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A Voice from Fly-Over Country
June 17, 2013

If the Constitution Were a Computer Program…
by Robert L. Hale
fitzgerald griffin foundation

"…the power to tax involves the power to destroy."
– Chief Justice John Marshall in McCulloch v. Maryland (1816)

MINOT, NORTH DAKOTA — If the Constitution were a computer program, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) would be considered a Trojan virus. Today, we are witnessing first-hand just how this virus looks and works. The IRS is ugly, frightening, and altering the very concept of a free people and free society.

Actually, the IRS is not the virus; it is just the implementation agent. The virus was injected into our Constitution in 1913 with the passage of the 16th Amendment. The 16th Amendment was deemed necessary because our Founding Fathers had wisely prohibited the imposition of income taxes by the federal government.

 

The IRS operates like the Mafia. Taxpayers are offered protection – that is, the IRS will leave them alone if they meekly comply with all demands.

   

Their prohibition was put in place to avoid exactly the sorts of things that America's working population is suffering at the hands of the federal government — chaos, loss of other constitutional guarantees, pervasive government invasion of privacy, and a massive national debt that is leading to impending national bankruptcy.

The imposition of a national income tax required the establishment of a mechanism to collect the taxes that Congress imposed and the President signed into law. This need spawned the IRS. From 1913 to 1939, the federal tax code grew to 504 pages; from 1939 to 1945, it expanded to 8,200 pages; by 2010, the Code's rules, rulings, and regulations had grown to 71,684 pages. Excluding the rulings — interpretation of the rules and regulations, — the Code itself consumes 16,845 pages.

Using IRS estimates, taxpayers' compliance with the U.S. income tax code consumes more than 6.2 billion hours annually — equal to the full-time employment of 2,980,769 people. The sheer complexity, inconsistency, and cost in time and money demonstrate how irrational our federal tax system has become.

Yet, the complexity, inconsistency, and cost in time and money are not the most frightening aspects of the federal tax code. What should truly trouble a free people is how our tax system, like a computer virus, is destroying its host — a once-free people living in a free nation.

   

Passage of the 16th Amendment released a virus that has corrupted our Constitution and crippled our nation.

In 1816, Chief Justice John Marshall stated in McCulloch v. Maryland, "the power to tax involves the power to destroy." In modern society, the taxing power is used as a tool to force taxpayers to provide the government with information about every aspect of our lives. This is justified by claiming the information is necessary to properly impose and collect taxes or to grant tax-exempt or preferential tax treatment.

The IRS grants nonprofit status to those who agree to give the IRS whatever information it demands. This information — unrelated to income — includes the names of members, addresses, contributions, and the minutes of meetings. The IRS operates like the Mafia. Taxpayers are offered protection — that is, the IRS will leave them alone if they meekly comply with all demands. Failure to comply results in a hellish invasion of private lives. Nothing is exempt — comply or the invasion never ends.

Churches have been warned that if they speak about or preach on government practices, mandates, or political topics, they face losing their tax-exempt status. Other organizations have been refused nonprofit status or have had their applications ignored — in some cases, for years.

The IRS has become the political tool of whichever party is in power. It is used to collect every detail of our financial lives and monitor every dollar we earn and spend. Now Congress has placed it in charge of implementing and enforcing compliance with the all-inclusive and mandatory Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). The IRS has been given the power to impose and collect fines for failure to comply with the evolving, federally run health care system, including all patient health care information.

In short, the IRS is the collector of our personal and private information; there is no longer privacy from government. Directed by Congress, the IRS grants tax exemptions in exchange for not exercising our freedom of speech and keeping our religious beliefs behind closed doors.

America was once a free nation whose citizens could freely express themselves, practice their faith, and maintain the privacy of those things they wished kept private. Our Founding Fathers understood how the taxing power would corrupt and destroy this freedom.

Passage of the 16th Amendment released a virus that has corrupted our Constitution and crippled our nation. Unless we remove this virus and remove it very soon, America will cease to be free in any sense. Our country is about to crash.

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A Voice from Fly-Over Country is copyright © 2013 by Robert L. Hale and the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation. All rights reserved.

Robert L. Hale received his J.D. in law from Gonzaga University Law School in Spokane, Washington. He is founder and director of a non-profit public interest law firm. For more than three decades he has been involved in drafting proposed laws and counseling elected officials in ways to remove burdensome and unnecessary rules and regulations.

See a complete biographical sketch.

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