By Dr. Harold Pease
The Constitution is exceptionally clear on the origin of all taxes. “All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives,” not the Senate (Article I, Sec. 7). When is the House going to protect its powers from the Senate’s intrusive attempts to steal its power? Recently the Senate passed the “Marketplace Fairness Act” by a vote of 69-27, an Internet sales tax, giving states the authority to require on-line retailers, with no physical presence in those states, to collect sales taxes. Americans will pay more taxes with this bill than without. It is a bill for raising revenue and it did not originate in the House as mandated by the Constitution.
To put the Senate in its constitutional place the House should never take this bill up. Instead, if they feel such legislation is needful, they should originate their own bill after which invite the Senate to take a new bill through the committee process and to the floor once again. I might also suggest not doing so for a year or two just to make the message stronger. “You are infringing on our constitutional jurisdiction.” If the Senate will not do so, the House should consider the bill non-existent. Under no circumstances should they accept this bill as appropriate action on the part of their sister law-making body. Retailers, on the other hand, should refuse to pay this tax and challenge it in the courts on the constitutional grounds cited above.
Unfortunately, this is becoming a practice on the part of the U.S. Senate. Yet another infringing piece of legislation has also just passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in a 13-5 vote, the so-called “Gang of Eight” immigration bill, S.744, obviously originating therein. The Heritage Foundation estimates that this bill will cost taxpayers a net $6.3 trillion above what illegals contribute through taxes over the next 50 years providing benefits for millions now living in the United States. There may be debate over the numbers but what is clear is that the bill did not originate in the House of Representatives as constitutionally required and that Americans will pay more taxes with this bill than without it. Therefore it constitutes an unconstitutional tax.
The worst of all such recent intrusive taxes was “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” known as Obamacare, also originated in the Senate, not in the House as constitutionally required. Weeks ago I wrote of the extensive efforts on the part of the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, to cover this up following the judicial decree of Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. proclaiming it a tax when the administration had argued otherwise. The establishment media should have been all over this story and was not. Obamacare may be the only revenue-raising bill in American history originated and processed by the Senate alone. Nothing could be more unconstitutional!!
So why does this matter, a tax is a tax? For thousands of years governments taxed their citizens with no limits. Rulers lived lavishly off the wealth extracted from their poor subjects with little or no mercy toward them—lavish physical structures and frivolous wars of conquest were too often the norm. The Founders wisely took this power from the rich and gave it to the poor by requiring that the poor, then the majority, had to consent to any taxation over them. The power to tax is the only constitutional power exclusively given to the masses. The House of Representatives was the only branch of government designed to actually represent them as it is based upon population. The Senate was to represent the states, the people only indirectly.
As far as I know the United States is the first, possibly the only, country in world history that puts its tax base with the masses who pay the taxes. It is a priceless freedom. If we are over-taxed in the United States we have chosen to be so and one body alone is responsible—The House of Representatives. No tax can constitutionally originate with the President or the Supreme Court, (even if Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. says that it is okay), not even the Senate, although it can modify as on other bills once originated by the House. The House is also in charge of spending. We must not let this freedom dwindle or allow the line between the two legislative branches to be blurred into oblivion.
By letting “origin” slide in these three matters, the House looses its clear distinction on the origin of taxes and the people their right of first approval of taxation for generations yet unborn and probably forever. If left unchallenged these three offending bills, one already implemented, severely damage Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution. All involved are under oath to preserve the Constitution. There is nothing in the Constitution more clear than this. Liberty is lost one piece at a time. It is also restored one piece at a time. Pass this around.