First and foremost, I am not an attorney, but fortunately, I can read.
With this impressive skill of reading, I have done something that apparently US Senator and former Harvard Law School Professor Elizabeth Warren hasn’t done, and that is read the US Constitution.
I say this tongue-in-cheek because it seems she has no clue about the federal government’s taxing authority.
Her website states, “Our tax code focuses on taxing income…That’s why we need a tax on wealth…Households would pay an annual 2% tax on every dollar of net worth above $50 million and a 6% tax on every dollar of net worth above $1 billion.”
So why does our tax code focus on taxing income and not wealth? Because the 16th Amendment to the Constitution states:
“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 keyword in the 16th Amendment that we must look at is “incomes.” What constitutes an income? It does say from whatever source derived, but it must be on income.
Since the ratification of the 16th Amendment on February 3, 1913, we have seen a limited amount of cases, but we have an idea of what defines income. The Supreme Court ruled in Eisner v. Macomber (1920), that:
What is or is not “income” within the meaning of the Amendment must be determined in each case according to truth and substance, without regard to form. P. 252 U. S. 206.
Income may be defined as the gain derived from capital, from labor, or from both combined, including profit gained through sale or conversion of capital. P. 252 U. S. 207.
According to the Constitution Center, “The Court struck down an unapportioned income tax as applied to certain stock dividends, holding that they effectively fell on property, not income; other cases from the 1920s made similar distinctions.
So Elizabeth Warren’s Wealth Tax is a tax on property, not income by her own admission.
The 16th Amendment did expand and amend the taxing authority of the federal government from its original taxing authority found in the Taxing Clause of Article 1, Section 8, Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3, and Article 1, Section 9, Clause 4. But only income, not on property.
So if Elizabeth Warren’s Wealth Tax, sorry, Property Tax on ultra-millionaires, and billionaires is the cornerstone of how she funds her nanny state, then please Mrs. Harvard Law Professor tell me the non-lawyer and the rest of the American people why I’m wrong.
As one of the frontrunners for the Presidency of the United States, We The People deserve to know.