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When the federal government spends more each year than it collects in tax revenues, it has three choices: It can raise taxes, print money, or borrow money. While these actions may benefit politicians, all three options are bad for average Americans. -Ron Paul
Where did it all begin?
One of the most reviled of all US Federal agencies is the dreaded IRS or Internal Revenue Service. This agency created to help fund the US Federal Government’s never ending spending appetite has its roots in rebellion. In early 1861 President Abraham Lincoln, looking at the imminent secession of Southern states and the loss of their lucrative seaports, began looking at ways to make up lost revenue. Lincoln made inquiries of his cabinet members Edward Bates, Salmon Chase, and Gideon Welles wanting to know if he had the constitutional authority to collect duties on goods and services as well as import tariffs and property taxes. The end result was the Revenue Act of 1861 passed on August 5th 1861 and the first federal income tax statute of the United States. The income tax placed a 3% tax on all individuals whose annual incomes were above $800 per year. By 1862 however realizing the war was not going to be a short affair, the Lincoln administration passed of the Revenue Act of 1862 which established for the first time an Office of the Commissioner of Revenue. It also levied excise taxes on everyday goods and services and established the first graduated or progressive tax system in the US which separated citizens into multiple categories and taxed them based upon their abilities to pay. As the years would pass the revenue generated from this law was not enough to pay the burdensome debts the war was amassing and subsequent legislation would need to be passed. After the Civil War and ten years after the original income tax law was passed the largely unpopular law was repealed, only to be revived once more by Congress in 1894. The subsequent year saw the Supreme Court rule the law unconstitutional, based upon the fact that the income tax was a direct tax not apportioned according to the population of each state. In 1909 President Taft would recommend Congress propose a constitutional amendment that would give the government the power to tax incomes without apportioning the burden among the states in line with population. In 1913 Delaware became the 36th and last state needed to ratify the 16th Amendment which established the federal government’s authority to enact income tax.
All governments throughout world history have levied taxes on its citizens to help pay off debts accrued by war and or other expenditures. Our country is no different and at times has had tax rates as high as 77% of income. Image that, 77 cents for every dollar earned was going to the government. That’s simply outrageous. If we allow our leaders to keep spending money like they are doing now we may well see tax rates that high again.
This is why it is imperative now upon all our citizens to understand the implications of Lincoln’s legacy, the establishment of the federal income tax system, and all that it entails. We are trusting our elected officials with our money and should they continue on the deficit spending track there will be dire consequences for all of us, to include higher taxes.
In my opinion we cannot afford to maintain global hegemony for much longer. We simply do not have the revenue to be the world’s beat cop, and defender of the free world. It’s time for the other nations to pick up some the slack.
It’s time to win the war for peace as we cannot afford to wage war in perpetuity. No nation can do that and survive.
We need to look at ending entitlement programs that do not change people’s lives for the long term. Investment in education and skill training instead of extending unemployment benefits for example.
We need to change our foreign policy so that it’s not so reliant on dollar diplomacy. We cannot afford to keep giving billions and billions in aid to foreign nations, some that do not even like us or have the same values.
Our leaders need to represent WE the People and not spend our hard earned money that the IRS is so hard at work taking away from us.
A close friend of mine died today. He lived a long, long, life filled with adventure, intrigue and the stuff you read in the history books. During his birth he beat the odds and many said he should not have survived. When he was a child, others left him mostly alone, not sure what to make of his odd ideas, manners and customs. He was blessed with a good place to live filled with abundance, and was raised by parents that respected God and family.
As a young adult he grew strong, powerful and self-confident. Some would even say he had become arrogant. He was also known to be cruel and selfish in his youth. However life’s experience would teach him hard lessons, and he learned from his mistakes. Slowly over time his character was built with confidence to overcome any obstacle. His can do attitude won him much adulation from his peers.
He became a fierce warrior with the heart of a lion out of necessity for survival. Others would call for his help frequently and he always answered that call. He would be forced to fight in wars and conflicts overseas seeing firsthand the cruelty and barbarity men could inflict upon others but it did not change his character instead making him only stronger and wiser as he aged. He was industrious, compassionate, and generous with his money.
In the years that followed he grew happy and content and sired many children. Over time however as with many families his children grew complacent, fat and lazy. Having not experienced the same challenges and hardships that their father had experienced, the same challenges and hardships that built his character; they became weak and insecure.
His children ignored their father’s warnings and lessons and ridiculed his past mistakes. They chose to spend their inheritance and squander the good will their father had built up with his friends over many years. They welcomed their father’s old enemy’s ideas into their hearts and borrowed money they could not pay back from those same enemies. Over time displeased and disgusted with their father and his ways, they dispatched him while he slumbered. His children celebrated their new found “freedom” from their father proclaiming his old ideas were slowing their progress and that with him gone their direction was certain.
However, seeing my friend’s demise, at the hands of his children, my friend’s old enemies no longer were afraid of my friend’s family and rose up against the house their father had built with blood, sweat and treasure expended and destroyed them all, taking their lands, their livelihoods and their freedom forever.
I shall miss my friend America, as will most of the world as there has never been a country quite like it before in history and we are not likely to see one like it ever again.
Where will freedom reign once it is extinguished here?
“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” – Abraham Lincoln