Bridenstine: Repeal the 16th Amendment

November 28, 2013

U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., has introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal the 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which allows the federal government to levy the income tax.

“Viable alternative plans for raising revenue fairly to support constitutionally enumerated functions of the federal government have been proposed,” said Bridenstine. “As long as the 16th Amendment is in place and lobbyists dominate Washington, these alternatives will never be considered.”

The result of this repeal will be to eliminate the personal and corporate income tax, the estate and gift taxes, and taxes on investment earnings at the federal level.  A constitutional amendment can be repealed by another amendment, which requires approval of three fourths of the states for ratification.  After ratification, Congress and the states will have two years to decide on an alternative revenue stream.  Bridenstine supports the Fair Tax, but he says this effort also has supporters from the Flat Tax community.

Original co-sponsors of the amendment include Congressmen Ron DeSantis, R-Florida, and Thomas Massie, R-Kentucky.

“The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees ‘The right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.’  The 16th Amendment effectively negates the Fourth Amendment.  The 16th Amendment should be repealed and the IRS should be eliminated,” Bridentsine said.

He said the personal and corporate income tax is a punitive tax on productive effort which discourages investment, innovation, risk-taking and job formation within the United States.

“The income tax code has become too complex for citizens to understand, and the annual time and expense required to comply with the income tax code has become intolerably burdensome,” Bridenstine said. “Furthermore, the income tax is inherently unfair with different tax rates applying to various taxpayers.  The tax code is subject to endless manipulation by groups seeking to advantage themselves relative to others.  Worse, the Internal Revenue Service which administers the income tax, has been used as a political weapon to suppress First Amendment rights and influence elections.”

A large coalition of organizations and individuals is supporting the “Repeal 16″ effort that Bridenstine’s amendment initiates.

“Americans for Limited Government, Americans for Fair Taxation, the Tea Party Patriots, Free Market America, and Competitive Governance Action have a straightforward message for Washington lawmakers: end the current corrupting tax system and the oppressive IRS,” Bridenstine said.

The website offers further information and a repeal petition.  The Repeal 16 coalition enthusiastically supports the Bridenstine amendment.

“The income tax constitutional amendment has been a one hundred year disaster for constitutionally limited government and Representative Jim Bridenstine deserves praise for beginning the process of repealing it,” said Nathan Mehrens, president of Americans for Limited Government. “The income tax has become little more than a Christmas tree of breaks, deductions and special interest subsidies which the powerful with lobbyists manipulate for their own interests and to damage those of their competitors.  It is time for Congress to repeal the failed 16th Amendment experiment.”

In God We Trust

Also, Bridenstine spearheaded a letter, signed by 27 other members of Congress, to the head of the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA).  The letter to USAFA’s Superintendent, Lieutenant General Michelle Johnson, expresses disappointment regarding the academy’s recent decision to remove a poster bearing the oath with the phrase “so help me God” and asks for an explanation of why the Contrails Cadet Handbook omits the phrase from the oaths.

The phrase “so help me God” was included in the military oath of service in 1776 and is a deeply-rooted American tradition.

“This is yet another example of the Obama Administration abolishing all references to God from the public sphere,” Bridenstine said. “As the Supreme Court has ruled, the phrase ‘so help me God’ does not establish a national religion.  It is troubling to see the U.S. Air Force Academy being used as a political tool to institutionalize a culture of Godlessness.

“George Washington included the phrase ‘so help me God’ at his inauguration as the first president of the United States.  Members of our military may choose to include this phrase as a solemnization of their sworn duty to defend and protect our nation, though it is not required for them to serve.  Courts consistently have upheld the constitutionality of similar acknowledgements of the Divine, such as ‘under God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance, as well as of our national motto, ‘In God we Trust.’”

The Cadet’s Oath of Allegiance, as enumerated in the Code of Federal Regulations, ends with “so help me God.”The phrase is included in the oath of office taken by all elected or appointed officials, including Members of Congress.

“As a Navy pilot with combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, I know firsthand the importance of faith to many of our service members,” Bridenstine said. “When the services are hostile to faith, they are hostile to their members.  The Military Religious Freedom Coalition continues to identify instances whereby our men and women in uniform are forced to conceal or deny their deeply held religious beliefs.”