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The roots of the IRS

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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. file5339fc92e570f 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 After the Civil War and ten years after the original income tax law was passed the largely unpopular law was repealed, only to be revived once more by Congress in 1894.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.

What’s next?

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.

The jig is up

“The jig is up the news is out they’ve finally found me. The renegade who had it made retrieved for a bounty. Never more to go astray, this will be the end today of the wanted man…” .              from “Renegade” by Styx

Does anybody have doubts anymore that the IRS and by extension the President was not singling out Tea Party and conservative groups to outrageous levels of scrutiny for political purposes?According to the “official lie” largely debunked local IRS officials in Cincinnati, OH acting on their own initiative targeted conservative groups for added scrutiny.  Something by itself was very outside the IRS scope and illegal.

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The truth however was Tea Party groups from all across the country have been targeted and have complained of the unfair and illegal actions by the IRS for some time. It was not just the Ohio office and the size and scope of the IRS’s targeting has increasingly become apparent despite the denials from the White House.

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Congress has started demanding answers. Just days after issuing her apology, Lerner was called to testify before Congress. In an amazing piece of court room style theater Lerner made an opening statement proclaiming her innocence then pleaded the 5th amendment something that technically cannot be done as once a statement was made she waived her right to plead the 5th.  This technicality however was apparently, intentionally overlooked.

Since these revelations have come to light Lerner has fallen on her sword and resigned from the IRS (and now receiving taxpayer pension). She’s also recently been called back to testify again before Representative Darrell Issa and committee to answer no doubt some very awkward questions. Unfortunately, all we, the American taxpayers, heard from Lerner was “On the advice of my counsel I respectfully exercise my fifth amendment right and decline to answer that question”.

So we may never know the truth unless Congress decides to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress or promises her some immunity deal. For someone who is so “innocent” of any wrongdoing why does she look and act so guilty? If there is nothing to hide why plead the 5th?  The Obama Administration has denied any wrongdoing going so far as to say there is not a smidgen of corruption at the IRS. What a load of rubbish.

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Democrats and the White House would have us believe he is not responsible for the IRS scandal just like he’s not responsible for people losing the insurance coverage as a result of Obamacare, or responsible for high unemployment.   He’s not responsible for the abject failures of Fast and Furious or Benghazi where our Ambassador and his security detail was left to die at the hands of Muslim hordes. Obama appears to be the Teflon President not guilty or responsible for anything.

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Like John Gotti, the dapper Don, who was once also known for his non-sticking qualities, maybe this President will experience just one too many scandals and his minions won’t be willing to take the fall for him.  Maybe one day soon Barrack Hussein Obama will be held accountable.

“…The jig is up, the news is out they finally found me. The renegade who had it made retrieved for a bounty. Never more to go astray. The judge’ll have revenge today on the wanted man..”

One can only hope.

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