ideas in the minds of children.
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« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2011, 06:27:01 PM »

How about your voting license being the proof that you paid federal income taxes shocked
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« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2011, 06:46:35 PM »

Then that cuts out 50% of Americans that pay no income taxes.
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« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2011, 09:50:09 PM »

Why don't we go back to you having to be a landowner before you are allowed to vote?

It's easy for non-landowners to vote for tax increases that come from someone else's pocket.
The voting booth looks a whole lot different when you know that your taxes are going to go up if something passes.  (It makes the voting booth look a whole lot different when you know you will be paying the tax, but people who won't have to pay get to vote on it.)
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Bee Happy
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« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2011, 11:36:52 PM »

How about the same test that's required to obtain legal citizenship? A new minted legitimate US citizen usually knows more about our history and civics than the majority of our natural born high school grads.
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« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2011, 11:48:11 PM »


Actually, now that I think about it, maybe we need Candidate Ed. :
Lesson 1: Do not take money from lobbyists
Lesson 2: Do not take bribes from lobbyists
Lesson 3: Do not take golf outings, vacations, home repairs, cars, promises of a job after Congress, or the services of pretty ladies from lobbyists
Lesson 4: Keeping your underpants on...

Another one failed that test today.
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« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2011, 06:39:10 AM »

The voting booth looks a whole lot different when you know that your taxes are going to go up if something passes. 
Ain't that the truth!  I remember happily voting FOR every school levy that came along prior to being a homeowner -after all, education was SO important. Then I bought my first home and suddenly those levies that were touted as "just a few pennies a day" became not just "real money", but "MY money".
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« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2011, 09:00:46 AM »

Pennies a day?  Tell them to count it again.   
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« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2011, 05:25:07 PM »

The county I own property in put a TEMPORARY $25 wheel tax on all vehicles about twentyfive years ago to go for education. Two years later they put another Temporary $25 wheel tax for education. Never explained what they did with the money from the first one. From that I learned TEMPORARY is a long time because we still have both $25 wheel taxes in place = $50 a year. So last year they raised property taxes for guess what? To build a new school.
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Rosalind
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« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2011, 07:13:38 PM »

Why don't we go back to you having to be a landowner before you are allowed to vote?

It's easy for non-landowners to vote for tax increases that come from someone else's pocket.
The voting booth looks a whole lot different when you know that your taxes are going to go up if something passes.  (It makes the voting booth look a whole lot different when you know you will be paying the tax, but people who won't have to pay get to vote on it.)

Depends on what sort of property.

My property is valued mostly because our school district is widely acknowledged as one of the best in the country--equal to some of the most elite private schools. We're not the best in the state, but close. Yes, I pay a good bit in property taxes, but in the very worst part of the real estate market slump, a regular 3-bedroom 1-bath house, 1500 sq. ft. needing at least one major repair and a lot of paint would still go for $325-350k. It would just take 6-12 months to sell instead of 1-2, but it would sell, for more than you paid, even in this market.

Plus, there are amenities that I would never be able to buy on my own from any private company, were it not paid for by taxes: commuter rail with free wifi to work and my employer's purchasing scheme means it's free for me, decent health care, a local police force so well-kitted that we can leave doors unlocked safely, an excellent library system, beautiful parks stocked with fish to catch. I've lived in places where commutes took 3 hours and lots of money due to ancient infrastructure, overwhelmed public health systems, high crime and nothing to do on weekends other than drink, but lower taxes. This is nicer.

My in-laws live in Europe, and their taxes are actually not higher till all is said and done, but they aren't paying for such a big military or so much overseas stuff--and they don't mind paying taxes either. It's different when you get actual good stuff for your taxes, that you can see every day.
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« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2011, 08:13:19 PM »

Quote
My in-laws live in Europe, and their taxes are actually not higher till all is said and done, but they aren't paying for such a big military or so much overseas stuff--and they don't mind paying taxes either. It's different when you get actual good stuff for your taxes, that you can see every day. 
 
 


my sister lives in england and her taxes are considerably higher.  by the time you factor in national, gas, council, etc. they are paying much higher taxes.  there is also a much different mindset there.   they still think of themselves as "subjects" at the mercy of their government for their care.  the difference between a couple hundred years ago and now is that they no longer feel owned, only owed....
their birth rates are lower so they are on the hook for more and more of the things that are promised to everyone.  there is a reason that most European countries are in even worse shape than we are.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2011, 11:32:10 PM »

The worst part? (yes, I can provide info to back this up) direct income tax in the US is actually unconstitutional. (wages and salary are actually an 'even swap', not 'income') -this is according to supreme court rulings from the late 1800/early 1900s - they have never been overturned - ever - nor have they ever been superceded. However, they will still jail you (illegally) for non-(voluntary) compliance - yep the tax code says it's voluntary - and if you don't volunteer you will be prosecuted. So I wouldn't recommend not filing, because there are consequences, but the consequences imposed for not filing are still present (on wages and salaries, not profits)

EDIT: I figure I had better provide some back-up on these wild claims. (westlaw is one of - or THE most prominent legal research facilities/tools in the nation. I feel pretty safe saying that almost every lawyer in the country has a westlaw account or presently uses westlaw) this piece is from one of their periodicals.
http://www.westlawinsider.com/2010/04/today-in-1895-federal-income-tax-ruled-unconstitutional/
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« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2011, 07:57:00 PM »


my sister lives in england and her taxes are considerably higher.  by the time you factor in national, gas, council, etc. they are paying much higher taxes.
Not than me! We calculated it out one day, and Spouse is all for moving back when we can afford it. But then again, I am close to the city in a fairly spendy suburb, in a tax-friendly state, and Spouse is a small business owner who gets whacked every year; my in-laws live out in the boonies and are low-income retirees with the family house paid off centuries ago.
Quote
  there is also a much different mindset there.   they still think of themselves as "subjects" at the mercy of their government for their care. 
Oh, the older generation, most certainly--very true. Weeeell, I say "older," I don't mean much older than me really. The WWII generation, I guess; that's just their history though. I don't know that they are necessarily in worse shape than us, I think it's more that they get angry about it and there, people protesting in the street is something of a Big Deal. Here, another Million [group] March is sort of ho-hum, business as usual. And much of the really bad stuff here doesn't make the media, folks would rather read about some pop singer's clothes and so on.
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« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2011, 08:03:26 PM »

tell you what would be a killer over there is the cost of gas.  they are over 11 dollars (equivalent) in england.  no one goes anywhere anymore.  can't afford it. 
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2011, 07:24:45 AM »

tell you what would be a killer over there is the cost of gas.  they are over 11 dollars (equivalent) in england.  no one goes anywhere anymore.  can't afford it. 

They have a decent public transit system though. And stuff is closer together, it's not like here where you're always road-tripping to do anything. You go to most of continental Europe, the trains are very nice. China is starting to build trains like the Europeans, the mag-levs and ultra high speed and so forth. When they're running at 300 mph, you barely feel it. Wish we had trains like that.
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« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2011, 10:53:12 AM »

Quote
They have a decent public transit system though.

only cost effective if you live in the city.  fortunately, my sister and her husband work for the same company so they can drive to work together.  it's still cheaper for them to drive in than for both to buy bus passes.  no train where they are.

don't know about most of Europe, but in the few places i have been able to wander, the public transit system is good if you are going around you town, or if you need  a train from point A to point B....maybe town to town or country to country.  for instance, my brother in law can drive to their little town and take the train to London on those days he needs to work there.  
it's heavily subsidized so it's not a cost effective system.  i suppose it gets some cars off the road an that's nice in town.

it's an interesting problem.  i have no issues with public transportation, but it is not cost effective.  in Portland they have MAX.  it's a nice little system, but it has lots of problems.  among them:  it was supposed to by paid for by use.  it is not.  it was not supposed to be expanded without the approval of the people, but like all gov't programs it has been expanded  multiple times IN SPITE of the votes against it.  labor costs for running/maintaining it are bloated by union workers.

probably if you live in London or NY, mass transit is a good thing.  you might even be willing to pay more to use it, or to pay more taxes to maintain it.  for those of us who don't live in a city or are required to commute, mass transit sucks up our tax dollars with no return.  i don't get the warm fuzzies when i pay my taxes because i know that people in Portland have the option to take MAX today.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2011, 11:37:39 AM »


probably if you live in London or NY, mass transit is a good thing.  you might even be willing to pay more to use it, or to pay more taxes to maintain it.  for those of us who don't live in a city or are required to commute, mass transit sucks up our tax dollars with no return.  

Eh, it depends on how you calculate return. Where I am, real estate costs are so prohibitive that there is no way to expand the road widths to accommodate all the traffic generated by businesses located in the high rises. I have a choice of 2 hours on the highway, sitting in traffic, vs. 1 1/2 hours on the train. Yet, of course everyone wants there to be MORE businesses, MORE jobs for everyone, right? And all these businesses end up being located near the things they need: suppliers, universities that create start-up tech companies, other support businesses and contract businesses, shipping ports, etc. so they sorta all get crowded up together around those things. Without an efficient way to get all the employees, consultants, contractors, stuff from place to place, those businesses just would not exist, there'd be no way to start them. If you have mass transit available (especially rail lines that can also handle shipping traffic), you can grow businesses, which grows the tax base. It has the added benefit of less wear and tear on the DOT maintenance and upgrades required to handle traffic. In terms of absolute ticket sales per operations cost, no, it's not self-supporting, but I look at it more like a tax subsidy for local businesses and job creation in general, as well as reducing our dependence on foreign oil.

I'm not in a city, I'm in a little rural town, but we have a light rail system that connects us to the city, and that helps spread business traffic out our way, too--businesses in the 'burbs that are close to the rail stops do very well indeed getting city folks who want to come out our way for a nice day of shopping, and the executives who don't want to live in high-rises often work in the city, but buy homes and spend their disposable incomes somewhere with trees and birds. The towns of similar size/distance from the city that don't have rail stops, you can definitely tell the economic differences.

Plus, it is about a zillion times more pleasant to sit on a train for 1 1/2 hours with free wifi for the laptop and check emails, listen to music and relax, than it is to sit in traffic cussing out the jerks who can't drive for two hours. Just my opinion.  Smiley
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« Reply #28 on: February 12, 2011, 08:46:00 PM »

The worst part? (yes, I can provide info to back this up) direct income tax in the US is actually unconstitutional. (wages and salary are actually an 'even swap', not 'income') -this is according to supreme court rulings from the late 1800/early 1900s.

Yeah, but the 16th Amendment (ratified in 1913) explicitly authorizes the federal government to levy and collect income taxes, and that make all the previous debate and decisions moot. I can show you supreme court decisions that blacks and women are not citizens, but they were made invalid by amending the prime document.
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« Reply #29 on: February 12, 2011, 09:38:26 PM »


Yeah, but the 16th Amendment (ratified in 1913) explicitly authorizes the federal government to levy and collect income taxes, and that make all the previous debate and decisions moot. I can show you supreme court decisions that blacks and women are not citizens, but they were made invalid by amending the prime document.

The IRS like to cite that the 16th Amdt. gives them that power - the article I cited (remember who the source is) specified that those rulings pertain directly to their asserted power under the 16th amdt - the ruling given refers to the fact that the person taxed was acting as an agent of foreign investors and the tax authorised related back to existing tax powers - foreign commerce. The SCOTUS specifically ruled (in 1914) that the 16th granted no new powers of taxation. Never overturned, Never superseded by later amendments - taxes levied against wages and salary are still unconstitutional.

EDIT: I may have been mistaken about the 1914 ruling, however, an "Anthony Holt" in the comments below the article cited several supreme court rulings (several) in which they reassert that the 16th amdt grants no new powers - these are supreme court cases (the final jurisdiction in constitutional law); and given the fact that he cited them by Xv.Y format can be searched at your own leisure.
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« Reply #30 on: February 13, 2011, 08:29:26 AM »

The 16th amendment grants no NEW power? Sure, some people believed that the government had that power from the start.  The history is really very simple: People were arguing over whether the federal government had the power to levy an income tax. To solve the disagreement and put all doubt to rest, the states ratified an Amendment to the Constitution that said it was permissible. When they did that, there was no longer any debate.

People like to complain about lawyers. You are being a lawyer of the worst kind. Here is the 16th Amendment. It is not complicated. It is not ambiguous.

Quote
The Congress shall have 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.
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« Reply #31 on: February 13, 2011, 11:17:26 AM »

...and then the US supreme court ruled that it granted no new powers. as the westlaw user cited; apparently from supreme court ruling history.
remember I'm not the one claiming that the 16th doesn't give congress new powers of taxation; I'm offering supreme court verdicts (plural) given since it's writing that state that no new powers are granted. which you can find for yourself. - checks and balances - if congress writes a bad or unconstitutional law, then the supreme court can shoot it down through appropriate jurisdictional channels. (nothing has been made constitutional since then to override the verdicts.)
Even the (IRS) tax code says that 'compliance is voluntary' (Which is a code founded on an amendment ruled by the supreme court not to have changed anything from the years prior) - they tend to define voluntary differently that the rest of the legal system though; don't volunteer at your own peril.
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« Reply #32 on: February 13, 2011, 06:06:33 PM »

Yes, the Supreme Court has found that the 16th amendment granted no new power, as they ruled that government already had that power under the Constitution (Article I, Section 8) ...  In Bowers v. Kerbaugh-Empire Co., (1926), the SCOTUS found:

"It was not the purpose or the effect of that amendment to bring any new subject within the taxing power. Congress already had the power to tax all incomes."

The Supreme Court has repeatedly found that the income tax IS constitutional. They could have struck it down, but they did not because they do not see it as being in conflict with the Constitution. It is the law of the land.
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« Reply #33 on: February 13, 2011, 07:11:29 PM »

Prior to the 16th Amendment, the government only had the power to tax themselves.  The Federal Income Tax is not a tax on earnings - it is a tax upon federal income.  To be completely exact, it is a tax upon federal privilege, measured by the dollars you gain by exercising that privilege.

"The income tax is, therefore, not a tax on income as such. It is an excise tax with respect to certain activities and privileges which is measured by reference to the income they produce. The income is not the subject of the tax: it is the basis for determining the amount of the tax."  F. Morse Hubbard, Treasury Department legislative draftsman. House Congressional Record March 27th, 1943, page 2580

The worst part? (yes, I can provide info to back this up) direct income tax in the US is actually unconstitutional.

The income tax is not a direct tax - it is an excise tax, (also known as a privilege tax.)  This is why the income tax is not in conflict with the Constitutional requirement that direct taxes are apportioned among the states.

When a court refers to an income tax as being in the nature of an excise, it is merely stating that the tax is not on the property itself, but rather it is a fee for the privilege of receiving gain from the property. The tax is based upon the amount of gain, not the value of the property." John R. Luckey, Legislative Attorney with the Library of Congress, "Frequently Asked Questions Concerning The Federal Income Tax" (C.R.S. Report for Congress 92-303A (1992))

Most folks never take the time to study the actual code, and so they never learn what it actually means.  In law, if a term is given a custom defined legal definition, you are to ignore the common meaning of the word, and only use the legal definition.  The Internal Revenue Code takes many common words, and gives them a legal definition, which is quite different from the common meaning.  For example, terms like employee, employer, wages, business, United States, etc do not have the income tax code meaning that they do in common language.  If you think they hold the same legal meaning as their common meaning, it can cost you quite dearly.
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« Reply #34 on: February 13, 2011, 10:25:16 PM »

"On April 8, 1895, the Supreme Court declared that the federal income tax was unconstitutional" - from the west law article which goes on to say that the 16th amendment was written after that ruling (yes, if it were the dredd scott decision, in that case the (edit - 13th,14th,&)  15th amendments nullified the notion that people are property - the dredd scott decision was never overturned, because if you take people out of the equation then your property is still yours wherever you go).
It wasn't the dredd scott decision - the supreme court in saying that no new powers had been established by the 16th amdt were also stating (not explicitly, I know) that the 1895 decision still stood.
I'll say again, I'm not recommending any civil disobedience, but it sure can't hurt to know what kind of government we have today.
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« Reply #35 on: February 14, 2011, 09:42:12 AM »

The 1895 Pollock case did not rule that the idea of an income tax was completely unconstitutional. It ruled that the particular type of federal income tax being challenged was unconstitutional, and only because it was not apportioned. Later, the constitution was changed to drop the requirement that all taxes be apportioned. Any non-apportioned taxes enacted after the Constitution was changed are not automatically unconstitutional.  The court might strike them down for other reasons, but no longer can invalidate them based on whether they are apportioned or not.

The person that made those comments (it is not really an article) has it all backwards, as do you. Consider the comment "The Supreme Court, obviously being aware of all of the pertinent details, ruled in the Brushaber case that the federal government always had the power to tax income as an excise tax and, therefore, the 16th Amendment is constitutional."

That sentence was written by someone who throws around fancy words but lacks a fundamental understanding of the process. A provision of the Constitution or an amendment to the Constitution is always constitutional. By definition. The courts are not called on to determine whether the Constitution is constitutional, they are called on to determine if laws conflict with the Constitution, and to interpret the meaning of the Constitution in the case of ambiguity.
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« Reply #36 on: February 14, 2011, 09:54:52 AM »

actually, ruling on the constitutionality of an amendment, whether it adheres to the spirit of the constitution, is exactly what the supreme court is for. otherwise - hypothetically - congress could create an amendment outlining a new slave class not to be considered whole persons - and the supreme court would have no power to address the amendment as law.

The article addresses the ruling of 1815, ending with the creation of the 16th amendment, the commenter "Holt" below, then cites supreme court rulings pertaining to the 16th amendment.
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« Reply #37 on: February 14, 2011, 11:46:43 AM »

So Countryboy.

My time is property and therefore can be taxed?

Well my property (time) is worth five hundred dollars per hour, but I can not charge that much because no one will pay. So I have to do the work for a lot less. Therefore I am taking a big lose.  grin

It sounds good anyway.  Undecided
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« Reply #38 on: February 14, 2011, 04:37:15 PM »

actually, ruling on the constitutionality of an amendment, whether it adheres to the spirit of the constitution, is exactly what the supreme court is for. otherwise - hypothetically - congress could create an amendment outlining a new slave class not to be considered whole persons - and the supreme court would have no power to address the amendment as law.

The Constitution is always in perfect agreement with the Constitution. While it would be abhorrent if something like that did get passed, if it is properly ratified by the required number of states, it is the highest law of this land, and the courts cannot strike down the Constitution as they see fit.

Generally, it is politically impossible to roll back rights via the Constitution. Prohibition of alcohol is a notable exception to that. Before 1919, alcohol was generally legal. When the 18th Amendment passed, it became generally illegal. Then in 1933, that part of the Constitution was repealed and alcohol became generally legal again.

One can believe that prohibition was a stupid amendment, that it infringed on freedom where it should not have, that it strengthened the mob, etc. etc. ... I personally think it was a disaster. But while the 18th Amendment was in effect, the ban on drinking alcohol was completely Constitutional. We cannot say that the Constitution is unconstitutional - but we can say that the Constitution is flawed and change it if enough people agree. 
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« Reply #39 on: February 14, 2011, 08:59:03 PM »

no, there are some things which cannot be done 1. because the supreme court has original jurisdiction on matters of judicial review - that's where they review acts and amendments - checks and balances. 2. the 16th amendment was congress, granting itself a power it did not have and was not given in article 1 section 7. They cannot legally confer power they didn't previously have unto themselves - it was the whole purpose of having a constitution that limits powers and prevents a runaway government becoming a tyranny.  (the 16th amdt was not a clarification as some people claim; it directly countermanded the powers in article 1 - not a clarification - a power grab - absolutely not allowable)
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« Reply #40 on: February 15, 2011, 12:04:34 AM »

On April 8, 1895, the Supreme Court declared that the federal income tax was unconstitutional

No, it did not.  It merely ruled that the measurement of the tax by receipts derived from the use of personal property is unconstitutional, because the property itself is untaxable:

"The tax imposed by sections 27 to 37, inclusive, of the act of 1894, so far as it falls on the income of real estate, and of personal property, being a direct tax, within the meaning of the constitution, and therefore unconstitutional and void, because not apportioned according to representation, all those sections, constitution one entire scheme of taxation, are necessarily invalid."

That is what the Supreme Court ruled in the 1895 Pollock decision.

Later, the constitution was changed to drop the requirement that all taxes be apportioned.


There has never been a constitutional requirement that all taxes be apportioned - only direct taxes, and that requirement still stands.  Indirect taxes are not apportioned, but there has never been a constitutional requirement for indirect taxes to be apportioned though.

A provision of the Constitution or an amendment to the Constitution is always constitutional. By definition.

Any statute is to be applied in a manner that is in harmony with the constitution.  If the statute or law is applied in a manner that is not in harmony, then it can be struck down.

So Countryboy.

My time is property and therefore can be taxed?

Well my property (time) is worth five hundred dollars per hour, but I can not charge that much because no one will pay. So I have to do the work for a lot less. Therefore I am taking a big lose.


I am not sure what point you are trying to make.  You are very unclear.  Perhaps these court decisions will answer whatever point you are trying to make.

"The right to follow any of the common occupations of life is an inalienable right,...
It has been well said that 'the property which every man has in his own labor, as it is the original foundation of all other property, so it is the most sacred and inviolable. The patrimony of the poor man lies in the strength and dexterity of his own hands, and to hinder his employing this strength and dexterity in what manner he thinks proper, without injury to his neighbor, is a plain violation of this most sacred property.'"  US Supreme Court, Butcher's Union Co. vs. Crescent City Co., 111 US 746 (1883)

"Included in the right of personal liberty and the right to private property - partaking of the nature of each - is the right to make contracts for the acquisition of property. Chief among such contracts is that of personal employment, by which labor and other services are exchanged for money or other forms of property." US Supreme Court, Coppage vs. Kansas, 236 US 1 (1915)

"Since the right to receive income or earnings is a right belonging to every person, this right cannot be taxed as privilege." Jack Cole Company vs Alfred T. MacFarland, Commissioner, 206 Tenn. 694, 337 S.W.2d 453 Supreme Court of Tennessee (1960)

"An income tax is neither a property tax nor a tax on occupations of the common right, but is an excise tax...The legislature may declare as 'privileged' and tax as such for state revenue, those pursuits not matters of the common right, but it has no power to declare as a 'privilege' and tax for revenue purposes, occupations that are of the common right."  Simms vs Ahrens, 271 SW 720 (1925)
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« Reply #41 on: February 15, 2011, 12:39:49 AM »

Art. 1 Section 9 - the original passage: No capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.
the 16th amdt: The Congress shall have 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.


They cannot countermand their original powers and limits without a constitutional convention - scrapping the original constitution and replacing it with - Huh
but there, in black and white - is exactly what congress tried to do.
I admit, there are other sources who further legally define (outside of the IRS) how the terms relating to direct tax apply. -the reason I kept iterating that the IRS sets its code forth as voluntary is because they are avoiding the language of compulsory law - because they don't have that power. their enforcement proves otherwise, they have an illusionary force of law by punishing "violators".
(sorry - you can call the direct confiscation of money from the citizens any kind of fee you want - it's still a tax.)
and for good measure I'll say again, I'm not recommending that anyone break the law that isn't there.

There are instances where taxes are legitimate, it depends on the legal definition of "income" -I have yet to read the SCOTUS rulings wherein they defined wages as "barter" and profit as "income" - but if someone asks me who the final authority on the definition of "income" is, my answer will not be "The IRS."
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« Reply #42 on: February 15, 2011, 09:16:06 AM »


They cannot countermand their original powers and limits without a constitutional convention - scrapping the original constitution and replacing it with - Huh


Yes, they can. The Constitution is (among other things) a compact between the states. If the states want to change the compact, they can do so, even if the changes are contrary to the original intentions.

Slavery is a prime example. When framing the original compact, the founders were stuck on what to do about slavery, so they accepted slavery. Originally, there was a calculated silence designed to allow slavery, and that was replaced by the opposite, a direct and explicit prohibition.

You might read up on Thomas Jefferson's ideas on generational tyranny. He believed that each generation has the right to adapt the Constitution to their conditions and values, and the Constitution only retained its authority when amended, as the amendment process is re-affirming. Here is an example of TJs original intent:

"No society can make a perpetual constitution or even a perpetual law. The earth belongs always to the living generation."
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« Reply #43 on: February 15, 2011, 09:55:20 AM »

Sorry Countryboy,

I was making sort of a joke about operating at a loss. Not really making income because no one will pay me what I deem my time to be worth. So how can I be compelled to pay taxes on it? Shouldn't I get some sort of deduction on it?

But then how could I convince the IRS that I don't "owe" them any money.  grin
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« Reply #44 on: February 15, 2011, 11:04:19 AM »


They cannot countermand their original powers and limits without a constitutional convention - scrapping the original constitution and replacing it with - Huh


Yes, they can. [...]
"No society can make a perpetual constitution or even a perpetual law. The earth belongs always to the living generation."

"Can" in the sense of they did it and got away with it  - of course.  "Can" in the sense of being allowed to assign powers refused to them in the groundwork of operations  - the articles - absolutely not.
When Jefferson said that I can bet that he was talking about the need for a society to adapt to changing conditions of the day through the methods assigned to them- I sincerely doubt that he or any of the other founding fathers would consent to or approve of a government  - a congress - which simply assigns new powers to itself or countermands limitations placed on it. And of course they made provisions for a huge majority to agree to scrap the constitution and start over - it was the first time they'd ever drawn up a new form of government.  Writing an amendment is not a constitutional convention.
 When they wrote the constitution it was not to "give" rights to the people - their assertion was that the people were born with their rights already intact. They wrote the constitution with a focus on limiting the government and preventing it from assigning powers to itself which could incrementally be used to tyrannize the people. The articles spell out how the government is to function and interact, the amendments have to agree with the core "operating system" of the government - or the constitution is just so much worthless toilet paper.
Under the same logic you are using - Congress can abolish the supreme court; declare themselves lords, the people all serfs, vassals, and property, and the president a king. Failing to obey the limits set forth on them in the establishment clauses would allow them to do just that.
It would take a constitutional convention to "legally" change the core functioning of the government.
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« Reply #45 on: February 15, 2011, 10:27:04 PM »

Art. 1 Section 9 - the original passage: No capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.
the 16th amdt: The Congress shall have 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.


They cannot countermand their original powers and limits without a constitutional convention - scrapping the original constitution and replacing it with - Huh
but there, in black and white - is exactly what congress tried to do.


Article 1 and the 16th Amendment are in harmony because the Income Tax is an excise tax - it is not a direct tax.

(sorry - you can call the direct confiscation of money from the citizens any kind of fee you want - it's still a tax.)

Are you referring to a direct tax, or an excise tax?  If you have a tax obligation, government does have the legal authority to collect it.

it depends on the legal definition of "income"

The Internal Revenue Code does not define "income".  It does however, define things which are taxable under the income tax.

defined wages as "barter" and profit as "income"

Congress defined "wages"...

Section 3401 (a) Wages
For purposes of this chapter, the term "wages" means all remuneration (other than fees paid to a public official) for services performed by an "employee" [as defined by 3401c] for his "employer" [as defined by 3401d]...
(c) Employee
For purposes of this chapter, the term "employee" is an officer, employee, or elected official of the United States, a State, or any political subdivision thereof, or the District of Columbia, or any agency or instrumentality of any one or more of the foregoing. The term "employee" also includes an officer of a corporation. [corporation as defined by Section 207 of the Public Salary Tax Act]
(d) Employer
For purposes of this chapter, the term "employer" means the person for whom an individual performs or performed any service, of whatever nature, as the "employee" of such person...

Section 3121
(a) Wages
For purposes of this chapter, the term "wages" means all remuneration for "employment", including the cash value of all remuneration (including benefits) paid in any medium other than cash; except that such term shall not include - ...[various pre-tax deductions]
(b) Employment
For purposes of this chapter, the term "employment" means any "service", of whatever nature, performed
--(A) by an "employee" for the person "employing" him, irrespective of citizenship or residence of either,
---(i) within the "United States," [as defined] or
---(ii)on or in connection with an American vessel or American aircraft...or
--(B) outside the "United States" [as defined] by a citizen or resident of the "United States" [as defined] as an "employee" for an "American employer" (as defined in subsection (h)),...
(e)State, United States, and [Puerto Rican} citizen
For purposes of this chapter -
(1) State
The term "State" means the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa.
(2)United States
The term "United States" when used in a geographical sense means the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa.
(h) American employer
For purposes of this chapter, the term "American employer" means an employer which is -
(1)the "United States" or any instrumentality thereof,
(2)an individual who is a resident of the "United States",
(3)a partnership, if two-thirds or more of the partners are residents of the "United States",
(4)a trust, if all of the trustees are residents of the "United States", or
(5)a corporation organized under the laws of the "United States" or of any "State."

When you understand the actual legal definitions of these common words, you see that "United States" is what common people would call 'federal zone', (or a State for 3401 purposes) and an "employee" is someone who works in the 'federal zone', (or State or local government for 3401 purposes) and "wages" are what is paid to the federal zone worker. (or State or local government worker.)

And the federal government has every right under the 16th Amendment to tax those privileged federal zone worker's pay.  It is an excise tax, because they are privileged to be paid with tax dollars...

(State and local government workers are treated as 'privileged' under the Section 218 Agreement between States and the Federal Government, but that's a whole different tangent.)

I was making sort of a joke about operating at a loss. Not really making income because no one will pay me what I deem my time to be worth. So how can I be compelled to pay taxes on it? Shouldn't I get some sort of deduction on it?

You still make no sense.  On one hand, you imply that you owe the tax, but on the other hand, you imply that the tax laws do not apply to you. 
"The revenue laws are a code or system in regulation of tax assessment and collection. They relate to taxpayers, and not to nontaxpayers. The latter are without their scope." United States Court of Claims, Economy Plumbing and Heating vs United States, 470 F.2d 585, at 589 (1972)

Which one are you?  A taxpayer who is taxable, or a nontaxpayer, who is untaxable?

But then how could I convince the IRS that I don't "owe" them any money.

You must rebut, in the correct time and manner, any erroneous assertation that your receipts were taxable.  If someone LIES, and says they paid you a taxable receipt when it was not a taxable receipt - if you do not deny it and correct the record, then it is treated as truth by the law, and you will have to pay a tax on that receipt.

The IRS has never prosecuted anyone for tax fraud who paid more than they were legally required to pay.  You can claim you received taxable receipts of a gazillion dollars - and the IRS won't prosecute you if you pay the tax on that gazillion dollar receipt, even though you are lying through your teeth about the gazillion dollar income.

Most people have no clue what the actual Internal Revenue Code says. (even though they sign a tax return under penalty of perjury that they know the code.)  They have no clue what is taxable or not taxable.  They willingly pay far more than they are legally required to, out of their ignorance of the law.
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« Reply #46 on: February 15, 2011, 10:32:48 PM »

You still make no sense. 

Well gosh. I'm so sorry my intelligent level is so far beneath yours that I can not communicate with you. Perhaps one of these other bright people that get what I am saying can explain it. Sorry I wasted your time.
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« Reply #47 on: February 16, 2011, 03:15:58 AM »

I quit. but in parting, I'll offer this movie by Aaron Russo (He claims to have credits with the Eddie Murphy movie 'trading places' - yes - not journalism) In spite of Russo's non-journalistic roots, and the fact that I wouldn't necessarily reach some of the conclusions he does - many of his interviewees include former IRS agents, and he heavily cites Supreme court decisions - including ones which exclude wages from being counted as income. I did jump into research myself, but I admit that everywhere I found those rulings, they were attached to someone's interpretations. The actual supreme court.gov site does NOT include complete transcripts of its decisions through history. In addition I found a site claiming that people who claim there is no real tax law are fraudulent - but their first critical misstep for me was the claim that the Brushaber v. Union Pacific R.R. Co verdict was the absolute validation of the 16th amdt - without the note that the decision hinged on Mr Brushaber acting as a foreign fiduciary - which took some of the credibility away for me, along with court rulings cited which I couldn't ascertain whether they were lower courts acting in non-accordance with SCOTUS decisions (illegally). 
-The run time is just under 2 hours...

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« Reply #48 on: February 16, 2011, 10:25:26 PM »

I quit.

That's great to hear!  I quit paying more than my fair share too - in 2003.

You don't realize how refreshing it is to get audited by the IRS, and then get every penny of Federal, State, Social Security, and Medicare withholdings refunded back to me.  I hope everyone that is overpaying quits.  I'm certain I do a better job of managing my money than the government used to do with my money.
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