Consider the immoral structure of the income tax. When in 1913 the Congress passed the 16th Amendment, it obligated all future generations to an income levy. Do we not own the wages we make the same as we own our homes? Is this not confiscation of private property?
This is not a dissertation against taxation. On the contrary, I am appreciative of the first-rate infrastructure that my public contributions have built in this country.
I am arguing for a return to a system that our Founding Fathers envisioned, one in which government largely removed itself as an obstacle to the efforts of citizens to fulfill their desired destiny.
In the early 1900s, a socialist movement began to flourish in this country. Socialist philosophers denigrated the sacredness of property rights, claiming that we should move more toward a system that created a collective sense of security rather than one in which individual responsibility thrived. This was an adaptation of the philosophy articulated by Karl Marx, "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need."
This argument is immoral because it asks some to take more responsibility than others. This system has been an abject failure in every country in which it has been tried, leading to a destruction of the overall wealth of society and in effect making the poor, which exist in every civilization, even poorer.
The sacredness of property rights is mentioned so many times in the Constitution that it becomes thematic to the document itself. The authors of the socialist movement argued that our Founding Fathers had selfish goals in mind and intended to protect the landed aristocracy of the time.
Further reflection upon the founder's intentions debunks this assertion. Indeed, many of them risked so much by participating in the revolution that they hadn't much left to protect at the time of the writing of the Constitution. In addition, the whole purpose of the revolution was to rebel against the very feudal system they were accused by socialists of trying to create. Property rights are necessary to secure the right of non-aristocracy to rise to whatever levels of society they wish to pursue.
To this end, our founders envisioned the original fair tax. A tax on sales and services performed, rather than one on income.
The only tax system that is truly fair is a tax on sales and services. Allowing individuals to keep all of what they earn and to participate in the public treasury to the extent they choose.
For those who subscribe to the notion that the rich should pay more of the tax burden, this should be an easy proposal to support. Wealthy people naturally consume more, so by their own choice they would pay more in taxes.
In Kentucky, we have an opportunity to take a step in this direction with Rep. Bill Farmer's HB 51. This bill would eliminate Kentucky's income tax and place a sales tax on services not currently taxed. The overall sales tax would drop from 6 percent to 5.5 percent. The end of the income tax would mean an average of $3,500 cash back in Kentuckians' pockets to spend as they see fit. The increase in business friendliness with the elimination of the payroll tax would lead to a subsequent boom in new businesses, translation - job creation.
Let's do our part to return government to its roots and support Bill Farmer's HB 51 eliminating the income tax in Kentucky.
Leland Conway is the executive editor and co-founder of www.conservativeedge.com and the host of the Pulse of Lexington on News Radio 630 WLAP.