The Income Tax
The ancient teachings of the Bible and Jesus taught us to render to Cesar what belongs to Cesar and to God what belongs to God. This is my boring opinion on taxes in light of latest news and assuming that men in power have a tendency to be corrupt according to the Scriptures and using history as our guide.
Taxes have been imposed since ancient times. We have many examples of taxes or tax collectors in ancient history, from Babylon to Persia, Rome and Israel. According to the Jewish and Roman historians, tax collectors were some of the most repudiated men in society. But mostly this is about the current tax system in America.
When America was founded, it had men with brilliant minds and great statesmanship that wrote the documents that were meant to rule this nation and protect it from corrupt governments and tyrants. They just had the oppressive British crown removed from their land and had won their Independence. They knew a thing or two about how power corrupts and how absolute power corrupts absolutely. In reality, the British crown was not that oppressive to the colonies compared to other Empires and their provinces or colonies, but that’s a story for another time. Back to American taxes.
The American income tax was approved by Congress on July 2, 1909, and ratified February 3, 1913. The same year the Federal Reserve was created, coincidence? I doubt it.
The 16th amendment established Congress’s right to impose a Federal income tax. There was obviously no vote from the people for this legislation.
If we read the history of revolutions, most of them started because of tax oppression. The stamp act was one of the reasons that the American revolution started or at least the drop that tipped the bucket. Even one of the founding fathers was a big time tax evader. John Hancock, a successful and powerful merchant in Boston was wanted in England for tax evasion. He signed the Declaration of independence in big letters to irritate the British authorities. Very convenient for him and many to remove the British crown from their pockets.
Back in 1765 the colonists started an organization called the Sons of Liberty. They openly oppose the new Stamp Act in the the colonies and other forms of taxation that felt oppressive.
That union or mutual hatred towards the taxes solidified the colonies, except for 4 of them, that would follow eventually. All they wanted was representation in London from the colonies. They came up with the saying : taxation without representation is oppression. All that meant was that they wanted a representative in Parliament to at least vote on the taxes the British were imposing in the colonies. Little did they know that the representation they sought would become more oppressive after all.
Since colonies were under the British crown, they have to abide to the crown rules.
One has to understand, the founding fathers of this nation were rebels that opposed the English crown. If they had lost, they would have been hanged for treason. Obviously God had different plans for this nation.
The income tax started in England in early 1800 to help finance the Napoleonic wars. It started as a war tax, but soon after the war was over, England tried to continue the tax during times of peace, the people revolted and the war tax was abolished just to be implemented years later, very subtle and low, just to keep increasing after time, sounds familiar?
In America, the IRS started soon after the civil war, it was originally called IRB (Internal Revenue Bureau) their first assignment, the whiskey tax.
A tax on liquor! Man o man, did we have a revolt! Do not take the alcohol away from people or you will have a revolution! And they almost did. After years fighting, the lynching of taxmen and many people dying, the government lost the war to the moonshiners. The Whiskey boys had their whiskey and the power of the IRS was consolidated because they had found a bigger fish. The income tax.
We have to understand, most of the people living in the new world were fleeting immigrants from European oppressions. Religious oppression, tax oppression, freedom of speech, etc. That’s why the architects of this nation emphasized on freedom so much (except for the Native Indians and Black slaves at the time of course). That freedom was the mentality that till this day has been in the minds of people. Lady Liberty, the symbol of this nation, The Land of the free and home of the brave. That liberty has almost become and idol for many. Freedom to do and be anything you want. You are a man today but want to be a woman tomorrow? Sure! Why not! As long as you love it and it feels good. Topic for another time.
Taxation has been a major debate throughout history. For governments around the world. They usually ask themselves : When to tax? what to tax? how much is too much without a revolt? How can we tax pretty much everything? Can we tax the air they breath ? (they would if they could).
One thing is for sure, government is a necessary evil as Thomas Paine once said, “even in it’s best state a necessary evil, in its worst an intolerable one”. Taxes will never be fair according to the people.
Adam Smith in “The Wealth of Nations” points out that “when there is a general suspicion of much unnecessary expense and misapplication of the public revenue, the laws that protect it will not be respected”
Example: welfare recipients, corporate subsidies, entitlement programs, expensive military build up, unnecessary wars, etc.
Here’s a lesson from history, whatever you subsidize, you get more of, not less.
Example, for every person on food stamps, there’s 9 trying to get on it. A lesson from Ancient Rome, when Rome started handing out food, at first, there was about 200,000, paid by the Empire or provincial tax payers. Once word got out, the numbers doubled within months.
Julius Caesar tried to fix the problem by shipping thousands of the freeloaders to the provinces , where they will have to work. Obviously we know now that one of Rome’s fall was from within (its own citizens). Their costly government handouts, prolonged inflation, heavy taxes, expensive wars and armies in foreign lands far away, (sounds familiar).
If we use history as our guide, we will find out that the problem with big government and taxation is that the same body of people has unlimited and unchecked power. Power to tax and power to spend. The power to spend will always overwhelm the power to tax, creating enormous debts that will continue for generations.
England at the height of the Empire did not charge its citizens more than 5% income tax. The King could spend but no tax and Parliament could tax but not spend. There was a separation of powers between spending and taxation.
The Bill of Rights prohibits excessive fines, why not prohibit excessive taxes? Seems as if the criminal has more protection than law abiding citizens. My friends, I truly believe this is the greatest nation on earth. One of the greatest things that the founding fathers did on this nation is that here in America a man is innocent until proven guilty. That’s not the case in most nations. In most nations you are guilty and we will throw you in jail until we prove you are innocent.
At the end of the day in a democratic government, just like the Constitution says : “We the people” . The people should have control. Government works for the people. They must have a regard not only for what the people are able to bear, but what they willing to pay in a just manner. Not low taxes but just taxes. The people know that running the government, military and social works costs money. All people want is uniformity, that’s what the framers of this nation intended. There would be an outcry from their graves if they knew how unfair taxes were in our days. From 0% to 20% to over 40% the more you make. Which the super rich find ways to avoid, just start a nonprofit organization, a shadow corporation, tax brackets or use expensive lawyers that will find loopholes.
There is simply nothing of progress with the progressive tax, is plain and simple robbery. The greedy hand of uncle Sam. If not then explain how an average American couple that made sacrifices to go to school and works 40-60 hours a week to have a more comfortable life should pay more percent than the person who decides to live off the system or under $20,000 per year. As we all know, life is not fair like my wife would say. And I agree, many people are born in disadvantage and harsh conditions. The problem is more than taxes or economic growth. We know that the bigger the Government (like the left want) the more powerful they become. This is what immigrants such as myself ran away from our countries.
Many people do not feel it, yet, because this nation has experienced an economic growth like never in the history of humanity. But this enormous middle class cannot sustain itself. We have borrowed ourselves to death.
Once interest rates continue to rise, and they will (they just did las week), we will see a change. A big one. Capitalisms, the greatest of all economic and political systems failed us, or rather, we failed. Greed conquered.
What we’re witnessing is an economic downward spiral of countries around the globe, not just America. Countries such as Argentina, Turkey, Venezuela, South Africa, Greece, Spain, etc are in an economic dive. This is the unraveling of a failing global economy that was doomed to collapse. I hate to be a prophet of doom, but if this was not the case, how can we explain that so many currencies are failing at the same time. In the past, nations would use interest rates or to help the nation’s economy recover. That’s not the case anymore since some of these fallen economies were almost at 0% interest rates.
We cannot expect that the bubble won’t burst in America. We were the ones that created this monster and I hate to say it but it was my man Alexander Hamilton ( our first secretary of the treasury) who put it in motion with the creation of central government. The problem is that Central Banking is designed to keep everyone in debt. Andrew Jackson one of the hero’s of this nation in that area saw the problem and dismantle the National bank.
We have now a society that has borrowed ourselves into bondage with a consumerist mentality of spending more that we actually have. The Federal Reserve is probably the most corrupt institution in America, they are not even a Government Institution but a private one.
Right now we are in a period of economic and political transformation that will change the world as we know it.
This transition time is way overdue, we are in borrowing time for the next big war or the next economic collapse due in part to society for removing God from their minds and hearts and destroying the institution of the family.
We as Christians see what’s happening around the world and we must abide and submit to the law of men as God had ordained, as long as it does not conflict with our beliefs. During the time that Jesus commanded us to submit to authorities they were under an oppressive Empire with heavy taxes and absolutely no democracy.
It was also during Nero’s reign that Paul instructed Timothy to submit to the Emperor which at the time was Nero. It was Nero that would ultimately ordered Paul’s execution.
God has sovereignly ordained the authorities. To complain about them is ultimately to complain about God. I guess this last point brings me to repentance.
The commandment for the church was never to fix the government, lead rallies or start protests because of fallen states, but to preach Christ and Him crucified.
Ultimately the way I see things is that economy will fail, governments and nations will collapse. And it makes sense, for the rise of a person to bring a “rescue ” plan for the economy and humanity, but do not be deceived. This person is not the Christ, in fact he is antichrist but fortunately his reign will be short lived. It can be in 10 days or 10 years from now but it won’t be long, we might see it within this generation.
We’ll have to see how things play out after the November elections. The political arena is a mess right now. Both sides hating each other. This country is getting ready to experience a huge shift that will be felt around the world. Once that happens everything will fall into place. For the believer anxiety is not an option. We wait eagerly for the final triumphal entry of our King. Come Lord Jesus