Using the Constitution to determine what your relationship with government is

A quick thought on your relationship with the federal government. Using data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the average household in 2021 paid $16,487 in federal individual income taxes. For $16,487, you would like to know what you received, yes?

To answer that question, you would have to determine exactly what the federal government is obliged to provide you. And the first place you should go to for an answer is the U.S. Constitution.

Specifically, you should focus on Amendments 1-8, 15 &19. and Article IV, Section II. This post is not meant to be an in-depth constitutional analysis, so I will provide brief descriptions of the sections for now.

Article IV, Section II provides that citizens of each state are provided the same immunities and privileges as found in other states. In short, if I leave Georgia and return to Florida, as a new resident I am entitled to the protections of Florida law, the same as a Floridian who may have been there for 40 years.

The First Amendment prohibits Congress from passing any laws that diminish or curtail free speech, free press, or the right to assemble. The Second Amendment provides the right to bear arms, where bearing arms is necessary for participating in a state militia while the Third Amendment prevents the government from forcing you to have a soldier reside in your home.

The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures, and if a reasonable search or seizure results in you being held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime, the Fifth Amendment requires that you first be presented before a grand jury.

The Fifth Amendment also protects you from double jeopardy where you are subjected twice to prosecution for the same crime. It protects you from testifying against yourself while providing you with due process of the law.

The Sixth Amendment provides that in all criminal prosecutions you are provided a speedy trial. The Seventh Amendment preserves your right to a trial by jury while the Eighth Amendment prohibits excessive bail and prohibits the infliction of cruel and unusual punishments.

The right to vote cannot be denied to citizens on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude, according to the Fifteenth Amendment. And the Nineteenth Amendment protects the right to vote regardless of sex.

Most of the amendments are the terms and conditions of the relationship between government and citizens. In my opinion, you should pay less attention to the main body of the Constitution unless you are planning to be a lawyer that practices political law and are asked to litigate a dispute between the Executive and the Legislature.

The main body of the Constitution is where the political factions and their representatives play; where they determine the structure of and constraints on the government. There is little to nothing that you can do about the structure and constraints of the government. There is nary a mention in the seven articles of the Constitution of the citizen or the rights the citizen may have.

Your attention should remain on making sure that the promises contained in the amendments are kept.

Alton Drew

15 February 2023

Eliminating the 16th Amendment Requirement of Individual Income Taxes

The 16th Amendment is the Constitutional basis for burdening us with onerous federal income taxes. The Amendment must be repealed. Please pledge to our campaign.