The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes from Article I.8.1: "Congress shall have power … to collect taxes … but all [taxes] must be uniform throughout the United States."
This principle was put in place to make sure that there was no discrimination in the way taxes were collected. With uniform taxation throughout the nation, everyone would be treated equally.
W. Cleon Skousen wrote, "The Supreme Court interpreted this provision to mean `geographic uniformity' rather than uniformity of assessment. The tithe (a tenth of one's `increase' is an example of uniformity of assessment because it is the same for rich and poor. However, the rich pay more because 10 percent of their wealth is much greater than 10 percent of the income of the poor.
"On the other hand, a graduated income tax violates the principle of uniformity of assessment and violates the principle of equal protection of rights. A graduated income tax makes the income of the wealthy less sacred and less protected than that of the lower income levels." (See The Making of America: The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution, p 392.)
Skousen clearly stated that the practice of "taxing the rich" is unconstitutional. It seems to me that in order to get back to the Constitution on the collection of taxes, we must go to a flat tax - everyone pays a certain percentage of income to run the federal government. I am quite confident that there would be more people clamoring for a smaller government if everyone had to pay their fair share to run the government!
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