Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Happy Tax Day

There are a lot of upset people out there. Maybe you're one of them. There are literally hundreds of protests going on today (tax day) for people to show their discontent with the government, increased taxes, and especially federal spending and bailouts...I'm sure you've heard.

Does it matter? I mean we are going to pay our taxes right? Most of us are in fact afraid of men with guns. Most of us have already paid the piper - in fact we have it withheld from our checks so we never even feel the sting of paying taxes.

The withholding makes it difficult for a true tax revolt. The government already has our money.

So is the solution to clean house come election time? I used to think it was, but if you take a step back and look at the last 80 or so years the trend is in the same direction, no matter who the president is or who controls the house and senate or how many truth bearing legislators there are out there.

Don't get me wrong, of course we should try and get the best possible candidate in office. The one who will actually uphold the constitution and not just make a mockery of the oath of office.

I guess I should get to the point. There have been a dozen or more states asserting their 10th Amendment right to nullify any unconstitutional act performed by the federal government. In other words if a federal law is passed and a particular state does not like the law, constitutionally speaking they do not have to enforce it. In fact all states retain the right to secede from the Union as they wish.

It wasn't until Lincoln that seceding from the Union turned in to a bloodbath and since then everyone has been too afraid to try. But this is what the 10th Amendment resolutions are essentially saying.

In fact several states had, in effect seceded several times prior to the Civil War without any killing done to reunite the Union. It was always the intent of the founders to keep the power closest to the people and keep executives weak. Afterall they had just fought a war against an iron-fisted dictator, why make provisions for another?

Most of the power was to be held at the state level, not the federal level. The majority of federal power was to be held in the House of Representatives (the branch closest to the people), not the Senate or in the hands of the President.

If the people of a state don't like the federal laws being passed they should at a minimum not enforce the laws and potentially secede. Secession is not a bad thing, it is yet another check built in to the system. But as with so many of the checks and balances they have been removed or ignored to the point where we think it sounds strange when they come up. (Like how Article 2 Section 1 of the Constitution says the vice president should be the person with the 2nd greatest number of votes, not determined by presidential appointment).

This is one of the more doable solutions I have heard lately because surely, if one state had the moxy to even threat to secede there would be others to follow which would likely wake up federal politicians or give power back to the states.

Afterall whenever a government becomes destructive to the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness, "it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such priciples, and organizing powers in such forms, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience has shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security." - Declaration of Independence

Here is a great article about all of this.