Friday, April 21, 2006

Income Tax Not Constitutional

As people are all pissy about the subject of taxation before the "due" date I decided to hold off on this until now. No doubt there are those who will simply accuse me of not paying my "fair share." (Note: the "fair share" argument is really just a whine and holds no weight in a discussion.) So here is the first in what is likely to be a topic on this blog for a while.

The current income tax was instituted in 1913 (not coincidentally the same year the Fed was created.) Now as a bit of history, Congress had passed an Income Tax as part of the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act of 1894. This tax was decided by the United States Supreme Court to be unconstitutional in 1895. Why? Because it was a tax on "property" and it was a direct tax without respect to the census and therefore unapportioned.

Currently in the common vernacular we interpret "income" to be that which we take home from our jobs. That weekly paycheck (or for some of us, weakly paycheck) is not, in fact, income as defined by law, nor as considered by SCotUS. SCotUS has ruled that income in the legal sense arises from gain or increase arising from corporate activity. (Note 1) Now, in the abscence of gain there can be no "income" (Note 2)

SCotUS has also ruled that one's labor constitutes property (Note 3) and 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." (Note 4)

From these court cases it is easy to see that labor, the primary "income" for Americans (yes that includes office workers too,) is not taxable. This means that there is no "gross income" for which one would have to file a tax return. This also means that the FICA "Contribution" taxes also do not apply to you as you have no taxable income. This also means that there is no "fair share."

The current Income Tax code contains more than 7 million words. By way of comparison the KJV Bible has 791,328 words. Off the top of my head I can think of 8 different sects (Note 5) with differing opinions that these 791,328 words have spawned, learned men and scholars amongst them all. How many more opinions would 7,000,000+ words create? It is true, and been upheld in court, that even IRS employees and their publications cannot be counted on (or held liable) to give correct advice regarding the tax laws. The Void for Vagueness doctrine would seem to apply to this.

"It is a basic principle of due process that an enactment is void for vagueness if its prohibitions are not clearly defined. Vague laws offend several important values. First, because we assume that man is free to steer between lawful and unlawful conduct, we insist that laws give the person of ordinary intelligence a reasonable opportunity to know what is prohibited, so that he may act accordingly. Vague laws may trap the innocent by not providing fair warning. Second, if arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement is to be prevented, laws must provide explicit standards for those who apply them. A vague law impermissibly delegates basic policy matters to policemen, judges, and juries for resolution on an ad hoc and subjective basis, with the attendant dangers of arbitrary and discriminatory application." (Note 6)

"Criminal statutes which fail to give due notice that an act has been made criminal before it is done are unconstitutional deprivations of due process of law." (Note 7)

Furthermore, when tax laws are vague they are to interpreted in favor of the "taxpayer."
“...if doubt exists as to the construction of a taxing statute, the doubt should be resolved in favor of the taxpayer..." (Note 8) and " Where the construction of a tax law is doubtful, the doubt is to be resolved in favor of whom upon which the tax is sought to be laid." (Note 9)

To sum up, the Income Tax law(s) is too vague to be enforcable and doesnt apply to anyone anyways.

Note 1: Doyle v. Mitchell Brothers Co., 247 U.S. 179, 185, 38 S.Ct. 467 and Stratton’s Independence v. Howbert, 231 U.S. 399, 414, 58 L.Ed. 285, 34 Sup.Ct.136

Note 2: Stratton’s Indep. v. Howbert , 231 U.S. 399; Doyle v. Mitchell, 247 U.S. 179; So. Pacific v. Lowe, 247 U.S. 330 (1918); Eisnerv. Macomber, 252 U.S. 189; Merchant’s Loan v. Smietanka, 255 U.S. 509

Note 3: Doyle v. Mitchell Brothers Co., 247 U.S. 179, 185, 38 S.Ct. 467 and Stratton’s Independence v. Howbert, 231 U.S. 399, 414, 58 L.Ed. 285, 34 Sup.Ct.136

Note 4: Butchers’ Union Co. v. Crescent City Co., 111 U.S. 746, 757 (concurring opinion of Justice Fields)

Note 5: Nazarene, Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, NonDenominational, Friends, Quaker, Mennonite

Note 6: Grayned v. City of Rockford, 408 U.S. 104, 108 (1972)

Note 7: U.S. v. De Cadena, 105 F.Supp. 202, 204 (1952)

Note 8: Hassett v. Welch., 303 US 303, pp. 314 - 315, 82 L Ed 858. (1938)

Note 9: Spreckles Sugar Refining v. McClain, 192 U.S. 397, 416 (1904); Gould v. Gould, 245 U.S. 151, 153 (1917); Smietanka v. First Trust & Savings Bank, 257 U.S. 602, 606 (1922); Lucas v. Alexander, 279 U.S. 573, 577 (1929); Crooks v. Harrelson, 282 U.S. 55 (1930); Burnet v. Niagra Falls Brewing Co., 282 U.S. 648, 654 (1931); Miller v. Standard Nut Margarine Co., 284 U.S. 498, 508 (1932); Gregory v. Helvering, 293 U.S. 465, 469 (1935); Hassett v. Welch, 303 U.S. 303, 314 (1938); U.S. v. Batchelder, 442 U.S. 114, 123 (1978); Security Bank of Minnesota v. CIA, 994 F.2d 432, 436 (CA8 1993)