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Minnesota Tea Party Patriots support repeal of income tax

The Minnesota Tea Party Patriots sent word Monday that they are backing a national Tea Party and Fair Tax movement that would repeal the Constitution’s 16th Amendment, which authorizes the income tax.

Jenny Beth Martin, national coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots, said in a statement:

“The only way to reform the IRS in a meaningful and lasting manner is to repeal the underlying Constitutional amendment that allowed for the creation of 67,000 plus pages of regulations. When that many regulations exist, it is impossible for the average citizen or business owner to know whether they are compliant with the law.”

The group said it supports a bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine, a Republican from Oklahoma, to repeal the amendment.

Martin said the amendment has led to a “silencing effect” on free speech:

“The Amendment allowed the creation of the IRS and members of both parties manipulate this agency to punish political opposition systematically. The 16th Amendment enables politicians, businesses, and lobbyists to create crony deals which prohibit free market competition. The establishment abuses the power of the 16th Amendment to build campaign war chests as a means to amass even more power.”

The group wants reform of the tax code so that it “collects the revenue necessary to run the government, while being a fixed tax system which cannot be used to manipulate behavior and can never be used as a political weapon again.”

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Comments (17)

  1. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 12/02/2013 - 02:21 pm.

    You don’t need to repeal the amendment

    to change the tax code. The 16th Amendment simply says: “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.”

    As much as I believe that the income tax is an immoral tax on a man’s labor and is likely unconstitutional in its present form, the problems it causes can be corrected immediately without actually repealing the 16th Amendment … something that wouldn’t succeed at this time anyway.

    The complexities of the income tax law, with its different rates, loopholes, deductions and exemptions, variances which I believe violate the equal protection clause, are what give the politicians the power to reward their friends and destroy their enemies. “The power to tax is the power to destroy,” said Supreme Court Justice John Marshall.

    An easier path that would have a similar effect would be to simply repeal the 74,000 pages of federal income tax code and replace it with a flat rate tax without deductions or exemptions. That could be done on the first day the republicans regain power in the federal government. True, with a flat tax, there would still be the need for an IRS to collect the tax.

    The IRS could be abolished eventually with the full repeal of the 16th Amendment, but realistically, that would be several years down the road.

    • Submitted by Dan Hintz on 12/03/2013 - 12:46 am.

      Income tax

      The idea that the income tax is “likely unconstitutional” is absolute no sense. The income tax in unequivocably constitutional because the supreme court has said it is.

      The worst thing thing that the tea party has bought on our country may not be their bad policies and general bigotry, but rather their horrible understanding of how the constitution works. The tea party takes ignorance to a whole other level.

      • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 12/03/2013 - 09:56 am.

        It’s not the income tax that’s unconstitutional

        It’s the application of the law that violates the equal protection clause. Maybe that’s too nuanced for you.

        • Submitted by Steve Hoffman on 12/03/2013 - 01:40 pm.

          Equal protection?

          Gee, Dennis, that’s odd, I don’t recall you supporting marriage equality on those same grounds.

        • Submitted by Dan Hintz on 12/03/2013 - 03:12 pm.


          Its not that its nuanced, its just that its plain wrong. There is no equal protection problem with progressive taxation. You need to stop getting your information from people like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, who are completely ignorant about the constitution, and just follow the court.

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 12/03/2013 - 04:53 pm.

          Too nuanced for words

          Since you’re big on constitutional nuance, you certainly know that the Supreme Court has held that classifications in laws that are based on wealth or income are subject to only the lowest level of scrutiny for Equal Protection purposes–i.e., the “rational basis” test. If Congress can articulate a rational basis for the classification, it will pass constitutional muster.

          I am aware that this next point is going to be particularly nuanced, but a “rational basis” does not mean “rational according to the lights of rigid conservatives.” In a pluralistic polity such as ours, “rational” can take on many meanings.

          There is the added nuance that the Sixteenth Amendment is, arguably, a limited exception to the Fourteenth, but I think that’s enough nuance for one day.

  2. Submitted by Todd Hintz on 12/03/2013 - 07:40 am.

    Tax Policy

    The Tea Party has relegated themselves to the fringe with this one. I know a lot of people will cry that this ship sailed years ago, but as Dan pointed out, this takes them to a whole new level.

    The whole idea of repealing income tax is silly from the word go. Not only has it been ruled constitutional, but repealing it would completely defund the government. Obviously that’s their true intent, especially considering there are easier ways to accomplish their stated goal of simplifying the tax code.

    Unfortunately this pushes the Partiers further to the lunatic fringe. I was hoping they would become a viable alternative to the Republicans and divide that party.

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 12/03/2013 - 10:05 am.

      How was the government funded before the income tax?

      I suppose you realize that the federal income tax is a relatively recent phenomenon, right? It was supposed to be a temporary measure to pay for the civil war. But you know how those “temporary” taxes go don’t you. Once the democrats got a taste of other people’s money they were hooked.

      • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 12/03/2013 - 12:40 pm.

        Income Tax

        So “relatively recent” was 150 years ago? We need to deal with situations as they are now, not some scenario hundreds of years ago when rivers were the main avenue of transport and communication.

        There are several fallacies with this notion that income tax must be repealed.

        1. Government as we know it today cannot survive without the tax. Now some people would say that’s a good thing, but those “some people” are not well educated in economics and consequently shouldn’t be trusted with fiscal matters. I wouldn’t trust a toddler with my checkbook any more than I would trust these people with the nation’s fiscal policy.

        Back in the 19th century we didn’t have aircraft carriers, interstate highways, food safety monitors, and a whole host of other services used to run modern society.

        2. The whole idea of no income taxes smacks of tribalism, the notion that “I got mine and the rest of you can go pound sand.” Instead of building up society and acknowledging that we’re all in this together, these people want to further divide society into ever smaller groups, put up walls, and keep out everyone who doesn’t look like them. It’s a small-minded world that I, for one, want nothing to do with. It’s a repugnant and disgusting that goes against the very foundation this country was built upon: freedom and equality for all, not just the privileged few.

        America was founded as a country that accepts people of all religions, beliefs, and races, not that the last one means anything anymore with modern DNA techniques. There is no need to fear the Other because that person is us.

      • Submitted by Tim Walker on 12/03/2013 - 04:29 pm.

        Only the Democrats, eh?

        “Once the democrats got a taste of other people’s money they were hooked.”

        And yet, GOPers have been in and out of power in the last 150 years, and they have also not been able to wean themselves from the sweet, sweet manna of the income tax.

        Why not?

        Your hyper-partisanship has resulted in permanent blinders that prevent you from seeing reality.

      • Submitted by Dan Landherr on 12/04/2013 - 11:05 am.

        The Democrats?

        Wasn’t Abe Lincoln a Republican? Wasn’t he followed by several Republican presidents who had the opportunity to repeal the income tax? The income tax was also supported by the “dry” lobby as a way to fund the government when the liquor excise taxes disappeared.

        If we are reducing our income taxes we have to replace the income with something else. Would a carbon tax or a tax on financial transactions be better?

  3. Submitted by jason myron on 12/03/2013 - 03:14 pm.

    150 years

    “So “relatively recent” was 150 years ago? We need to deal with situations as they are now, not some scenario hundreds of years ago when rivers were the main avenue of transport and communication.”……Well said, Todd. I suspect that the Tea Party would be disappointed with the Founders opinion of their little movement, if they were able to transport into the future and glimpse at a modern America, brimming with 300 million people and the infrastructure needed to sustain and defend it. Most likely, they Founders would dismiss anyone who tried to confront modern issues with centuries old philosophies as quacks.

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 12/03/2013 - 04:38 pm.

      Seems to me

      that the Manifesto was written in 1848. That’s where the democrats came up with the idea of the graduated income tax. It’s a Marxist idea.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 12/03/2013 - 05:31 pm.

        The fun never ends

        The first progressive income tax in history was imposed by that undoubted Bolshevik William Pitt the Younger in 1799, nineteen years before Marx was born. Progressive taxation in England dates back to the Middle Ages (although it wasn’t based on income).

      • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 12/04/2013 - 02:31 pm.


        I don’t care if something is a Marxist idea, a Republican idea, or a Dilbert idea. What I am interested in is ideas that work, not ideologies that don’t. Come to me with good practical ideas and then we can talk.

  4. Submitted by Stephen Eldridge on 01/01/2014 - 07:15 pm.

    Flat Tax vs Fair Tax

    I am pleased to see the commenters here acknowldeging the great difficuly and thus the impracticality of repealing the 16th Amendment. We can fix the current system – see the last paragraph of my Letter, below. I am also pleased to see the absence of the “FairTax” grassroots lobby who are now pushing repeal of the 16th as their indirect way of getting to the FairTax.

    The “Fair Tax” is a Fraud – we need a 10% “Tithe” Tax!

    I am a retired lifetime tax consulting professional (JD, LLM in Taxation, CPA, co-author of a 3 volume tax treatise, lecturer), with no financial stake in ANY tax system. This only a brief summary – for supporting details of all comments, call Stephen C. Eldridge tel. 423-532-7337.

    The so-called “Fair Tax” (“FT”) is a fraud – it is MORE WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION, AND a financial SCAM.

    In their own words, FT proudly advertises that it is MORE PROGRESSIVE (INCREASES WELFARE).

    The Prebate is advertised as merely repaying the poor for any FT they pay, but actually would pay them far MORE than any FT they might pay (by “assuming” the poor spend more than the underlying HHS tables and also by “assuming” they will pay FT on ALL of their purchases, but they WON’T) and also gives the working (and perhaps some non-working) poor free SS/Medi.

    The Prebate is NOT a refund of FT paid, it is a new $600B ENTITLEMENT, leaving ALL Americans receiving a monthly check from the federal govt – a very bad idea for those of us who are not Socialists. More poor people will be receiving free SS/Medi.

    The FT produces a 40-70% in-your-face retail sales tax that would spark a taxpayer rebellion that would destroy our 70% retail-sales-sensitive economy. 40% = 30% (not 23%) FT + e.g., 10% S/L sales tax and 70% is the rate needed at a sample 30% FT evasion rate (the FT incredibly assumes ZERO evasion and ZERO intentional reduction in spending and ZERO migration from new to used goods).

    IN ADDITION to that 40-70% tax, the FT contains several HIDDEN TAXES. 1) FT’s 30% rate is really 42+%; the 12+% is hidden by having fed + S/L govts paying FT – ultimately, they must get that money from you. 2) The initial 30% rate is 1-5% short and that plus any other revenue shortfall will have to be made up by raising more FT (or a NEW Income Tax), 3) The fed budget will rise for a) higher SS benefits and higher COLA’s payable to all federal retirees, both induced by FT’s price increase of nearly 30%, and for b) fraudulent new SS benefits invited by FT’s removal of the “tax penalty” for reporting SS Wages, – more FT (or a NEW Income Tax) we be required to fund these.

    The NEW IRS (i.e., the STAA) may well be far worse, far more invasive than today’s IRS (the buyer is liable to pay FT and get/show a receipt) – we may well have to file an “Annual FT Summary”.

    We may well wind up with BOTH a NEW Income Tax AND the FT.

    Seniors will start to pay for SS/Medi again and some will pay a 2nd-3rd tax on their earnings. Many middle class seniors will pay more tax under FT and many will lose purchasing power because of the 15-30% price increase and because of higher S/L & federal taxes required because they must pay FT and can only get the funds from us.

    The FT promises grand economic benefits which are all UNPREDICTABLE – mere Hype & Change.

    What we need is a Flat Income Tax with No Deductions, No Exemptions, No Credits and a 10% rate, with business income taxed to shareholders on a very simple basis (i.e., no corporate income tax) – See H.R. 1040, but with changes as noted here (IRS is neutered, 1 page tax filing, everyone pays – more evolutionary). Call your representatives in Congress and let them know that this is what you want.

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