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Week of: June 17, 2001

Amendment to Abolish Income Tax?

by F.R. Duplantier

Did you know that there's a bill in Congress right now to repeal the income tax? Seems like something that ought to make the news, doesn't it?

In a letter to his colleagues in the House of Representatives, Congressman Ron Paul of Texas explains why he "recently introduced The Liberty Amendment, which repeals the 16th Amendment and thus paves the way for real change in the way government collects and spends the people's hard-earned money." He points out that "the 16th Amendment enabled Congress to do something the Supreme Court had always said it was forbidden to do under the original Constitution: levy a direct income tax on individuals."

Paul complains that "income taxes give the federal government a direct claim on the lives of American citizens, and enable government to expand far beyond its proper limits, invade our privacy, and penalize our every endeavor. The Founding Fathers realized that 'the power to tax is the power to destroy,' which is why they did not give the federal government the power to destroy our liberties through the income tax. The Founders," he asserts, "would be horrified to know that Americans today give more than a third of their income to the federal government."

According to Paul, "Income taxes not only diminish liberty; they also act as a drag on the economy by discouraging work and production and forcing Americans to waste valuable time and money on compliance with an ever-more complex tax code. The increased interest in flat-tax and national sales tax proposals, as well as the increasing number of small businesses who are questioning the IRS' 'withholding' system, provides further proof that America is tired of the labyrinthine tax code and the abusive IRS."

Congressman Ron Paul emphasizes that "America survived for 140 years without an income tax, with a federal government that generally adhered to strictly constitutional functions, and operated with modest excise revenues. The income tax," he contends, "opened the door to the era (and errors) of Big Government." Paul urges his colleagues to "help close that door and take a stand for freedom, economic growth, and constitutional government." Why not ask your representatives where they stand on repeal of the income tax? And ask the members of the mainstream media why Ron Paul's proposal isn't considered newsworthy.

Unfortunately, we can't tell you where we stand on this proposal, nor can we offer any support to Congressman Paul. It's not because we don't want to; it's because we're not allowed to. You see, our status as a 501c3 nonprofit educational organization prohibits us from endorsing specific candidates or legislation. However, if the federal income tax -- both personal and corporate -- were abolished, along with all the tyrannical requirements and restrictions in the accompanying code, then we would be free to support any legislation we pleased, including this one, and we could enthusiastically recommend legislators, like Ron Paul, who propose measures designed to reinvigorate our Constitution. With no tax status to stifle our speech or influence the decisions of our contributors, the American Policy Foundation would be truly free, and so would you.


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