By Gregory Carpenter | NEWSL
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:7
Is it with joy in your heart that you participate in the annual dark ceremony as ever-increasing “gifts” from the fruits of your labor, your paycheck, are sacrificed at the high altar of government? Is this really how it was meant to be, and if not, how did it happen? It started nearly as soon as the ink was dry on the newly ratified Constitution. Anti-federalists insisted that control over direct taxes be retained by the States. Specifically, they preferred the requisition system employed under the Articles of Confederation. Patrick Henry argued passionately that “the oppression arising from taxation, is not from the amount but, from the mode — a thorough acquaintance with the condition of the people, is necessary to a just distribution of taxes. The whole wisdom of the science of Government, with respect to taxation, consists in selecting the mode of collection which will best accommodate to the convenience of the people.”
The first national debt amassed in 1790 with Hamilton’s plan to assume State debt in the Compromise of 1790. The Funding Act of 1790 was the action to assume the debt. We only got out of debt one time, Jan 8, 1835, and that did not even last the full year. By Jan 1, 1836 we had a debt of over $35,000. However, Jackson did not even have to take much action to make the debt disappear. Since the end of the War of 1812, which racked a significant amount of debt, Congress required debt reductions of at least $10 million per year under both James Monroe and John Quincy Adams. So all Jackson really had to do was to show up to work and not mess up. Additionally, an antagonist to the central bank concept, Jackson liquidated the Second Bank of the United States (forerunner of the Federal Reserve) which resulted in a massive surplus which was applied to the last of the debt.
“…our federal representatives must be unacquainted with the situation of their constituents. Sixty-five members cannot possibly know the situation and circumstances of all the inhabitants of this immense continent. When a certain sum comes to be taxed, and the mode of levying to be fixed, they will lay the tax on that article which will be most productive and easiest in the collection, without consulting the real circumstances or convenience of a country, with which, in fact, they cannot be sufficiently acquainted.”
– George Mason
Few years were we ever able to pay down a significant portion of the debt again ever though at least half of the budgets from 1800-1850 were balanced and nearly that same number occurred from 1850-1900, with many of them under Grover Cleveland. To reduce the debt, from 1796 to 1811 there were 14 budget surpluses and 2 deficits. There was a sharp increase in the debt resulting from the War of 1812. In the 20 years following that war, there were 18 surpluses. Since the 1960s, only five years have had balanced federal budgets: 1969 under Nixon; 1998, 1999 and 2000 under Clinton; and 2001 under G W Bush. Of course, a yearly budget surplus or shortfall is a function of deficit and not the national debt. People usually assume that the annual deficit is the total that the federal government borrows each year. Actually, that is not accurate; it is simply the difference between federal outlays and federal receipts. Usually, the feds borrow a lot more than the official deficit. Although even when we have a deficit in the budget, the debt can drop.
Taxes are the price we pay for civilization. I like to pay taxes. With them I buy civilization. – Oliver Wendell Holmes
These United States did not always run a deficit. In the 1800’s, the feds typically only ran deficits during wartime or during financial crises. The government ran a deficit of 2% of GDP at the end of the war of 1812, and through the decade after the Panic of 1837 culminating in the US – Mexican War of 1846-48. It ran a deficit of over 7% of GDP in the Civil War; and ran a deficit in the depressed 1890’s. However, in the 20th century the US ran a deficit during WWI, the “Great Depression”, WWII, and in almost all years since 1960, during peace and war.
Now the tax issue, George Mason argued that “the assumption of this power of laying direct taxes, does of itself, entirely change the confederation of the States into one consolidated government.” Numerous Anti-federalists feared that this arrangement was “calculated to annihilate totally the State governments.” and were concerned that national taxes would supersede State taxes, drawing limited funds away from the small local communities. The Constitution also circumscribed the potential sources of State revenue; Article I, Section 10 prohibited individual states from turning to their favorite revenue source, coining money or emitting bills of credit, and declared import tariffs an exclusive instrument of the national government. The Constitution allowed the manipulation of taxes and limited the State’s ability to raise (and keep) funds for local and State purposes. Of course, the progressive taxation system is of communist origins and “Income Taxation” only targets wage earners and not any other source of income, so that is certainly a complicated mess.
“This power is calculated to annihilate totally the state governments. Will the people of this great community [Virginia] submit to be individually taxed by two different and distinct powers? Will they suffer themselves to be doubly harassed? These two concurrent powers cannot exist long together; the one will destroy the other. The general government being paramount to, and in every respect more powerful than the state governments, the latter must give way to the former…”
– George Mason
I am a Christian and agree we should help the needy, although that criterion is not necessary to be benevolent. Seeing how the feds operate and the lack of success they have in accountability, I would prefer to choose where my charity money goes to work, but realize that might just be a dream. I must continue to support the promiscuous lifestyle of many people I do not know as well as those who are truly in need. And something I just thought, if we are taxed to support “charity” is it really our willingness to actually be charitable and benevolent or has government robed us of that blessing by making it compulsory? The Bible passage above reads “…so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity…”, so supporting charity through taxation is “of necessity” and because so few of us pay the 35%, 40% or more of our annual sacrifice with joy in our hearts, I would suggest it is actually grudgingly and therefore we have lost out on meeting the necessary criteria to perform an act of true charity. Because whether or not we want to contribute, we are forced to participate, we lose the option of opting in or opting out – there is no free will.
Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. – Mark Skousen
Happiness and sheer bliss exude and seep from every pore of thy body in a powerful, emotional, and magnificently illuminated exhibit leading all in attendance to acknowledge that God – The FED (#cough) will bequeath unto thee thy allocation of scraps left over after the omnipotent trinity (Executive, Congress, and Judiciary) have consumed, digested and expelled the best of the sacrifice. The fears of mental giants like George Mason and Patrick Henry are but detestable footnotes in the modernity of progressive socialism we once called this Constitutional Union and will soon be reprimanded, as they would have not stood for The Pledge, nor the National Anthem and they would have refused to present their sacrifice at the altar of Washington, D.C. They are to be punished to the fullest extent of the law and receive capital punishment. Their reward? All their work will disappear from the public, they are to be marginalized in schools and finally the statues and mementos of them are lowered and melted down to recast idols of the true hero of modernity, the State.