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Democracy and Power 107: Counting votes
Successful … politicians are insecure and intimidated men. They advance politically only as they placate, appease, bribe, seduce, bamboozle or otherwise manage to manipulate the demanding and threatening elements in their constituencies. – Walter Lippmann (1889-1974), American Journalist and Author
Caroline Baum in Bloomberg News identifies why Congress has greatly increased it's power over the American people. The 16th Amendment created the income tax, which has expansive taxing power. Baum writes:
The 16th amendment, ratified in 1913, gave us the income tax and gave Congress the power to run wild.
“The problems stem from allowing Congress to tax incomes from whatever source,” says Randy Barnett professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington. The 16th amendment represented “a major change in the federal government’s relationship to the people” and should be repealed.
Additionally, Baum exposes congressional use of the tax code for dispensing favors to special interest organizations: …, Congress likes using the tax code to dispense favors.
And Congress receives campaign donation in return, …,but they (Congress) let money speak to them loud and clear. We must stop them before they kill (the economy) again.
The income tax and misuse of the tax code has created an imperial federal government, which has directly contributed to the financial mess and America’s gigantic debt.
All the Tea Party organizations should begin the process to repeal the 16th Amendment - the income tax. Congress! Stop taxing income!
Could the 16th be repealed by this process? Yes, but the probability is minuscule. It requires two thirds of the states to call for a Constitutional Convention and ratification by three-quarters.
Why start a futile process? A strong effort to repeal the income tax is a direct attack on the ruling elites of D.C. The process of calling for a convention, in itself, tells D.C. to stop misusing the tax code for dispensing political favoritism. Further, if a few states called for a convention, Congress would use its Constitutional powers to start the amendment process or pass new laws.
Most important, if Tea Party America sends a unified message, demanding the abolition of the income tax, Congress will respond. What tax would replace the income tax? There are two excellent alternatives circulating in America and the world. There is the national sales tax sponsored by the Fair Tax and the Flat Tax developed by Hall and Rabushka at the Hoover Institute and used in many European countries. Both are essentially taxes on consumption.
The Democracy and Power lesson: Power 107: Counting votes
In a democracy the politician must favorably influence the majority of their voting constituents. In all political decisions, the politician calculates how many votes are gained by voting-money spent on interest groups versus how many votes are lost.