Elizabeth Warren has touted her latest anti-capitalist proposal. In her last proposal, she introduced measures that would make corporations less investment-worthy in an effort to shift their priorities. Now she wants to impose a wealth tax on the richest of the rich, .1%. The wealth tax would be a new tax in the repertoire of Uncle Sam.
It must be stated that a wealth tax is not an income tax, its a federal tax on assets. Note: total assets and not net assets would be taxed according to the original report and subsequent reporting thus far. The proposal has seen a lot of praise from Democrats who are weighing their options of the proposal with AOC’s 70% income tax proposal.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren will propose a new "wealth tax" on Americans with more than $50 million in assets.
An economist familiar with the plan says it would raise $2.75 trillion over 10 years from 75,000 families — less than 0.1 percent of U.S. households. https://t.co/RrB0S1zZL2
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) January 24, 2019
Direct taxes and the Constitution
The wealth tax would most certainly be classified under a direct tax. An indirect tax would be one of consumption. An essay by the Heritage Foundation writes that “the Framers believed that ‘direct taxes’ needed to be cabined. The cumbersome apportionment rule, requiring that a direct tax be apportioned among the states on the basis of population (so that, for example, a state with twice the population of another state would have to pay twice the tax, even if the more populous state’s share of the national tax base were smaller), made the more dangerous taxes politically difficult for Congress to impose.”
Congress did, however, pass taxes such as a carriage tax which the Supreme Court ruled in Hylton v. United States (1796) counted as an excise tax. It seemed as though the confines of a direct tax would be restricted to a capitation tax, or a head tax, and land taxes. A head tax is specifically prohibited in Article 1 Section 9. This changed with the landmark ruling Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co. (1895). The Supreme Court held “that the Act violated the Constitution since it imposed taxes on personal income derived from real estate investments and personal property such as stocks and bonds; this was a direct taxation scheme, not apportioned properly among the states.”
The Progressives later passed the 16th Amendment allowing Congress to circumvent the apportionment clause with regards to income tax. We have been taxed ever since.
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.
“From whatever source derived” may allow for the expansion into capital gains and even the death tax, but Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax would be legal yoga, as the assets, chief among them, land, would be taxed. Without appropriation, a condition which is absent from Elizabeth Warren’s proposal, Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax would most certainly be a direct tax scheme imposed by Congress. Though the 1895 decision was largely negated by the 16th Amendment, its commentary on direct and indirect taxation is definitive in spite of efforts of Congress to negate it in favor of the Hylton decision. The 16th Amendment has since undergone little visitation from the high court. Perhaps relevant to Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax is the Eisner v. Macomber (1920) where the Supreme Court ruled that Congress could not tax stock dividends as they were not an income event.
“We are clear that not only does a stock dividend really take nothing from the property of the corporation and add nothing to that of the shareholder, but that the antecedent accumulation of profits evidenced thereby, while indicating that the shareholder is richer because of an increase of his capital, at the same time shows he has not realized or received any income in the transaction.”
The precedent set in the Macomber decision, which according to an additional essay by the Heritage Foundation, has been cited favorably numerous times by the Supreme Court as recently as 1991. The three Supreme Court cases combined show that a wealth tax would need apportionment which would defeat the intentions of the bill. A state with an at-large representative would only have to contribute 1/435th of the revenue. I guess we know where all the rich people are going, Wyoming… All the sudden the 3% wealth tax on billionaires is instantly reduced for those who move accordingly and the $2.75 trillion in 10 years is infeasible, at least with Elizabeth Warren’s .1% target. Furthermore a wealth tax could not function as Elizabeth Warren intends, further proof that she has no intentions of abiding by the Constitution. The Supreme Court notes in Pollock:
By the act of July 14, 1798, when a war with France was supposed to be impending, a direct tax of two millions of dollars was apportioned to the States respectively, in the manner prescribed, which tax was to be collected by officers of the United States and assessed upon “dwelling houses, lands, and slaves” according to the valuations and enumerations to be made pursuant to the act of July 9, 1798, entitled “An act to provide for the valuation of lands and dwelling houses and the enumeration of slaves within the United States.” 1 Stat. 597, c. 75; id., 580, c. 70. Under these acts, every dwelling house was assessed according to a prescribed value, and the sum of fifty cents upon every slave enumerated, and the residue of the sum apportioned was directed to be assessed upon the lands within each State according to the valuation made pursuant to the prior act and at such rate percentum as would be sufficient to produce said remainder.
So to summarize, the apportionment means that Congress has to demand a specific amount of money and divide that sum among each state according to their representation. The wealth tax has no intentions of doing such meaning it is not only outside of the protections of the 16th Amendment but also directly prohibited by Article 1 Section 9.
I hope this was a strong presentation for the wealth tax’s unconstitutional status. Although I am most certain the 9th Circuit Court or some District judge in Hawaii will rule otherwise if this comes to fruition.
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Will America-First News Outlets Make it to 2023?
Things are looking grim for conservative and populist news sites.
There’s something happening behind the scenes at several popular conservative news outlets. 2021 was bad, but 2022 is proving to be disastrous for news sites that aren’t “playing ball” with the corporate media narrative. It’s being said that advertisers are cracking down, forcing some of the biggest ad networks like Google and Yahoo to pull their inventory from conservative outlets. This has had two major effects. First, it has cooled most conservative outlets from discussing “taboo” topics like Pandemic Panic Theater, voter fraud, or The Great Reset. Second, it has isolated those ad networks that aren’t playing ball.
Certain topics are anathema for most ad networks. Speaking out against vaccines or vaccine mandates is a certain path to being demonetized. Highlighting voter fraud in the 2020 and future elections is another instant advertising death penalty. Throw in truthful stories about climate change hysteria, Critical Race Theory, and the border crisis and it’s easy to understand how difficult it is for America-First news outlets to spread the facts, share conservative opinions, and still pay the bills.
Without naming names, I have been told of several news outlets who have been forced to either consolidate with larger organizations or who have backed down on covering certain topics out of fear of being “canceled” by the ad networks. I get it. This is a business for many of us and it’s not very profitable. Those of us who do this for a living are often barely squeaking by, so loss of additional revenue can often mean being forced to make cuts. That means not being able to cover the topics properly. Its a Catch-22: Tell the truth and lose the money necessary to keep telling the truth, or avoid the truth and make enough money to survive. Those who have chosen survival simply aren’t able to spread the truth properly.
We will never avoid the truth. The Lord will provide if it is His will. Our job is simply to share the facts, spread the Gospel, and educate as many Americans as possible while exposing the forces of evil.
To those who have the means, we ask that you please donate. We have options available now, but there is no telling when those options will cancel us. We have our GivingFuel page. There have been many who have been canceled by PayPal, but for now it’s still an option. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to get the truth to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.
Thank you, and God Bless!
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