“Internal Revenue Code”
Let’s look at the origins of the code, 400 pages in 1913. As of 2013 it was almost 75,000 pages. Do you think every page of that is “law” passed by Congress? Of course not, it is mostly regulation and policy written by government employees and political appointees. But, let’s look at a slightly larger issue for a moment when it comes to income tax and true rule of law.
The 16th Amendment to the Constitution is the basis for the federal government to establish a federal income tax. But, for that Amendment to be legally adopted as law it had to be legally ratified by at least 36 states at the time the Amendment was proposed. Secretary of State Philander Knox declared the Amendment ratified in 1913 allowing the federal government to then enact an income tax. However, upon closer scrutiny we find that only 21 states “legally” ratified the 16th Amendment. Here are the ones that didn’t legally ratify the 16th Amendment –
- Kentucky legislature illegally ratified it because it was not presented to the state legislature by the Governor. And the version of the Amendment ratified by Kentucky wasn’t worded the same as the 16th Amendment.
- Oklahoma, the legislature changed the wording of the amendment so that its meaning was virtually the opposite of what was intended by Congress, and this was the version they sent back to Knox. Yet Knox counted Oklahoma as approving it, despite a memo from his own chief legal counsel, Reuben Clark, that states were not allowed to change it in any way.
- Tennessee law prohibited their state legislature from acting on any proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution sent by Congress until after the next election of state legislators. But the Tennessee legislature illegally ratified the Amendment anyways.
- Texas and Louisiana violated provisions in their state constitutions prohibiting the legislatures from empowering the federal government with any additional taxing authority.
- Twelve other states (Mississippi, Ohio, Arkansas, Minnesota, New Mexico, West Virginia, Indiana, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Colorado, and Illinois.) violated provisions in their constitutions requiring that a bill be read on three different days before voting on it.
So, would you say the 16th Amendment was legally ratified? Indisputably the answer it “No!”
If the Constitutional Amendment was never legally ratified, the basis of federal income tax is not legally provided for by “rule of law.” But, does that stop the federal government? Of course not, the federal government has no relationship to the “rule of law” principle.