Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Progressive Taxation and Equal Protection

Articles: Is a Progressive Tax Constitutional?:

Generally an excellent article, the answer of course is "no", but our Constitution is well shredded, so nobody cares that this is the case. My disagreement with the article is they get sucked a bit into the general concept of "equal protection" and "equal protection relative to LAW". On that not very subtle shoal, America was destroyed.

When we had a Constitution, it enforced equal protection BEFORE THE LAW. The Constitution was the supreme law of the land (when we had laws) -- it was color blind, wage blind, etc. relative to LAW.

So yes, the Constitution properly applied prevented "castes" or "classes" RELATIVE TO THE LAW, but we need to be clear it said NOTHING about "equality of RESULT" either inside or outside of the law. Individuals or groups of citizens that made unsuccessful choices relative to property, careers, gambling, substance abuse, etc could have VASTLY different outcomes relative to material success, length of life, values of their homes, etc. Some racial or ethnic group could represent say "20%" of the population, yet be convicted of 60% of murders, yet under the old system, that result was not indicative of anything other than that group committing far more murders.
Justice John Harlan, the lone dissenter in the infamous Plessy v. Ferguson ruling, understood that "[t]here is no caste here. Our constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law. The humblest is the peer of the most powerful." And by equal extension, the most powerful ought to be the peer of the humblest, and receive the same protection. Harlan might as easily have said that our Constitution is wage-blind.

To deny one class equal protection of their property because of their success is logically no different from denying a different class an equal protection of liberty because of their color.
As I've said before, we DID at least have a Constitutional Amendment (the 16th) to allow an income tax, but it didn't allow a "progressive" income tax. In theory, all groups are to have "Equal Protection" under the law according the the 14th amendment (states) and since Bolling v. Sharpe (1954), those equal protection requirements apply to the federal government through the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment as well.

This has been carried even farther through the idea of the "privacy clause", which is imaginary, to cover abortion, gay rights, transgender, etc.

At one point, people LIKED the idea that blacks could be treated differently under the Constitution. Now they like the idea that people can be treated differently based on income. 

When you live in a lawless place, why not take money from one set of people just because you want to? How you "justify" it is immaterial -- race, gender, religion, philosophical beliefs, income, line of work -- what does it really matter? What is desired is some fig leaf of justification to treat some group of people differently to the advantage of some other group. 

"Progressive" taxation is a wonderful method for "The Party" to steal money from those that don't vote for them and buy the votes of others by using that money. What could be more reasonable?

'via Blog this'

No comments:

Post a Comment