Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sources of Federal Revenue

The following was written in November 2013 as a response to the questionnaire for federal candidates seeking an endorsement from the Liberty Caucus of the Republican Conference (i.e., the Republican Party).

Here is the link to the original questionnaire:

This is my answer to Question #2.

2. Primarily D, but all of the above under certain conditions
   (Taxing foreign trade is the only constitutional method of obtaining federal revenues, but any additional taxes on capital, labor, and consumption could be implemented constitutionally via the amendment process)
   The best method of obtaining federal revenues is to (D) tax foreign trade, because duties, imposts, and excises are the only types of taxation which the Congress has constitutionally enumerated power to levy.
   We should be wary that to tax (A) capital / profits, (B) labor / income, (C) consumption / sales, and/or (D) foreign trade / imports and exports may effectively discourage the action which is taxed, and remember that we should only tax things which we want to discourage; things like conspicuous consumption and frivolity.
   I would favor repealing the unconstitutional 16th Amendment which provided for the taxation of (B) income, and I would support funding the federal government through taxes on importation and exportation (as the only constitutional forms of taxation).
   While supporting a return to 100% federal revenue derived from (D) taxes on foreign trade, I would support transitioning to a situation in which taxes on foreign goods are supplemented by (C) a consumption tax which would act as a luxury law on conspicuous consumption and frivolity, alongside a negative tax on (B) income, and a tax correcting disparities in the gains of (A) capital and (B) labor.
   I would support such taxation legislation only under the condition that it be apportioned according to the population of the states, that it go through the amendment process, and that it not authorize the president or the Congress to wield some new powers to levy taxes which have no constitutional precedent.

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