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Op-Ed: In light of recent IRS scandal, new look at 16th amendment needed

By Nathan Miller     Jun 2, 2013 in Politics
With the recent IRS targeting of conservative and Tea Party groups, the American people would be wise to look back at history and heed the Founder's warnings regarding the dangers of direct taxation.
The 13th amendment, which outlawed slavery, was ratified in 1865. Forty-eight years later, in 1913, the 13th amendment was effectively revoked by allowing the federal government to legally seize 100 percent of an individual's income.
Until the ratification of the 16th amendment, the federal government lacked the authority to directly tax individuals. Prior to that time, the federal government collected revenue through tariffs on imports or exports, and user fees. Any actual taxes were levied on the states, and those were based on apportionment of the state's population, so as to not unfairly burden the citizens of states with lower populations. Now, the states are largely irrelevant, and success and production are penalized to fund the apparatus of the state. Individuals, once sovereign, have become slaves to those in power, ruled by a minority who seize the product of their labor, to fund campaign contributors, lobbyists, friends, and those unwilling to work, in order to purchase votes and curry favors, all funded and backed by the Internal Revenue Service.
An agency like the IRS, with the power to reach into people's lives, seize their records, and go through sensitive personal information, is essential to the administration of an income tax, because the majority of people will not voluntarily submit to the level of taxation that the income tax allows without the coercive force of government. Perhaps the greatest danger inherent in the IRS is that it can act without probable cause or a warrant, which is in direct violation to the Fourth Amendment, which states,
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The IRS would clearly not be able to conduct audits if held to those constraints, because they would never be able to establish probable cause without first looking at an individual's financial records. Furthermore, the tax code, at 73,954 pages, is so complex that an individual selected for an audit would need a team of lawyers and accountants to ensure compliance, even if he broke no laws (which is unlikely, since the average American commits three felonies a day, without even realizing it). Where the IRS is concerned, you have no constitutional rights, and you are guilty until you prove yourself innocent.
For the government to seize your income, the presumption on the their part is that they own you. Your productivity is theirs, and it is only by their grace that you are permitted to keep a portion of what you earn. Yet, when they speak of those who pay no taxes, and are receiving government benefits, they are "entitled" to those benefits. Strange, how those who sacrifice nothing yet get, are "entitled" to your money, but if you think you're entitled to your money, you're just greedy.
Thomas Jefferson once said,
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
Never was that statement more true than today. It is high time to close the doors of the IRS, and shut down their reign of terror, for good.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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