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16th Amendment: Was it properly ratified? And if not, what does that mean

Posted by on Jan. 3, 2010 at 1:31 PM
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  with regards to how we are currently taxed?

I'm a Fair Tax supporter and many people ONLY reject it because they say our gov't will NEVER repeal the 16th Amendment....but what if its illegality renders it null and void?...something to think about.


The authority of the federal government to collect its income tax depends upon the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the federal income tax amendment, which was allegedly ratified in 1913. After a year of extensive research, Bill Benson discovered that the 16th Amendment was not ratified by the required 3/4 of the states, but nevertheless Secretary of State Philander Knox fraudulently announced ratification.


Text of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America:

"The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration."        


The Discovery

[...] In February, 1913, Secretary of State Philander Knox issued a proclamation claiming that 38 states had ratified the amendment.

In 1984, William J. Benson began a research project, never before performed, to investigate the process of ratification of the 16th Amendment. After traveling to the capitols of the New England states, and reviewing the journals of the state legislative bodies, he saw that many states had not ratified the Amendment. Continuing his research at the National Archives in Washington, DC, Bill Benson discovered his Golden Key. This damning piece of evidence is a 16 page memorandum from the Solicitor of the Department of State, whose duty is the provision of legal opinions for the use of the Secretary of State. In this memorandum sent to the Secretary of State, the Solicitor of the Department of State lists the many errors he found in the ratification process!

The 4 states listed below are among the 38 states that Philander Knox claimed ratification from.

The Kentucky Senate voted upon the resolution, but rejected it by a vote of 9 in favor and 22 opposed.

The Oklahoma Senate amended the language of the 16th Amendment to have a precisely opposite meaning.

The California legislative assembly never recorded any vote upon any proposal to adopt the amendment proposed by Congress.

The State of Minnesota sent nothing to the Secretary of State in Washington.

When his year long project was finished at the end of 1984, Bill had visited every state capitol and knew that not a single state had actually and legally ratified the proposal to amend the Constitution. 33 states engaged in the unauthorized activity of amending the language of the amendment proposed by congress, a power the states do not possess. Since 36 states were needed for ratification, the failure of 13 to ratify would be fatal to the amendment, and this occurs within the major (first three) defects tabulated in Defects in Ratification of the 16th Amendment. Even if we were to ignore defects of spelling, capitalization, and punctuation, we would still have only 2 states which successfully ratified.

[...]In this historic 16th Amendment litigation, the Government has sued Bill Benson seeking an injunction prohibiting him from falsely telling people the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was not ratified and therefore people are not required to file an income tax return. The Government contends it is entitled to an injunction because Benson is promoting an abusive tax shelter, conduct made subject to a penalty per 26 U.S.C. Section 6700. All of the pleadings filed in the case can be found here.


In 1894 Congress passed an income tax act very similar to the current income tax law. That law was challenged on the basis that a tax on income is a direct tax, the United States Constitution requires direct taxes to be apportioned, and the act passed by Congress was not apportioned. The United States Supreme Court agreed and held the income tax act was unconstitutional in Pollock v. Farmer's Loan & Trust Co., 157 U.S. 429, aff. reh., 158 U.S. 601 (1895).


In 1909 President Taft called a special session of Congress. Taft asked Congress to propose a constitutional amendment to overcome the Supreme Court's Pollock decision. Congress proposed the Sixteenth Amendment, which was then sent to the states for ratification by Secretary of State Knox. Certificates of Ratification were sent back to Knox, but the language on the certificates differed from the 16th Amendment language passed by Congress. Knox sent the certificates to the Solicitor of the United States and asked for a legal opinion as to whether the states had ratified the proposed Sixteenth Amendment.


The Solicitor noted the differences between what Congress proposed and the states ratified, and presumed, that because states do not have the authority to alter a proposed Constitutional amendment, that none did. He concluded, therefore, that the differences in language were nothing more than minor clerical errors in the preparation of the Certificates of Ratification. Knox then declared the 16th Amendment had been ratified.


The legislative journals conclusively establish, that despite not having the power to do so, several states intentionally modified the language of the proposed amendment. The presumption relied upon by the Solicitor was wrong! Benson discovered other discrepancies too. He wrote and published a book on what he discovered, The Law That Never Was, available on his web site at Benson contends that less than thirty-six states actually ratified the proposed Sixteenth Amendment.


In the absence of the 16th Amendment, the current income tax is an unapportioned direct tax, and is just as unconstitutional today as it was in 1894. Since 1985 Benson tells everyone who will listen about what he found, and urges people to exercise their First Amendment rights to rectify the situation. Benson's message is gaining acceptance in the marketplace of ideas. The Government now seeks to silence him.


Many people ask why, if the 16th Amendment created no new taxing power, as stated by the Supreme Court in Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad Co., 240 U.S. 1 (1916), it is necessary to litigate whether the Sixteenth Amendment was ratified? The Supreme Court ruled in Pollock that the income tax enacted by Congress in 1894 was a direct tax, the act passed by congress wasn't apportioned, and therefore the tax was unconstitutional. The decision wasn't unanimous. The court was split five to four. Those in the minority believed a tax on income was not a direct tax, but an indirect, excise tax. One of the dissenters was associate justice White. Notwithstanding the decision was split five to four, the result was that the constitutional requirement that direct taxes be apportioned was upheld. To overcome the holding of Pollock, Congress proposed the 16th Amendment. It was allegedly ratified in 1913.

[...]The issues in Bill Benson's case, however, transcend whether or not the 16th Amendment was ratified. More important is the issue that the government believes it can take a position and punish someone who disagrees with that position, without affording the person any opportunity to prove the government's position is wrong. The government, unable to refute Bill Benson's facts conclusively establishing less than three-fourths of the states voted to ratify the proposed amendment, objected to the facts on the grounds they were irrelevant, immaterial and scandalous. The court agreed, and issued an order that Bill Benson is not to be allowed to defend based upon the truth. If this posture is allowed to stand, every semblance of justice in America will be trashed. It is inconceivable that the Star Chamber becomes again the type of court justice to be utilized to resolve disputes between the people and the government.


Equally disturbing is the position of the federal government that it has the unfettered right to obtain the names and addresses of any person who so much as ordered Benson's material, read it or possesses it. The pleadings, filed by the government, make it perfectly clear the government intends to obtain the names and investigate any person whose name they obtain.


The issue of taxation and the Sixteenth Amendment is a political question. We, as Americans, supposedly have an inalienable right to the free debate of these issues without government interference. We, as Americans, supposedly have the right to require the government to answer our questions. We, as Americans, supposedly have the right to require the government to prove its allegations against us in Court. We, as Americans, supposedly have the right, when charged with a crime, to present a defense.

 (I had to shorten the text to make it fit)

by on Jan. 3, 2010 at 1:31 PM
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by Bronze Member on Jan. 4, 2010 at 2:01 AM

My comment continues from the end.

But instead we are made to believe that our duty is to just shut up and follow orders.

Freedom doesn't exist here, it was all just a dream.

This is mob rule.

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