It is no secret that Congressman Ron Paul is an opponent of the federal income tax and the 16th Amendment. He has stated on numerous occasions and has submitted legislation reflecting his desire to eliminate the income tax and the IRS. Additionally, he has never voted for a tax increase. One of his most famous remarks on the subject came during a 2007 GOP primary debate:
Some of his opponents have claimed that if we were to eliminate the income tax, that we would not be able to fund government. Dr. Paul responded to that criticism in an interview with the New York Times in 2008:
“I want to abolish the income tax, but I don’t want to replace it with anything. About 45 percent of all federal revenue comes from the personal income tax. That means that about 55 percent — over half of all revenue — comes from other sources, like excise taxes, fees, and corporate taxes.
We could eliminate the income tax, replace it with nothing, and still fund the same level of big government we had in the late 1990s. We don’t need to “replace” the income tax at all. I see a consumption tax as being a little better than the personal income tax, and I would vote for the Fair-Tax if it came up in the House of Representatives, but it is not my goal. We can do better.”
Obviously, the United States has not always collected income tax. Income taxes began with the adoption of the 16th Amendment which was ratified during President Woodrow Wilson’s administration. The founders did not include it in the original document for what Dr. Paul believes is a very good reason. On the House floor in 2009, the Congressman delivered these remarks:
“The Founding Fathers realized that ‘the power to tax is the power to destroy,’ which is why they did not give the Federal government the power to impose an income tax. Needless to say, the Founders would be horrified to know that Americans today give more than a third of their income to the Federal government.”
In an article he wrote for LewRockwell.com in 2006, Congressman Paul detailed his opinion on alternative plans for cutting taxes:
“I apply a very simple test to any proposal to overhaul the tax code: Does it reduce or eliminate an existing tax? If not, then it amounts to nothing more than a political shell game that pits taxpayers against each other in a lobbying scramble to make sure the other guy pays. True tax reform is as simple as cutting or eliminating taxes. No studies, panels, committees, or hearings are needed. When reform proposals seem complicated, they almost certainly don’t cut taxes. Congress should simply focus on cutting existing taxes and reducing spending, instead of complicated overhauls of the system. “