Time to Repeal the 16th Amendment.

If you had the power to change one law, what would it be and why?

On 3 February 1913, the 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was ratified. The amendment reads as follows:

“The Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment amongst the several States, and without regard to any census or renumeration.”

The amendment was the result of an economic conflict between small farmers in the south and west and financial and industrial interests in the north and east. While the industrial and financial sectors were flourishing, farmers were on the receiving end of high prices for manufactured goods while receiving low prices for their agricultural goods. The farmers, wanting to even the playing field, supported an income tax.

Interestingly, conservatives believed they could call the progressive’s bluff by going one better. While progressives were pushing for a law imposing another income tax, conservatives drafted the 16th Amendment, hoping that a failure to receive a three-fourths vote by the states would put the issue to rest.

They were wrong.

The amendment, ratified on 3 February 1913 and certified later that month by the U.S. Secretary of State, was an example of a political tug-of-war between factions of differing economic interests. And we likely have an income tax today because conservatives made the wrong bet.

Today, the economic interest being harmed by taxation policy is that of the lower and middle class. Tax policy has been weaponized where the middle class has fallen for the narrative of the rich not paying their fair share. It is a blinding argument to the reality that taxpayer/consumers pay taxes that reduce their spending and saving power. Taxing the rich more does not negate that I am still bearing the burden of taxes, period. The argument does not answer the question, “Why am I paying taxes at all.”

The rich versus everyone else arguments, particularly made by the Left, are nothing but a distraction.

I don’t care whether the rich pay a “fair share” of taxes (whatever fair share means). I care that I have to pay the government a share of income where I see no returns from that payment.

The “Who would pay for the roads?” argument is indicative of a lack of critical thinking and likely made by those directly benefiting from abusive taxes, namely non-producing government workers. To that argument I would say two things.

First, the roads will be built by those who need them. If businesses want to ship their goods, they will build and design infrastructure that can transport their goods to the wholesalers and end users that need them.

Second, taxes are a way to spread the costs of contracting for infrastructure builds onto the lower income classes who do not share in the dividends generated from the sale of goods transported on those roads.

Political parties today are not going to abandon the 16th Amendment without some prodding. Taxes finance the goody-bags that they offer to their constituents in exchange for another term in office. Consumer/taxpayers will have to be weened off of the narrative that taxation is appropriate for economic growth or that the myriad of programs that the government allegedly provides are consequential to personal survival.

The 16th Amendment 110 years later is doing nothing but extracting our energy with nothing received in return.

Alton Drew

14 February 2023

Pledge to Eliminate the 16th Amendment

The 16th Amendment has given us a barbaric energy extraction mechanism that we call the tax code. It should be repealed. Please pledge as much as you can to this campaign.