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A Warning from Amos

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(Originally published February, 2010)

“I, the Sovereign Lord, am watching this sinful nation of Israel. I will destroy it from the face of the earth. But I will never completely destroy the family of Israel” says the Lord. For I will give the command and will shake Israel along with the other nations as grain is shaken in a sieve, yet not one true kernel will be lost. But all the sinners will die by the sword all those who say, ‘Nothing bad will happen to us.’ Amos 9:8-10

Anyone who has studied the Old Testament will tell you that Israel had a bad habit of turning its back on God whether it be worshiping other Gods, idols or claiming that sin was being carried out with God’s approval. But as one reads the Prophets especially Amos, one realizes that God will not hold back judgment because Israel refuses to listen to the prophets and even goes so far as to try to silence them (2:12, 3:8, 7:10-17).

The Book of Amos is thought to have been set sometime around 750 B.C.E. The urban elites through credit manipulation and debt instruments, were able to drive the farmers away from their land and amass ill-gotten fortune for themselves.  The court system similarly was corrupt and unduly influenced.  “They trample on the heads of the poor as upon the dust of the ground and deny justice to the oppressed. Father and son use the same girl and so profane my holy name.” Amos 2:7

Amos himself was from the southern kingdom of Judah.  Judah while having the political stability due to its lineage to King David and Solomon, it was economically not as well off compared to Israel.  Israel was in a period of unrivaled prosperity due to its natural resources and being located along the major trade routes crisscrossing the major economic centers of the time.

Needless to say, Amos’s message of social justice and retribution was not welcome in Israel as demonstrated in the narrative by way of a conversation between Amos and Amaziah, a priest of Bethel. The priest, loyal to Jeroboam II, accuses Amos of stirring up trouble and conspiring against the king, and commands him to stop prophesying. Amos responds with an oracle: “Your wife will become a prostitute in the city, and your sons and daughters will fall by the sword. Your land will be measured and divided up, and you yourself will die in a pagan country. And Israel will certainly go into exile, away from their native land.” Amos 7:17.

The central idea of the book of Amos is that God puts his people on the same level as the nations that surround it – God expects the same purity of them all. As it is with all nations that rise up against the kingdom of God, even Israel and Judah will not be exempt from the judgment of God because of their idolatry and unjust ways. The nation that represents Yahweh must be made pure of anything or anyone that profanes the name of God. God’s name must be upheld above all else. These themes are very much relevant to today’s world. Committing atrocities in the name of God will not absolve individuals or nations of their sins.

Written by chrisforliberty

August 2, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Posted in Banking/Money, Taxes

Do You Have A ‘Right’ to Social Security?

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If an employer thinks the employee is subject to withholding taxes, the burden of proof is on the employer.  The U.S. Supreme Court has also already ruled that you can’t be taxed for simply existing or exercising your right to work.  “A state may not impose a charge for the enjoyment of a right granted by the Federal Constitution.” Murdock v Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105, pg 113 (1943).  In other words, such events must be taxable for revenue purposes and a law must have been enacted that imposes a tax on that activity or event. If it is law, it would be in the books. When the employer says you are required to submit a social security number or fill out a withholding form as a condition for being hired, is it based on a federal law or statute or just an employer making it up? I have a letter from the Social Security Administration that says “The Social Security Act does not require a person to have a Social Security Number to live and work in the United States, nor does it require a Social Security number simply for the purpose of having one.”

On the IRS website, there is a paragraph that reads “Social Security and Medicare taxes pay for benefits workers and their families receive under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). Social security taxes pay for benefits under the old age, survivors, and disability insurance part of FICA. Medicare taxes pay for hospital benefits.” What this paragraph does is confuse the tax itself with the spending power. Taxes, regardless of their name are just that, taxes. They are not earmarked to any program regardless of the revenue act in which it is collected under. There is no such thing as a Social Security Trust Fund, nor is it anything related to paying insurance premiums. All these taxes, being uniform are taxes on certain activities and privileges and thus go into the general fund at the Treasury Department.

According to the Social Security Administration, “Conceptually, the old-age insurance program was a social insurance program with an obvious connection between the taxes collected in Title VIII of the Act and the benefits paid in Title II of the Act. The taxing and spending provisions of the Act were placed in separate titles in the vain hope of convincing the courts that what was obvious was not the case–that is, so that the argument could be made that the taxing and spending provisions had nothing to do with each other.”

The proceeds of both taxes are to be paid into the Treasury like internal revenue taxes generally, and are not ear-marked in any way. Section 807(a), 42 U.S.C.A. 1007(a).
Helvering v. Davis, 301 U.S. 619 (1937)

(a) The proceeds of the tax in controversy are not earmarked for a special group.
Steward Mach. Co. v. Davis, 301 U.S. 548 (1937)

We must conclude that a person covered by the Act has not such a right in benefit payments as would make every defeasance of “accrued” interests violative of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.                 Flemming v. Nestor, 363 U.S. 603 (1960)

Once again, with the exception of taxing exports, the States gave the federal government full taxing power, but could not have given the federal government any power they themselves did not possess according to Article 1, Section 8.

Simply put, what revenue law, if any, imposes a tax on your particular activity? The Internal Revenue Code only relates to those who are already liable i.e. “taxpayers” because the activities they are engaged in such as importers of tobacco products or distillers. See Sections 5703 and 5005 of the Internal Revenue Code.  A person who files when they are not a taxpayer as defined is like a 90 year old woman filing for exemption from military service when the laws never subjected her to serve in the military in the first place. “FN3 The term “taxpayer” in this opinion is used in the strict or narrow sense contemplated by the Internal Revenue Code and means a person who pays, overpays, or is subject to pay his own personal income tax. (See Section 7701(a)(14) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.) A “nontaxpayer” is a person who does not possess the foregoing requisites of a taxpayer.” Economy Plumbing and Heating Co. v. U.S., 470 F.2d 585 (1972)

It is the duty of the Congress to name the events which are taxable, and who is liable for it.

Written by chrisforliberty

June 28, 2010 at 12:49 am

Posted in Politics, Taxes

Does The IRS Exist?

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NOTE: Please check out Rules of Statutory Construction (first published in 2001 and updated over the years)

In 1861, Congress enacted the Revenue Act of 1861.

This particular income tax was in its nature a direct tax. Direct taxes are taxes on real and personal property via means of ownership. “Taxes on real estate being indisputably direct taxes, taxes on the rents or income of real estate are equally direct taxes.” Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co., 158 U.S. 601 (1895)

On the other hand, “Duties and imposts are terms commonly applied to levies made by governments on the importation or exportation of commodities. Excises are ‘taxes laid upon the manufacture, sale, or consumption of commodities within the country, upon licenses to pursue certain occupations, and upon corporate privileges.’ Cooley, Const. Lim. 7th ed. 680.” Flint v. Stone Tracy Co., 220 U.S. 107 (1911)

The Revenue Act of 1862 was enacted the following year and within it, created the office of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. This is the official name of this particular revenue collecting agency. Likewise, any official actions brought against this agency such as a lawsuit would be against the “Commissioner of Internal Revenue“. For example, see Penn Mutual Indemnity Co. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 32 T.C. 653 (1959)

Among other duties, the Commissioner can “recommend to the President a candidate for appointment as Chief Counsel for the Internal Revenue Service when a vacancy occurs, and recommend to the President the removal of such Chief Counsel.”

Supposedly, in 1953, in Treasury Decision 6038, the name was changed to “Internal Revenue Service”. This raises the question “Who made the final decision on this?” and “Did Congress authorize this particular tax collection agency to operate under this name”. If this particular mystery individual, presumably an undersecretary in the Treasury Department changed the name, did he or she have such authority? Several letters to the “IRS” about these questions have yielded insufficient answers. Therefore, unless legal documentation can be provided, it is presumed that “Internal Revenue Service”, “IRS” or any derivative are aliases. This is akin to a person claiming to be a police officer when they are not (perhaps they are just a desk clerk at one of the precincts) or someone going around claiming to have been “in Vietnam” when they weren’t even born until 1963.

If you go to Title 31 under “Chapter 3 – Department of the Treasury“, it lists a Federal Financing Bank, Fiscal Service, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network among others. No “Internal Revenue Service” is listed, yet letterhead received from this agency claims it is an agency in the Department of the Treasury.

So what happens if someone comes to your door, flashes a badge and claims to be from the “Internal Revenue Service” (as opposed to the Office of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue)? They would be operating without proper authority. Likewise, if you are harassed, threatened or your property is damaged, you would sue the particular individual in civil court or perhaps have charges pressed. You would not sue the Commissioner in U.S. District Court because this individual was not operating within the scope of employment.

This is why you need to keep the horse before the cart. The issue of how taxes are levied and how they are accessed is one issue. Only Congress has this authority. The issue of tax collection and who has the authority to collect those taxes is another issue.


Written by chrisforliberty

June 27, 2010 at 12:55 am

Posted in Politics, Taxes

Legislative History of the 16th Amendment

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The 16th Amendment and the Federal Reserve can be traced to the so-called Progressive movement that was taking place around the turn of the 20th century. While this movement has been portrayed as workers and intellectuals rising up against ruthless corporations, the simple fact of the matter is that it was John D. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan who supported it. Indeed, much of the political history of the United States from the late nineteenth century until World War II may be interpreted by the closeness of each administration to one of these sometimes cooperating, more often conflicting, financial groupings: Cleveland (Morgan), McKinley (Rockefeller), Theodore Roosevelt (Morgan), Taft (Rockefeller), Wilson (Morgan), Harding (Rockefeller), Coolidge (Morgan), Hoover (Morgan), or Franklin Roosevelt (Harriman–Kuhn–Loeb–Rockefeller). So what was going on?

As Murray Rothbard put it in “The Origins Of The Federal Reserve”,
“For this intellectual shell game, the cartelists needed the support of the nation’s intellectuals, the class of professional opinion-molders in society. The Morgans needed a smokescreen of ideology, setting forth the rationale and the apologetics for the New Order. Again, fortunately for them, the intellectuals were ready and eager for the new alliance. The enormous growth of intellectuals, academics, social scientists, technocrats, engineers, social workers, physicians, and occupational “guilds” of all types in the late nineteenth century led most of these groups to organize for a far greater share of the pie than they could possibly achieve on the free market. These intellectuals needed the State to license, restrict, and cartelize their occupations, so as to raise the incomes for the fortunate people already in these fields. In return for their serving as apologists for the new statism, the State was prepared to offer not only cartelized occupations, but also ever-increasing and cushier jobs in the bureaucracy to plan and propagandize for the newly statized society. And the intellectuals were ready for it, having learned in graduate schools in Germany the glories of statism and organicist socialism, of a harmonious “middle way” between dog-eat-dog laissez-faire on the one hand and proletarian Marxism on the other. Instead, big government, staffed by intellectuals and technocrats, steered by big business and aided by unions organizing a subservient labor force, would impose a cooperative commonwealth for the alleged benefit of all.”

Nelson Aldrich was known in his day as the “General Manager of the Nation”. He was essentially Wall Street’s senator and the go-to guy in Congress for both John Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan. One of the symbols of his immense wealth was his own private railcar.

Senator Norris Brown of Nebraska entered the following resolution-
Senate Joint Resolution 39, June 17, 1909, Congressional Record Volume 44, Part 3, page 3377:

“The Congress shall have power to lay and collect direct taxes on incomes without apportionment among the several States according to population”

Those who were supporting the implementation of the 16th Amendment knew that a direct tax without apportionment would be in conflict with the requirement that direct taxes be levied with regard to apportionment.

So Nelson Aldrich who chaired the Senate Finance Committee at the time entered the following-
Senate Joint Resolution 40, June 28, 1909, Congressional Record Volume 44, Part 4, page 3900: “Article XVI. The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States and without regard to any census or enumeration.”

This is the Sixteenth Amendment; but notice that it makes no provision for the repeal of the clauses requiring apportionment. Why? Because it was not the “intent” of Congress to levy a direct tax (or a “capitation” tax for that matter). Aldrich and his cronies knew that if the 16th Amendment had levied a direct tax without regard to apportionment, the United States Supreme Court would have struck it down.

But what did the Supreme Court rule? It ruled that “[B]y the previous ruling, [Brushaber v Union Pacific Railroad] it was settled that the Sixteenth Amendment conferred [NO NEW POWER] of taxation but simply prohibited the previous complete and plenary power of income taxation possessed by Congress from the beginning [of our national government under the Constitution] from being taken out of the category of indirect taxation to which it inherently belonged…”
Stanton v. Baltic Mining Co., 240 U.S. 103, 112 (1916)

So what is the real issue at hand here?
“In dealing with the scope of the taxing power, the question has sometimes been framed in terms of whether something can be taxed as income under the Sixteenth Amendment. This is an inaccurate formulation of the question and has led to much loose thinking on the subject. The source of the taxing power is not the Sixteenth Amendment; it is Article I, section 8 of the Constitution. It is important that these provisions be clearly understood; what is required is an understanding of fundamental principles. The familiar statement that at this time we need education in the obvious more than investigation into the obscure (Holmes, Collective Legal Papers, pp. 292-293), although made in a different context, is peculiarly applicable here.” Penn Mutual Indemnity Co. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 32 T.C. 653 at 5659 (1959)

Written by chrisforliberty

June 27, 2010 at 12:53 am