With the results of the hearings on the IRS before us, it is an opportune time for our citizens to reassess this ridiculously complicated, stressful, time-consuming and invasive system of financing our federal government.
When the 16th Amendment was under consideration by Congress, Sen. Charles A. Lindbergh Sr., father of the noted aviator, forewarned that what appeared to be a tax on the wealthy would become a tax on all. We should be aware that for most of the first 150 years of our nation's history, the federal government was financed by customs duties and excise taxes, as provided in the Constitution. These were and are very simply and easily collected, requiring fewer government personnel, lower impact on the citizens and little or no intrusion into their lives. No invasion into their privacy or stressful filing of detailed information was or is needed. Contrast this with the unwieldy, tedious, burdensome and prying system that has evolved to such monstrous proportions under legislation and bureaucratic regulation.The excesses of the IRS make the minions of King George III seem like amateurs. We should keep in mind that the Founding Fathers had considered the income taxes of England and other European nations but rejected that system as too threatening to the freedom and privacy of the individual citizen. The 16th Amendment, along with its multiplicity of legislative and regulatory ramifications, should be recognized as a colossal mistake. It should be repealed and a return made to the basic, sensible provisions of the Constitution.
Since Congress is responsible for the mistake, it should also take the responsibility of correcting it by repeal of the 16th Amendment and implementation of a return to the original laws.
Francis E. Lawlor