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Why We Need Term Limits - The First Step to Limited Government

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by James Jaeger

If you listen to the Left and Right arguing over taxes it's quite funny. The Left thinks the rich need to pay a larger share and the Right thinks the Left can "go to hell." Many scream for a flat tax, but when this comes up there are always two problems: a) what percentage should the flat tax be? and b) what percentage of the poor should be exempt from it?

What seems to be over looked is the reason we are having these tax problems -- the fact that we are violating two primary tenets of the U.S. Constitution:

1. We are supposed to have a limited government.

2. Taxes are supposed to be uniform.


Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution states that "... all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States." The word "uniform" means everyone pays the SAME and no one escapes -- is exempted. This is the idea of a so-called "fair tax" -- everyone pays the same tax, apportioned throughout the states. So where does the Constitution mention an Income Tax or a Sales Tax, or an Employment Tax, or any other Tax? It doesn't specifically; it basically calls them Duties, Imposts and Excises. A Duty is a kind of tax often associated with customs, a tax on certain items purchased abroad. An Impost is a tax levied on imports, in essence a tariff and an Excise is a tax on the manufacture, sale, or consumption of particular items within a country, such as gasoline, liquor, cigarettes, airline tickets, tires or trucks. The Excise tax is usually included in the price of the item.

All of these taxes are uniform, because again everyone pays the same and no one escapes payment. The rates are not progressive in that they get higher or lower depending on whether you are rich or poor. The idea of making someone pay at a higher rate just because they happen to be richer, is not fair. Thus the games the rich play with deductions -- have to play -- are CAUSED by the fact that they have been charged unfair, unconstitutional rates, rates that progress ever higher as their income rises. A Constitutional tax requires no deductions or credits the rich must engage in in order to effectively counter their unfair higher tax rate.

This is the way the Founders meant things to be. No games. No endless accountings and 200,000 page tax code. The U.S. Constitution, which was ratified in 1789, gave the "central government" the power to "lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States."

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James Jaeger is an award-winning filmmaker with over 25 years experience producing, writing and directing feature motion pictures and documentaries. For complete bio see Jaeger's first documentary, "FIAT (more...)

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