William Thien

Posts Tagged ‘Balanced Budget Amendment

Amendment Sixteen is the “Income Tax” amendment which enables the levy of taxes on income. Enacted in 1913 the amendment enables the federal government to tax income in an almost arbitrary manner to pay for anything the government deems necessary. Prior to the income tax amendment the government raised revenues via tariffs (customs duties) and excise taxes. The founding fathers felt income taxes were more injurious to the tax payer than excise or customs taxes and so fought against them.

Here is the text of The Sixteenth Amendment:

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.

Clearly the text of The Sixteenth Amendment indicates such income taxation is arbitrarily determined based on Congressional whim.

It is my belief that the income tax is ruining the country’s small business climate as it has steadily increased over the last eighty years from under five percent for most to often now reaching into the thirtieth percentile. Since the income is taken from your weekly or periodic pay you do not have that discretionary income left (off it has gone to the government) to purchase small ticket items at the store which are made in the United States, where it often costs more to manufacture such items than Asia, for example, where the cost of labor is lower. Since you have less income due to the income tax you cannot afford “Made in America.” The gross effect is then that the income tax destroys American Industry. Small ticket items manufacturing is the bread and butter of American business as you purchase such items on a regular basis with receipt of your weekly pay, rather than a car or a house, for example. I’ve blogged on this in the past, click here to read the essay ==> Income Taxes: Serial Killer of American Small Business.

Let’s do some basic math on the matter. If for example you made $1,000 a month in pay and your income tax was five percent (wow, that would be nice), your tax would be $50.00. But if your income tax on the same pay is twenty-five percent, you are taking home $750.00 instead of $950.00. That $200.00 a month is going directly to the federal government, perhaps for you on a bi-weekly basis! For what! What do you get really!? Nothing that benefits you in the long term in terms of property or rights. Nothing! With that $200.00 you could build your savings, buy a new car, you name it. But instead it is going to the federal government. What do you get for that $200.00 from the federal government? Over the last thirty or forty years you have seen an incredible attack on your rights to privacy and property with all manner of changes regarding search and seizure and surveillance of Americans. You are now a suspect, did you know that!

The income tax has many, many negative effects on Americans. The income tax undermines small business and industry, it effects people’s savings as they have less to set aside (it’s going to the government instead), it forces people to buy on credit more causing massive financial distress, and it allows foreign producers where labor is less expensive to overcome American industry.

It is time to abolish The Sixteenth Amendment! It is destroying America!

I’ve often thought what should The Sixteenth Amendment be replaced with? How about a Balanced Budget Amendment that requires Congress to keep its house in order instead of increasing income taxes when things get tough.

Copyright © William Thien 2013

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Recently I’ve listened to news reports and stories in the media about how both Republicans and Democrats are willing to compromise on matters of taxation with regard to “The Fiscal Cliff.” The obvious sticking point is that the Democrats want to raise taxes and The Republicans do not. A headline at a prominent news site even claimed stocks rallied on a “possible compromise” from the Speaker of The House on matters of taxation.

I was rather expecting that the good members of Congress would see to it that the size of government would be addressed rather than to offer up more of our income in “compromise,” as a means of dealing with the approaching “fiscal cliff” that is.

I agree that it is important that our elected work together to our benefit and have in fact written to it. But compromising on taxes, which in this case obviously means raising them, can be categorically deemed contrary to our benefit, particularly to those of us who find no refuge in an unfair US tax code to begin with.

Copyright © William Thien 2012

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The most significant reason to pass a balanced budget amendment may on the surface appear to be that it will require the federal government to keep the country’s financial matters in order. But something else occurred to me after my previous note concerning my support for a balanced budget amendment.

Lately, and this is a historical observation as well, all we hear is that one side has a plan for a budget and the other side does not accept it. This has been going on thoroughly for over a month, now. And we are paying dearly for it. Then, the other side counters with their plan, and it is stiff armed off the table with a sour look of disdain. But is it all an act? I’d wager much, perhaps most of it is, but there are genuine differences as well.

Yet, there is a lot of posturing and nothing is getting done. Our elected are posing in the window, but there is a lot of partisan bickering and nothing is accomplished. The media loves it and thinks we should, too. All this time our elected could be working on more important matters. But instead, they choose to make it appear that they are at odds with each other when we all know the plan is to come up with a solution at the eleventh hour and we will all have to swallow it. And what’s worse, they will likely have slipped something in that nobody can stomach. The country will reel for days with a political hangover while the spin doctors will tell us all it’s for the best and that’s that. People will forget. The wool, though it may feel scratchy against the skin, will keep us warm anyway they will tell us, even if we be blinded by it.

With a balanced budget amendment, the country’s elected will be required to not only balance the budget, but a balanced budget amendment, if properly drafted, will require our elected to work more efficiently on our behalf. This may be more significant than the mere fact that a balanced budget amendment will require the government to balance the budget.

In other words, a balanced budget amendment will not only require our elected to take better care of our country’s financial matters, it will likely “stimulate” more efficient government behavior, because the elected will be less likely to pose and strut for the media, getting nothing done except keeping the media happy, and then slip something unpalatable in at the last minute nobody wants in the first place. In fact, that last part of the previous sentence may be the very reason our elected don’t want to appear to be getting along. They may in fact be quite chummy and we wouldn’t even know it with the way they have been carrying on all along. Washington is isolated from the rest of the country in a way with its bureaucracy and way of doing things. And politicians are insulated from our way of life with their lavish benefits and elaborate security, too. Many citizens believe most politicians that have been to Washington for more than one term have lost touch with the realities of American existence, and that Washington, with its high-profile system of lobbyists and special interests, has a corrupting influence. A balanced budget amendment would help to bring politicians back to the realities of American life.

Of course if you don’t want the two sides of the aisle to cooperate on our behalf, don’t pass a balanced budget amendment. It’s that simple.

Copyright © William Thien 2011

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After hearing all the “end of the world” scenarios and all of the pleas for an increase in the debt ceiling, the one thing I think which should come out of the current budget negotiations is a balanced budget amendment.


It is the only way we as a country can get Washington, which often thinks differently than the rest of the country, particularly when it comes to taxes, to treat the American taxpayer with some respect. Washingtonians, which is what our elected become after being in office for several years, are insulated from the rest of us. It’s a private club. Aside from a few politicians that meet regularly with their constituency, those elected to federal office often lose sight of what it is to be an American.

With a balanced budget amendment, our elected will by law never forget what it is to be an American. Let us not let them forget. Let us not!

Contact your elected officials today and tell them you would like to see a balanced budget amendment now!

Copyright © William Thien 2011

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