Ron Paul: Income Tax = Involuntary Servitude

In his latest column, Ron Paul talks about Tax Freedom Day, a hypothetical holiday which is “celebrated” today, April 13, and symbolizes the fact that Americans are slaving away 3.5 months, or 28.2% of this year to fulfill the government’s voracious appetite for confiscatory taxes, corrupt bailouts and wasteful stimulus efforts. Ron Paul wants to abolish the income tax and replace it with nothing, and until that dream becomes a political reality, he fights for every tax cut and tax credit possible.

Fewer Taxes for Real Economic Stimulus

by Ron Paul

Taxes are the issue this week as Americans struggle to make the April 15th deadline to file their returns. It is a good time to contemplate the effects of big government and what it does to our country. The income tax is one of the most egregious encroachments on our liberties today. It is a form of involuntary servitude, which was supposed to have been outlawed by the 13th Amendment.

Tax Freedom Day is defined as the day when the nation as a whole has theoretically earned enough income to fund its annual federal tax burden. For all of the days of the year before this day, you are a slave to government. For 2009, Tax Freedom Day will come on April 13th. Almost a century ago in 1910, before the mistakes of 1913-namely the inception of the Federal Reserve and our current income tax, Tax Freedom Day was January 19th, signifying a mere 5% tax burden. Somehow, our country functioned just fine.

If calculated to include government spending and the deficit, rather than just collections, Tax Freedom Day would actually fall on May 29. The annual deficit adds to the growing debt of future generations and adds insult to injury to those that struggle to make this economy work. It is a slap in the face that this is not enough to prevent this crushing governmental burden from falling on the next generation.

For months now, Washington has been desperately throwing taxpayers’ money at various programs to stimulate us out of the recession, to no avail. Seeing hard-earned money confiscated from the people and spent in such wasteful ways, such as the recent bailouts, is almost too much to bear. Getting rid of the income tax altogether, while very beneficial, may be a while in coming. In the meantime, I am fighting for every tax cut or tax credit possible.

I can think of no better economic stimulus than letting people keep their money and spend it how they see fit. For this reason, I am an original cosponsor on a bill that would give Americans a two month employment and income tax holiday, while taking unused TARP money back from the Secretary of the Treasury and putting it in the Social Security trust fund instead.

In addition, I have recently introduced the Child Health Care Affordability Act. If passed this legislation would provide parents with a tax credit of up to $500 for health care expenses of dependent children. I have also re-introduced the Tax Free Tips Act, which would make tips exempt from federal income and payroll taxes. I am also an original cosponsor of a bill that would make permanent the deduction of state and local sales taxes. My bill HR 162 exempts Social Security benefits from income tax.

These are just a few of the many tax related bills I am fighting for in Congress, but without a corresponding cut in the size of government, which I am also fighting for, we are simply adding to the future tax burden of our children.


  • JohnEngelman

    In The Communist Manifesto Karl Marx noted that the natural tendency of capitalism is to concentrate wealth at the top, and that largely as a result of this capitalist economies experience increasingly destructive economic downturns.

    That is what did happen, and which resulted eventually in the Great Depression.

    The economic policies of the New Deal countered that with minimum wage laws, laws to strengthen labor unions, and most importantly by a steeply progressive income tax. By 1944 the top tax rate was 94%.

    During the Roosevelt administration we taxed and spent our way to prosperity. The United States developed the largest and richest middle class in the world because America’s rich were very heavily taxed.

    Unfortunately, beginning with the Reagan administration the Republican Party has reversed the reforms of the Roosevelt administration. The top tax rate has declined along with the real value of the minimum wage and unemployment compensation. Fewer workers are in labor unions.

    As a result, recessions are longer and deeper. They are followed by jobless recoveries, when the por caplita gross domestic product increases, while unemployment remains high.

    Beginning with the Reagan administration the rich have looted the country while paying lower taxes. We need to force them to give back what they took from the rest of us by imposing confiscatory taxation on them.

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