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"14th Amendment Citizenship" Nonsense

A particularly ludicrous "theory"...

THE "TAX HONESTY" COMMUNITY has long been plagued with a stubborn fallacy about the Fourteenth Amendment creating some new class of uniquely-taxable citizenship. This citizenship is then alleged to be the basis for the misapplication of the tax in some or all cases.

TO BEGIN WITH, OF COURSE, citizenship has nothing whatever to do with the tax generally. Citizens, residents aliens (which means resident non-US citizens), and non-resident aliens alike are all equally taxable for their engagement in taxable activities (and all can engage in such activities-- there is no preclusion or inclusion based on any of those 'status" factors):

26 CFR § 1.1-1 Income tax on individuals.

(a) General rule.

((1) Section 1 of the Code imposes an income tax on the income of every individual who is a citizen or resident of the United States and, to the extent provided by section 871(b) or 877(b), on the income of a nonresident alien individual.

By itself, this simple fact proves that there is no such thing as a 14th Amendment-imposed citizenship status on the basis of which the tax is applied. The tax doesn't care what you are or who you are. It just cares whether you did taxable things, and obviously, whether one can do taxable things is not dependent on citizenship.

In fact, give it a moment's thought. Upon the application of some simple information and logic, any form of the "citizenship=taxability" proposition is revealed as not only wrong, but patently absurd.

Keep in mind that:

  • the income tax is an excise tax, and excise taxes are privilege taxes;

  • being a naturally-born "US citizen" is not a federally-granted privilege, but instead a Constitutionally-secured status, government recognition of which is mandated and not optional whether imagined to arise under the provisions of the 14th Amendment or otherwise; and

  •  the income tax cannot, in any event, apply or be construed so as to amount to a capitation, whether on "US citizens" or anyone else, and therefore cannot be a tax on "all that a "citizen" does" or "all gains of a "citizen"..." or anything like that, even if "citizenship" were creatively imagined to be a privilege.

Now, with all that in mind, extend the "citizenship=taxability" notion into practice. It can immediately be seen that this CtC-denial-fever-swamp notion would have the taxing authority amount to the following, "If a US citizen (whatever that may be imagined to mean-- it doesn't matter for purposes of this demonstration), exercises one of my taxable privileges to make money then I can (or will) demand a piece of the action (or a fee, or whatever). But if a Pakistani (or anyone else outside the imagined infirm-status category) does the same, I can't (or won't) demand anything-- they can just exploit my resources to their heart's content, no charge."

As I said, considered just in the light of a little knowledge and simple common sense, this "citizenship=taxability" notion is revealed as absurd.

BUT THERE IS MORE, or another way to make this point which has some particular educational benefit. So, I will briefly go on to point out that the 14th Amendment didn't come to be until 1868, when the income tax was already 6 years old, and operating under the following language from the Revenue Act of 1862 (emphasis added):

Sec. 90. And be it further enacted, That there shall be levied, collected, and paid annually, upon the annual gains, profits, or income of every person residing in the United States, whether derived from any kind of property, rents, interest, dividends, salaries, or from any profession, trade, employment, or vocation carried on in the United States or elsewhere, or from any other source whatever, except as hereinafter mentioned, if such annual gains, profits, or income exceed the sum of six hundred dollars, and do not exceed the sum of ten thousand dollars, a duty of three per centum on the amount of such annual gains, profits, or income over and above the said sum of six hundred dollars; if said income exceeds the sum of ten thousand dollars, a duty of five per centum upon the amount thereof exceeding six hundred dollars; and upon the annual gains, profits, or income, rents and dividends accruing upon any property, securities, and stocks owned in the United States by any citizen of the United States residing abroad, except as hereinafter mentioned, and not in the employment of the government of the United States, there shall be levied, collected, and paid a duty of five per centum."

Plainly, the tax was imposed and applied well before even whatever might be imagined to have been the effect or creation of the 14th Amendment; "citizenship" of any kind wasn't a factor at all (much less a requisite factor); and contrary to another notion harbored by the 14th Amendment-focused folks, "citizen of the United States" already existed (lower-case "c" and all, for those trying that hair-split-- you know who you are...). 

 

 I WILL TELL YOU FRANKLY, it pains me hugely to have to write any of this. It is embarrassing. It is necessitated by the sloppiness or sloth of some purported researchers, and the willingness of others to accept whatever is said with an air of sincerity by those sloppy, slothful or outright charlatan "researchers", who carry on about the 'Q' factor and the coefficient of section 6883(d)(5), as in my little cartoon above. But I should not have to waste my time doing it.

I ask all of you to help stamp out these infections wherever you encounter them. It'll be a pain in the ass for you, too, but there is a lot at stake. The truth cannot flourish in a garden filled with weeds.

*Those who are interested can find more on the subject of citizenship and the Fourteenth Amendment here.