Taxation without Representation
Outpost of Freedom
December 2, 2002
Early this past year, we were still being told how gracious President George W. Bush (George III) was in allowing the taxpayers (American citizens) to keep the surpluses created by a healthy economy. After all, it was their money, wasn’t it?
The current estimate for the cost of a war (police action) in Iraq is set at $200,000,000,000.00 (two hundred billion dollars), and that is assuming that a government project falls within its original budget.
So far, defense spending, in normal budgetary terms, is at its highest in many years. Though it doesn’t appear that this extremely high budget is any part of the estimated 200 billion.
Two-hundred billion dollars! Just how much money is that? Well, it is over $765.00 for every man, woman and child in this country. A family of four will be contributing over #3,060.00 dollars to a ‘war’ that, we are told, is to protect us.
Early in this century, the mobs ran protection rackets in major cities. For a few dollars here and there, the mob would assure you that you would be protected from the violence that occurred, from time to time, to those who had not chosen to participate in the protection ‘racket’.
Has the government learned from the mob? If so, they are doing far better at it than the mob had ever anticipated. First, the mob numbers, even accounting for inflation, would never amount to over three thousand dollars per household.
Secondly, the mob only sought protection from people who were involved in a business. In the current situation, every taxpayer is going to have to participate, whether an employer or employee, and his participation will have to be increased proportionate to the ratio of taxpayers to non-taxpayers. Loosely, he will have to pay about four times what his “fair share” really is. Yes, that’s a whopping $12,000.00 for each and every taxpayer.
But, don’t be discouraged. The government, you see, is much easier to work with than the mob. First, you needn’t anticipate immediate harm, if you fail to pay. In fact, the threat that is the cause for the “protection racket” is rather speculative, to say the least. It is best upon conjecture that Saddam Hussein: has weapons that can cause great harm in this country; has the means of delivering those weapons; has the motivation to deliver them (which, we are trying desperately to provide); and, finally, that he would be willing to deliver them.
Secondly, the government, has much better credit than the mob, is willing to allow your obligation to be carried, from year to year, until satisfied. Realizing that there is no way for each taxpayer to come up with his “fair share”, in addition to the regular protection money that he has been paying, regularly, the government will just “mark up” the debt, and chisel away at it, in years to come (perhaps, many, many years – hopefully, slightly faster than interest will increase the burden).
I’ll bet that you are wondering what this has to do with taxation. Well, let’s see if we can pull the pieces together. First, we must have an understanding of “representation”. I know that we all know that we think that we know what it means. After all, we all know who our “representatives” are, both in the state capitol and in Washington, D.C. They are there to “represent” us.
Let’s begin with a few definitions. First, from Webster’s 1828 dictionary (considered the language of the Founders):
” Representative… 2. In legislative or other business, an agent, deputy or substitute who supplies the place of another or others, being invested with his or their authority. An attorney is the representative of his client or employer. A member of the house of commons is the representative of his constituents and of the nation. In matters concerning his constituents only, he is supposed to be bound by their instructions, but in the enacting of laws for the nation, he is supposed not to be bound by their instructions, as he acts for the whole nation. ”
From Black’s Law Dictionary (fifth Edition): “Representative. A person chosen by the people to represent their several interests in a legislative body.”
So, it appears by Webster’s (as the Founders would have understood it) that a representative, with the exception of passing “laws” in the interest of the nation, is bound by the instruction of his constituents. The time has passed whence instructions were given, specifically, to the representatives. This process has been replaced in what has become known as “campaign promises”.
In campaign promises, a candidate tell the constituents what he will do when he is elected. The candidate that seems to best represent, ideologically and specifically, the interest of the greater number of voters is elected – and, sent to represent the “several interests” (Black’s) of the people.
Now, if your candidate had campaigned under “no new taxes”, he would have to carry that “campaign promise” as an indication of the “several interests” of the people.
So, the question arises, “Does an elected representative, once he violates his campaign promise, cease to represent his constituents?”
Congress has specific responsibilities assigned to them by the Constitution. One of those, and one which is very significant in the limitations of power which were desired and inherent, when the Constitution was written and ratified, is the “Power … To declare War”.
So, the question arises, “Should an elected representative shirk his Constitutional responsibility, does he cease to represent his constituents?”
There is little doubt that real war (declared in accordance with the Constitution), which without might cause a failure in the governmental obligation for “common defense”, is a situation which warrants incurring debt. Like any family, it is the duty of the head of that family NOT to incur such debt as to force his children, and their children into debt before their lifetime begins. The Constitution even assured that a means of bankruptcy would preclude the necessity of burdening posterity with debt of which they had no part.
It should be evident that our representatives in Congress, likewise, except in cases of necessity, cannot burden those yet unborn with obligations to repay debt of which they had no part. To do so, without extraordinary cause, would be to tax those who one could not possibly represent.
So, the question arises: “Should an elected representative impose a tax on someone yet unborn, except under extraordinary circumstances, is he taxing without representation?”
The government of the United States of America exists ONLY because the people caused it to exist. Unlike any government that preceded it, its source is the people, and the people, only.
All other governments, prior to the founding of the United States, were lead by people who had acquired leadership (ownership) of the country by either force; or, divine right (from God).
The creation of that government was under certain conditions. The authority of the government to govern was first granted by the Articles of Confederation. Unfortunately, the Articles of Confederation did not provide sufficient authority for the federal government to be able to maintain itself sufficiently to conduct its business.
The Constitution, in order to provide a “more perfect Union” of independent and sovereign states, was created with very specific powers, authorities, and limitations. It was endowed, by the people, with authority and RESPONSIBILITY. As such, it exists ONLY at the will of the people. It represents (stands in the place of) only those to whom it has kept its promise.
To think that we could walk away from government; abolish it by our consent, especially in a representative form of government, is, without question, impossible.
On the other hand, if that contract is breached by the government, they, by their very act of violation, have removed themselves from the contract. The have divested us from that government.
If any of the questions above are answered in the affirmative, the government has violated your consent to be governed by them. They have ceased to have any authority over your life, except that which they can impose by force. Similarly, the only effect you can have on them is by force. You are without (proper or lawful) government, and they are without authority to govern. They could only do so if you were to, again, give your consent to be government under a new contract (whether written, or not).
Have you given your consent?