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Fighting the Smoking Man - The Life and Thoughts of Zach — LiveJournal

Oct. 30th, 2003

12:40 pm - Fighting the Smoking Man

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From:mathuaerknedam
Date:October 30th, 2003 10:57 pm (UTC)
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> > These Socialist programs are unconstitutional and un-American.
> > They stab at the heart of America.
>
> Last I checked there was nothing in the Constition or the American
> tradition (a tradition rich with anti-corporate and socialist
> tendencies dating back to the founding fathers) elevating free
> market unregulated laissez-faire capitalism as the official state
> economic model.

Zach, while I think your statement is correct, I don't think it's a relevant reply. Strictly speaking, a government program isn't constitutional *unless* it's specifically allowed withing the constitution. Income tax, social security, and welfare. All unconstitutional. The value of these programs is up for debate, but the constitutionality isn't.

(Who'd have thought that Sal and I would have so much in common? :-)
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From:zarfmouse
Date:October 30th, 2003 11:24 pm (UTC)
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I'll speak to welfare and social security later because they're complex and I'm feeling too ill to think, much less do some research. But it's hard to take your entire statement seriously when you have income tax on the list:

Article XVI.

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.


How can you claim that income tax is unconstitional when it has been IN THE CONSTITUTION since 1913?
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From:mathuaerknedam
Date:October 31st, 2003 12:51 am (UTC)
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How can I claim that? Laziness, primarily. To be honest, it's been several years since I was well versed in this, and can't really defend it well today. Maybe Sal can do better? I took "Income tax, social security, and welfare" from his sentence immediately preceding the one that you quoted, so he probably had something in mind.

However, despite your implication to the contrary, it is also a complex issue. Was the ratification of Amendment XVI legal? If so, what about Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution. (Which says that they can't directly tax my earnings. The Supreme Court said that AMendment XVI "did not change the constitutional limitations which forbid any direct taxation of individuals".

Short of principles, nothing is ever as simple as it seems.
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