Jacob Hornberger: Abolish the Federal Income Tax and IRS

Abolish the federal income tax and the IRS.

People have the fundamental, God-given right to keep everything they earn and decide for themselves what to do with it — spend, save, donate, or invest. The right to keep and dispose of the fruits of one’s earnings is a necessary prerequisite to a free society.

Our American ancestors understood that principle, which is why the American people lived without income taxation for more than a century. When government is prohibited from taking people’s income, the citizens are the masters and the government is the servant.

At the same time, the freedom to accumulate wealth is key to a rising standard of living in society. That’s because people tend to save a portion of their income, which then becomes productive capital in the hands of businesses. Through competition among firms, more productivity brings higher wage rates for workers and a higher overall standard of living for society.

The adoption of the income tax in 1913 changed everything for Americans. By wielding the power to tax people’s income, the federal government became the master and the American people became the servants. To enforce the tax, the federal government brought into existence the Internal Revenue Service, one of the most tyrannical, destructive, and feared agencies in history. At the same time, the income tax is one of the major reasons why young people are today having such a difficult time getting started in life.

The ideally free society is one in which people would be trusted and relied upon to voluntarily fund the legitimate functions of the federal government, which are few and inexpensive. Absent that, the second-best method is the indirect taxation methods chosen by our American ancestors. The most destructive method of taxation is the income tax.

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