The federal government was to limit its activities to those specified in the Constitution. Any activity not specifically specified in the Constitution as a proper function of the federal government was forbidden. The Bill of Rights further codified this concept with the 10th Amendment, which reserved all rights and activities not specified to the States, or the people thereof.
The House of Representatives, elected by the people every two years, was to protect the rights and interests of the people. The Senate, with members appointed by the individual States every six years, would guard States rights.
The federal government’s sole source of revenue was to be indirect taxes (duties, imposts and excise taxes.) Its agents would be located on our boarders, and thus not pry into the daily activities of citizens throughout our nation (unlike the IRS.) If federal debts exceeded revenue, it was to apportion the excess to the States based upon the number of inhabitants in each State in the last census. Frugal spending would help Representatives seeking re-election, and prevent Senators from being recalled by State legislators otherwise forced to increase taxes on their inhabitants.
The federal government would be limited in size and spending according to the optimum level of taxation the duties, imposts and excise taxes would support. Any increase above optimum taxation would result in decreased revenue because alternative goods would soon replace those being taxed.
All bills to raise revenue must originate in the House of Representatives (still true today.) Any activity of the federal government not funded by the House of Representatives would cease to exist for lack of financing (still true today.)
What follows is factual, or this author’s opinion. If opinion, it conforms to principles and beliefs our Founding Fathers laid down in the Constitution and The Federalist Papers.
Our ancestors adopted the Constitution of our Founding Fathers and formed the United States of America in 1789. By 1913, too many of our citizens had forgotten (or never knew) why the federal government was originally denied the power of direct taxation, and they instructed our States to ratify the 16th Amendment. That removed the restraints our Founders placed on the size and spending of the federal government. Far too many of our countrymen do not recognize the impact of that decision.
Therefore, let us repeal the 16th Amendment and stop arguing about Flat Tax; Fair Tax; 9,9,9 Tax; True Fair Tax and other proposals to replace the current Federal Income Tax system with another form of direct taxation of the people. Denying the federal government the power of direct taxation will put the genie back in the bottle and again control the size and spending of the federal government.
Al Kuchinka is a local resident and columinist.