Is It Time To Stop Paying Your Taxes?

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Tax Day

It’s a shame that a rapper had to say it, rather than a member of Congress, but Nelly of “Hot in Herre” and “Air Force Ones” fame made a good point in a recent interview with VH1 News: If the government is shut down because Federal officials can’t seem to manage the funds with which they are entrusted, why should Americans be forced to pay taxes for the duration of the government shutdown?

“I’m trying to campaign since the government ain’t working, we shouldn’t have to pay taxes,” the St. Louis, Mo.-born entertainer told his interviewer.

“Because you know paying taxes is supposed to pay for the government which, in turn, is not working. So if they’re not working, I shouldn’t have to pay taxes,” the 38-year-old rapper continued.

While Nelly is not a political pundit or an economic policy wonk, he makes a good, if sophomoric point, considering how Federal officials have handled — or, rather, orchestrated — certain aspects of the ongoing shutdown.

Take, for instance, the efforts to make the shutdown affect average Americans in ways that are sure to generate headlines. Partial closures of certain Federal agencies have sparked a massive campaign of retribution by the bureaucratic heads of those entities. The bullies in charge have ponied up resources to disallow public use of public parks, bar people from national recreation areas, close open air monuments, kick homeowners out of properties that are located on Federally leased lands and shutter businesses that have made similar land agreements with the Federal government.

It hardly needs to be argued that there were other, likely less costly, options to deal with the shutdown as it relates to public lands — whether for reasons of security, maintenance or insufficient public services. However, more sensible options would not have been sufficient to drive the “you can’t make it without us” message that must be drilled into the public psyche to ensure that the big-spending Federal status quo continues when the shutdown is resolved.

Americans’ tax dollars are used to fulfill the payroll requirements of some 3.4 million Federal employees. And because there is waste where there is government, you can bet that they are not all essential to the Nation. Only a small percentage of government workers, however, have actually been furloughed due to the shutdown. In fact, of the 800,000 government workers initially furloughed, about 350,000 of them (Defense Department employees) were ordered back to work this week.

A great deal of legalese and emotional rhetoric has been thrown about in government efforts to purvey to the public just what differentiates an “essential” and a “non-essential” government function for the purposes of a shutdown. But perhaps if politicians had followed the Nation’s initial blueprint all along, the situation would be much easier to handle.

The U.S. Constitution handily lays out the prerogatives of the Nation’s Federal governing body in its Articles and subsequent Amendments. Especially helpful are: Article 1, Section 8; Articles 2-5; and Amendments 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20, 23, 24, 25 and 26.

However, it isn’t even necessary to read through all of the Articles and Amendments listed, for the Constitution’s Preamble offers a thesis statement of sorts that provide a summarization of the reasoning behind each.

It reads: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

In a nutshell, barring the perversion of interpretation to the benefit of simple abridgement, the edicts laid forth in the Constitution establish the Federal government’s job description thusly: Provide common defense, manage foreign relations, establish and protect justice for all citizens, provide for the general welfare of the citizenry, ensure that American’s property rights are protected, coin money and establish a universal set of weights and measures, and collect taxes and budget properly in order to get the job done.

In essence, by the standards of the Constitution, most of the Federal government’s employees should likely fall under the “non-essential” category.

But it is no secret that the Constitution has been abused and negated by way of expanding the power of the executive branch and its agencies over the years. And the executive branch is clearly calling the shots.

If, for instance, you believe that Congress is powerless to end the arbitrary closing of open air monuments and National Parks, consider Article 4, Section 3: “The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.”

So Congress has the power to remove the so-called “barrycades” that have been appearing on public lands throughout the Nation.

Unfortunately, this will not likely happen for the very same reason James Madison warned about in Federalist 51: “Men are not angels; their passions and self-interest often get the better of their reason and sense of justice, so we need government in order to protect our rights against those who would take them away.”

“But for the same reason,” Madison writes, “government must be limited because people in government have passions and interests too.”

Congressional Democrats and Republicans who have grown accustomed to the big-spending, big-government status quo simply aren’t going to give an inch until the small faction of conservatives who initiated the shutdown — in a bid to put the brakes on yet another unConstitutional big government program known as Obamacare — have been defeated. Their self-interest is certainly at stake: Democrats, because slowing Obamacare means giving up on a progressive dream of socialized medicine; and establishment Republicans, because if the conservative wing of the Party prevails, the disconnect between mainstream GOP rhetoric and actual action becomes forcefully evident.

The truest benefit of the government shutdown is, as noted by Nelly, that it illustrates just how badly American taxpayers are being ripped off in being forced to fund a governing body that has strayed so far from its intended purpose that it can’t even function, much less represent the citizens who aren’t on its payroll. Perhaps it really is a good time for American taxpayers to show grandstanding politicians what defunding the government really looks like.

Personal Liberty

Sam Rolley

Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After covering community news and politics, Rolley took a position at Personal Liberty Media Group where could better hone his focus on his true passions: national politics and liberty issues. In his daily columns and reports, Rolley works to help readers understand which lies are perpetuated by the mainstream media and to stay on top of issues ignored by more conventional media outlets.

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  • Average_Joe56

    The sad reality is…we, the American people have been funding our own demise for the last 100 years and quite frankly, it’s time to stop the insanity. Self destruction is a mental disorder. Are we all mentally defective?
    Stop funding your own demise…stop enabling them with your tax dollars. Let the government fail!
    We all know that the less that government does, the better off WE are, both as individuals and as a nation. As long as our tax dollars continue to flow to DC, the Federal Reserve will continue to print money, however, if the tax flow stops arriving, the Federal Reserve will stop the printing press. Not even the FR will loan money to an entity that has no means of repayment. As long as we keep paying the tax, the FR will continue printing. As long as the FR continues printing, congress will continue acting badly. If the money stops flowing, we win… if the money continues to flow, they win.
    The choice is ours… Stop the insanity or continue the insanity. I no longer fear my government, because we are the government….I do however fear politicians…but they can be eliminated… by starving them out.
    I am willing to do my part and stop the insanity…the question is…Are you willing to stop the insanity, or continue with your own self demise and that of your nation?

    • Motov

      I hope those truckers do what they said they do, and stop goods from flowing into DC area itself. Modern day siege, I hope they succeed, and I also hope they do get Washington’s attention,…..long enough that they do listen!

  • 1baronrichsnot1

    Amen! I and many others have wanted to defund the gov’t through taxation for at least the last 15 years! Our gov’t has taken our money and experimented with it in all kinds of social programs, war against poverty, medicaid(unfunded by the gov’t and funded by medicare) is an entirely different illegal program, social security and medicare is funded by the illegal pyramid of the bottom pays the top and is entirely funded by paycheck deductions (then called a social program), those programs are still and have been looted by our illustrious leaders, They are spending our money for haircuts, parking, 2 year term full retirements after stealing, their apartments, their food, their congressional loan post office theft, failure to pay taxes, and a myriad of other theft programs. The latest obama care(ACA, a misnomer) are tax schemes to not provide the people with anything, much less affordable health care(which the gov’t loathes enough to get wavers). We can’t have any more theft, and seems they can’t do anything right in the money management area except the adeptness they demonstrate in theft, corruption, favoritism, etc. It is time to pinch the private sector purse tightly, No more money until we have a gov’t working for the majority of many, not stealing for the few.

  • Motov

    Handing money over to greedy politicians (or else) for them to spend is insanity.
    WE NEED to take back Washington DC and make our government for the people, by the people, and of the people, so help us GOD!

    • Bill

      Good comments, Motov
      We all know that the goal of the global warming hoax is to kill capitalism.
      And giving tax dollars to these clowns is like giving your money to the dumbest person you can find

  • Motov

    Better keep an eye on Obozo and a carbon tax, for his global warming hoax.

  • Shorty Stuff

    I agree with not paying taxes. With O’bama spending more money closing monuments that don’t take any money to keep open, then he is obviously an enemy to the people. What is he doing with the taxes they continue taking out of my paycheck? What is he doing with the social security and medicare fees they continue taking out of my paycheck? The entire O’bama regime needs to be removed from the people’s house, followed by the socialists and kommunists in the Senate and House.

    • Motov

      I love that avatar, I still have that picture, cracks me up everytime I see it.

  • Dajeno

    I agree with not paying taxes but I would take it a step farther. Nobody pay taxes period, until these bozos in Obamaville start taking some fiscal responsiblity with the tax payers money . What can they do jail all the tax payers.

  • Vigilant

    “Perhaps it really is a good time for American taxpayers to show grandstanding politicians what defunding the government really looks like.”

    Rolley once again contradicts himself.

    He says, “The U.S. Constitution handily lays out the prerogatives of the Nation’s Federal governing body in its Articles and subsequent Amendments. Especially helpful are: Article 1, Section 8; Articles 2-5; and Amendments 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20, 23, 24, 25 and 26.”

    If the 16th Amendment is “especially helpful,” then he must advocate that ” 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.”

    So, Mr. Rolley, explain to us why you specifically cite the 16th Amendment and then urge that it should be disobeyed.

    You might have improved your argument if you had cast doubt on the Constitutionality of that amendment, given the assertions by many that it was never properly ratified, but you didn’t.

    • JLouisK

      The 13th and those following ammendments were not in the original Bill of Rights, There is such a process called Civil Disobedience to address our concerns. There used to be a difference between Income, that is derived from business venture, versus Wages which are derived from ones physical labors. We got along just fine in the past without taxing people’s payrolls.

    • JLouisK

      The 13th and those following ammendments were not in the original Bill of Rights, There is such a process called Civil Disobedience to address our concerns. There used to be a difference between Income, that is derived from business venture, versus Wages which are derived from ones physical labors. We got along just fine in the past without taxing people’s payrolls.

      • Vigilant

        JLouisK says, “The 13th and those following ammendments [sic] were not in the original Bill of Rights.” Neither were the 11th and 12th. Your point? Article V addresses the amendment process. Are you trying to say that amendments subsequent to the Bill of Rights are somehow Constitutionally less binding?

        “There is such a process called Civil Disobedience to address our concerns.” It may be a process, but it’s not a LEGAL process, by definition. Nor does it have any effect on things unless you can get a vast majority if people to accomplish it.

        You misconstrue completely what I said. I was carping about Rolley’s line that the 16rh Amendment was “especially helpful” in “lay(ing) out the prerogatives of the Nation’s Federal governing body” and then questioning whether it’s time to violate it. He doesn’t bolster his comments by questioning the paying of taxes while at the same time citing the 16th Amendment as a legitimate “prerogative” of the federal government.

        I never said I advocated either the obeying or flouting of the amendment.

  • Debbie Hogan Tate

    Shut down Obama’s golf course! Don’t fund it ! And while we are at it, since he lives in a house on federal land and has shut people out of their houses because they need the federal roads to get to them. Quit funding the White House and make him find someplace else to live, like he did to these people! Quit funding the White House! Close Camp David! Throw the bum out!

  • Charlie

    Well ,,, how about that another article telling what most already know ,,, but ,,, again ,,, NOT ,,, telling the solutions or how to apply them …. Meanwhile … Praise King Jesus for Salvation and Healing… Acts 2:38 is salvation …

  • Mr T

    Something I finally can agree on with Woah Nelly.