Publius-Huldah's Blog

Understanding the Constitution

The Plot to Impose a National Sales Tax or Value Added Tax

By Publius Huldah

A devilish plot is afoot to impose new national taxes on the American People. It is a masterful piece of trickery because the authorization for the new national taxes is buried within Compact for America’s version of a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution.

Furthermore, the balanced budget amendment does nothing to control federal spending; and transforms our Constitution from one of limited and defined powers to one of general and unlimited powers. 1

Yet this monstrosity is pending in Michigan as SB 306 2 and in North Carolina as HB 366. 3 Legislators in four States, Alaska, Georgia, Mississippi and North Dakota, have already passed it.

Let’s look at Sections 1-6 of Compact for America’s balanced budget amendment:

It does Nothing to Control Federal Spending

Section 1 allows Congress to spend as much as they take from us in taxes and add to the national debt. That’s a good idea?

Sections 2 and 3 permit Congress to raise the debt whenever 26 States agree.  States are addicted to federal funds. Will 25 States agree not to take more federal funds?

Section 4 is a joke:  Who believes Congress will impeach a President for refusing to “impound” an appropriation made by Congress? Congress won’t even impeach a President for Treason.

How Authorization for the New Taxes is Hidden

Section 5 says:

“No bill that provides for a new or increased general revenue tax shall become law unless approved by a two-thirds roll call vote of the whole number of each House of Congress….” [italics mine]

What is a “general revenue tax”? Section 6 defines it:

“…’general revenue tax’ means any income tax, sales tax, or value-added tax levied by the government of the United States…” [italics mine]

Now go back to Section 5 and substitute the definition of “general revenue tax” for that term:

“No bill that provides for a new or increased income tax, sales tax, or value-added tax levied by the government of the United States shall become law unless approved by a two-thirds roll call vote of the whole number of each House of Congress….”

There it is: All that’s needed is approval of two-thirds of the members of each House and a new national sales tax and/or value added tax is imposed on us. And they can increase it, along with increasing the income tax, whenever they get two-thirds of the members to vote for it.

Section 5 also permits Congress to make laws to impose a new “end user sales tax” 4 which would replace the income tax – this “end user sales tax” is passed by a simple majority of both houses.

So! Compact for America’s balanced budget amendment provides two options to Congress:

· Two-thirds of the members of both Houses can impose a new sales tax and/or value-added tax in addition to the income tax; or

· A simple majority of both Houses can impose “a new end user sales tax” which replaces the income tax.

Which option will Congress choose?

Our Constitution Doesn’t Now Authorize a National Sales Tax or Value-added Tax

Article I, §8, clause 1 says:

“The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises…”

Principles of Compact for America say this clause already authorizes a national sales tax or value added tax. Board Vice-President Chip DeMoss said on Feb. 12, 2014:

“a national sales tax would be an “impost” (defined as a tax or similar compulsory payment) that is authorized under Article I, Section 8, Clause 1…” [see comments and scroll down after comment 19 till you see Chip DeMoss’ name].

We may not properly use DeMoss’ redefinition of “impost”!

We must use the definition of “impost” our Framers used: The Federalist Papers say an “impost” is a tax or duty on imports. Type imposts in the search box [at the link] and the Papers discussing imposts will come up. See for yourself that an “impost” is a tax or duty on imports.

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines “impost” as:

“…Any tax or tribute imposed by authority; particularly, a duty or tax laid by government on goods imported, and paid or secured by the importer at the time of importation. Imposts are also called customs.”

Do you see?

National sales taxes and value-added taxes are also not “excise” taxes. Excise taxes are a tax on a unit of goods – such as the infamous whiskey excise tax of 1791 which led to the Whiskey Rebellion. 5 It imposed a flat tax per gallon. The tax was payable for domestic whiskey at the distillery (§17 of the Act) and the casks were numbered and marked to show the tax had been paid (§19 of the Act).

“Taxes” at Art. I, §8, clause 1 refers to the apportioned direct tax provided for at Art. I, §2, clause 3 of our Constitution.

Our Framers were specific about the kinds of taxes Congress is permitted to impose. Congress does not have the power to impose any kind of tax it wants. Our Framers limited Congress’ taxing power to:

· the apportioned direct taxes at Art. I, §2, clause 3;

· the duties or imposts on imports at Art. I, §8, clause 1; and

· the excises at Art. I, §8, clause 1.

A sales tax is none of the above. A sales tax is a percentage of the retail price of goods. A value-added tax is a “turbo-charged national sales tax on goods and services that is applied at each stage of production, not merely on retail transactions” and raises a “gusher of revenue for spendthrift governments worldwide”.

We have never had a national sales tax or value added tax in this Country. Why? Because they are not authorized by the Constitution.

We were manipulated into supporting the 16th Amendment. We were told the income tax would “soak the rich” – and the envious drooled at the prospect.

And so again today, statists are seeking to trick us into supporting a national sales tax or a value added tax: first, by concealing it within the verbiage of the bill; 6 and then, once the trickery was exposed, by claiming the Constitution already authorizes these new types of taxes.

There is a Better Way: Downsize the Federal Government!

Our Constitution limits federal spending to the enumerated powers. The list of objects on which Congress may lawfully spend money is a short list. See the list HERE.

Most of what the federal government does today is unconstitutional as outside the scope of the powers delegated by the Constitution. Let’s cut federal spending by downsizing the federal government to its enumerated powers and constitutional limits.

Endnotes:

1 Congress’ spending is limited by the enumerated powers: If an object is on the list of enumerated powers (e.g., the patent & copyright office authorized by Art. I, §8, cl. 8), Congress may lawfully spend money on it. That’s how our Constitution already controls federal spending.

All versions of a balanced budget amendment change the constitutional standard for spending FROM whether an object is on the list of enumerated powers TO a limit on total spending where Congress may spend money on whatever they or the President put in the budget. This is what transforms our Constitution FROM one of enumerated powers only TO one of general and unlimited powers. And that is the true purpose of a balanced budget amendment. It has nothing to do with limiting federal spending – the pretended spending limits are fictitious since they may be waived whenever the feds [and 26 of the States] want to waive them.

2 Leon Drolet’s article of July 10, 2015, and Sam Easter’s article of July 8, 2015, about SB 306 pending in Michigan don’t mention the new national taxes.

3 Matthew Burns’ article about the hearing on HB 366 before N. Carolina’s House Judiciary Committee (which passed HB 366) doesn’t mention the new national taxes. Burns quotes the Bill’s sponsor, Rep. Chris Millis, as saying the problem is “Washington is unwilling or unable to limit itself.” So the solution is to massively increase Congress’ taxing powers?

4 “End user sales tax” is not defined in the balanced budget amendment.

5 Apparently, the practice of tarring & feathering “revenuers” began with the Whiskey Excise Tax.

6 The trickery was exposed over a year ago HERE. Since then, Compact for America has claimed the Constitution already authorizes the new taxes. Are we too gullible to be free? PH

August 26, 2015

Add to DeliciousAdd to DiggAdd to FaceBookAdd to Google BookmarkAdd to MySpaceAdd to NewsvineAdd to RedditAdd to StumbleUponAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Twitter

August 26, 2015 Posted by | Amendments to the Constitution, Balanced Budget Amendment, Chip DeMoss, Compact for America, enumerated powers | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

States Need Budgets – but Enumerated Powers Limit Federal Spending

By Publius Huldah

We will never solve our political and fiscal problems if we continue in our present state of ignorance of the fundamental distinction between the federal Constitution and the State Constitutions.

With our federal Constitution, we created a national government to which we delegated only a handful of enumerated powers. If you would trouble yourself to read the federal Constitution, this fact would jump out at you and hit you over the head. [THIS simple chart will get you started.]

The federal government doesn’t need a budget because Congress’ spending is limited by the enumerated powers. Congress is to appropriate funds to carry out the handful of delegated powers, and then it is to pay the bills with receipts from taxes. 1

And if you read your State Constitution, you will see that those who ratified it [foolishly] created a State government of general and unlimited powers subject only to the exceptions carved out by its Declaration of Rights. 2

Since State governments were created to possess general and unlimited powers, State governments may lawfully spend money on just about anything they want. 2 Accordingly, State governments need budgets to limit their spending to receipts.

But Federal Spending is limited by the Enumerated Powers

The federal Constitution lists the items Congress is permitted to spend money on. If you read through the federal Constitution and highlight the powers delegated to Congress and the President, you will have a complete list of the objects on which Congress is lawfully authorized to spend money. Here is the list:

· The Census (Art. I, §2, cl. 3)
· Publishing the Journals of the House and Senate (Art. I, §5, cl. 3)
· Salaries of Senators and Representatives (Art. I, § 6, cl. 1)
· Salaries of civil officers of the United States (Art. I, §6, cl. 2 & Art. II, §1, cl. 7)
· Pay the Debts (Art. I, §8, cl. 1 & Art. VI, cl.1)
· Pay tax collectors (Art. I, §8, cl.1)
· Regulate commerce with foreign Nations, among the several States, and with Indian Tribes (Art. I, §8, cl.3) 3
· Immigration office (Art. I, §8, cl.4)
· The mint (Art. I, §8, cl. 5)
· Attorney General to handle the small amount of authorized federal litigation involving the national government e.g.,  Art. I, §8, cls. 6 & 10)
· Post offices & post roads (Art. I, §8, cl. 7)
· Patent & copyright office (Art. I, §8, cl. 8)
· Federal courts (Art. I, §8, cl. 9 & Art. III, §1)
· Military and Citizens’ Militia (Art. I, §8, cls. 11-16)
· Since Congress has general legislative authority over the federal enclaves listed in Art. I, §8, next to last clause, Congress has broad spending authority over the tiny geographical areas listed in this clause.
· The President’s entertainment expenses for foreign dignitaries (Art. II, §3); and
· Since Congress had general legislative authority over the Western Territory before it was broken up into States, Congress could appropriate funds for the US Marshalls, federal judges, and the like for that Territory (Art. IV, §3, cl. 2).

So! That’s about all Congress is authorized by our original Constitution to spend money on. 4 Did I leave anything out? To find out, take 20 minutes and, armed with a highlighter, read carefully through the original Constitution and see for yourself.

Let’s look at some of the appropriations bills passed by the First Congress: 5

HERE is the Act for the establishment and support of Lighthouses, Beacons, Buoys, and Public Piers, of August 7, 1789 (expenditure authorized by Art. I, §8, next to last clause);

HERE is the Act providing for the Expenses which may attend Negotiations or Treaties with the Indian Tribes, and the appointment of Commissioners for managing the same, of August 20, 1789 (expenditure authorized by Art. I, §8, clause 3 & Art. II, §2, cl. 2);

HERE is the Act providing for the establishment of the Post Office, of September 22, 1789 (expenditure authorized by Art. I, §8, cl. 7); and

HERE is the Act providing for the compensation of federal judges and the Attorney General, of September 23, 1789 (expenditure authorized by Art. III, §1 for the federal judges; & for the AG, Art. I, §6, cl. 2 & Art. II, §2, cl. 2 & Art. I, §8, last clause)

Read these appropriations bills: They are single subject, short, easy to understand, and illustrate how appropriations bills ought to be written.

So, do you see? Congress is to make the appropriations for the objects of the enumerated powers delegated to the national government.

Pursuant to Art. I, §9, clause 7, Congress is to periodically publish a Statement and Account of Receipts and Expenditures.

We don’t need a federal budget because the Constitution delegates to Congress only limited and narrowly defined authority to spend money.

Accordingly, the federal Constitution doesn’t provide for a Budget. We never had a federal budget until Congress passed the unconstitutional Budget and Accounting Act of 1921.

We got the crushing federal debt because for 100 years, Congress has been IGNORING the existing constitutional limits on its spending. Most of Congress’ spending is unconstitutional as outside the scope of the delegated powers.

The Answer to our political and fiscal problems is already laid out in the federal Constitution: Downsize the federal government to its enumerated powers and return the usurped powers to the States or the People.

Why are Some Pushing for a Federal Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA)?

Many of those clamoring for a federal BBA don’t know about the fundamental distinction between the federal and State Constitutions. But they want to do something about the out of control federal spending; they are told a BBA is the answer; and so, without giving it much thought, they jump on the bandwagon.

But others have an evil agenda in pushing for a BBA – an agenda so evil that if they disclosed it, most Americans would reject it:

All versions of a BBA transform our federal Constitution from one which created a national government with only a few enumerated powers to a national government of general and unlimited powers. This is because BBAs substitute a “budget” for the enumerated powers; and accordingly, the national government would become lawfully authorized by the Constitution to spend money on whatever they put in the Budget!

That unlimited spending power on whatever they want is what would transform the national government into one of general and unlimited powers.

To add insult to injury, while all versions of a BBA pretend to limit spending; they actually permit increases in spending and increases in debt whenever the government body votes to do so. 6

Conclusion

 When the history of our time is written, do not let it be said that the American People were too ignorant and lazy to be free. Do not let tricksters take away our glorious Heritage. Wake up! Stop applications for a convention for a BBA from being passed in your State. If your State has already passed such an application, urge your State legislators to rescind it.

Endnotes:

1 The constitutional powers of the national government were supposed to be exercised with the proceeds of excise taxes & impost tariffs, with any shortfall being made up by an apportioned assessment on the States based on population.

2 The powers of State governments are also restricted by the federal Constitution: The list of prohibited powers at Art. I, §10, and by those few powers delegated exclusively to the national government.

3 HERE is the proof of the original intent of the interstate commerce clause.

4 The 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 18th, 19th, 24th, and 26th Amendments increased the powers and spending of the federal government by expanding federal powers over the States and The People. It was necessary to amend the Constitution to remedy the defect of slavery and to extend citizenship to freed slaves; but there was a better way than the 13th -15th Amendments.

5 HERE is a helpful site for locating early Acts of Congress. Once you have the title and date of an Act, you can find the official source at the Library of Congress: e.g., THIS provides what one needs to find the official edition HERE.

6 Compact for America’s pretended BBA is actually a tricky device for imposing a national sales tax or value added tax on the American People – on top of the income tax – and does nothing to limit federal spending. Yet deluded State Legislators are now proposing it in Michigan as SB 306. You can find a short and simple section by section analysis of Compact for America’s BBA HERE.

Add to DeliciousAdd to DiggAdd to FaceBookAdd to Google BookmarkAdd to MySpaceAdd to NewsvineAdd to RedditAdd to StumbleUponAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Twitter

June 24, 2015 Posted by | Balanced Budget Amendment, enumerated powers, Enumerated Powers of Congress | , , , , , | 31 Comments

   

%d bloggers like this: