More than a few commentators noticed the fact that in his speech on the subject, the budget-challenged Mr. Obama referred to tax increases as a way “to reduce spending in the tax code.” As one of them pointed out, “The funniest part of his speech … was his contention that tax increases are now spending cuts.” But is it right to assume that this is just quirky Obama logic? In fact his language logically and accurately reflects the truth about the income tax, truth I have many times pointed out in speeches and articles over the last 20 years.
As I pointed out in one of those articles, the income tax system gives the U.S. government “the prerogative to reach into people’s pockets and claim as much money as it pleases before they have a chance to decide anything about it.” If you and I made an agreement that gave me the power to control the use of a certain percentage of your income, to be decided by me, in principle how much of your income do I control? In principle I control all of it, of course. This is the power the income tax places in the hands of those who control the U.S. government at any given time. Therefore, it makes sense for them to speak as if every cent of the people’s income belongs to the government. In principle, and for as long as the income tax system remains in place, it does.
At the beginning of Federalist 79, Alexander Hamilton observes that “In the general course of human nature, a power over a man’s subsistence amounts to a power over his will.” If by and large this is true for individuals, what is likely to be the effect when government has such a power over the income of all the people? In the United States we are supposed to have a government of, by and for the people. The voice and will of the people is expressed in the U.S. Constitution, the Supreme Law of the Land. The legislative and executive branches are supposed to be controlled by representatives of the people, chosen by elections that ascertain their preponderant will. But with the income tax system in place, once elected those officials come into a power over the people’s subsistence and therefore over their will. Yet if, by this means, they may control the people’s will, they cease to be the representatives of the people and become their master.
We have come to the era when this truth about the income tax system is no longer a matter of speculative reasoning. Thanks, among other things, to the Federal Reserve banking system, the elite faction has been able to use the government’s control of the people’s income to squander the people’s resources; pawn the credit built up by over 200 years of good faith; and place this and future generations of Americans under a crushing burden of indebtedness to international bankers and foreign governments that threatens us and our posterity with perpetual debt slavery.
I have often warned that the income tax is a slave tax. The current fiscal and economic crisis allows every eye to see that this is a literal description, not a figure of speech. Moreover, the circumstances likely to arise from the economic breakdown that must result from failure to deal effectively with the crisis will likely include shortages, hardships and breakdowns of public order and safety that invite a more literal imposition of tyranny, one that discards even the outward appearance of government by consent. This is true even without taking into account the effects of possible emergencies associated with natural disasters or hostile acts by terrorists or other enemies of the United States.
Obama’s use of language that overtly employs the enslaving logic of the income tax system ought to be a warning to all Americans still loyal to the constitutional liberty of the people. It warns against Obama’s embrace of the communistic logic that overturns the unalienable rights of property in order to assert collective, government ownership of the income and assets of all the people. But it should also warn against the assumption that this logic is simply a function of the Obama faction’s leftist ideology. The problem is not just with Obama, or with this or that communist, socialist or liberal faction of our leadership. The problem is that we are already living with the consequences of establishing institutions, like the income tax, that weave into the fabric of our daily lives a communist-style assault against the unalienable right to private property.
In the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels point to the implementation of an income tax system like our present one as a crucial step toward achieving the abolition of private property, which they call the epitome of communism. Now Obama uses a concept of taxation that openly asserts the government’s ownership of the income of all the people. So what was hidden from too many is now visible to all. This suggests that we are near to the time when the mask of respect for liberty and representative government will be discarded altogether. Or rather, we are arrived at a time when this is already taking place. Theatrical blather about phony cuts in government spending does nothing to address this threat. In fact, it purposefully distracts from it. The only leaders who are really taking seriously what America needs to do are those who stand firm against raising the debt ceiling and those who advocate in word and deed the principal step we must take to thwart the implementation of the communist economic agenda in America: Abolish the Income Tax. (What is the alternative? Find out here.)