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Published February 07, 2013 in News by Sharon Harris
Arguing for REPEAL on the 100th Anniversary of the Income Tax
February 3, 2013 marked a black day in U.S. history. It was the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 16th Amendment, which enabled the creation of the U.S. federal income tax.
One hundred years later, more and more Americans are asking: Can the income tax be repealed -- and replaced with… nothing?
The answer is: yes! Ron Paul interjected it into the national debate during his presidential campaign. Now it's up to us to take up the mantle.
In recognition of this unpleasant anniversary, we're reposting a 4-part series by Advocates President Sharon Harris on how to argue effectively for ending the income tax.
Making the Case for Ending the Income Tax: Part Two
This is Part Two of my series on persuading Americans that abolishing the income is sensible, desirable, and realistic.
Last post I gave five ways to begin that argument. If you haven't read them, you can find them here.
Now let's continue.
SIX: Now it's time to make the point that history is on your side. Tell your listener that America didn't have an income tax until well into the 20th century -- and without an income tax we quickly rose from a struggling ex-colony to become the most abundant nation in history.
Ron Paul, who has done more than any other elected official to advance this issue, made this point beautifully in 2001. Use his language to shape your own response:
"Could America exist without an income tax? The idea seems radical, yet in truth America did just fine without a federal income tax for the first 126 years of its history. Prior to 1913, the government operated with revenues raised through tariffs, excise taxes, and property taxes, without ever touching a worker's paycheck."
SEVEN: You may be asked: "But what about the Fair Tax (or the Flat Tax, or some other income tax reform plan)?"
Ron Paul provides a friendly and supportive response to this question. From the New York Times, Nov. 20, 2008:
"I see a consumption tax as being a little better than the personal income tax, and I would vote for the Fair Tax if it came up in the House of Representatives, but it is not my goal. We can do better. ... We could eliminate the income tax, replace it with nothing, and still fund the same level of big government we had in the late 1990s. We don't need to 'replace' the income tax at all."
You can also point out that it is hard work to build support for any form of bold tax reform, including the Flat Tax and Fair Tax. We may get just one shot at major tax reform in our lifetimes. So why not put our effort into building a movement for change that would dramatically limit government and increase freedom? As the old saying goes, if you don't ask for what you really want, you'll never get it; but if you do ask, you might just get it all.
Please note, I realize that some libertarians may prefer to advocate the Fair Tax or Flat Tax or other plan, rather than the complete and immediate elimination of the income tax. This article isn't intended to criticize such efforts; rather, it is to offer assistance to those who want to make the case for outright abolition.
Next post I'll share further ways to persuade listeners that this bold libertarian proposal is realistic and desirable.