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Letter to editor: Why I am opposed to ESPLOST

Dear editor,

Article one, section eight, clause one of the United States Constitution states,” The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.”

One of the enumerated powers in the U.S. Constitution is the power to tax. Enumeration places taxation under the authority of the legislative branch of government. It is the exclusive power of the elected members of the legislative branch of government to ensure taxation secures our rights of defense and the overall welfare of the citizens of America.

Our founders neither envisioned nor authorized the sovereign citizens of this country the power to impose taxes by a vote. In their previous life experiences with excessive taxation, the decision was made to enumerate that power exclusively to the elected, not the unelected! There is a myriad of possible reasons for taxation being set apart for the legislature. Consider the following:

1.  Conflicts of Interest. Citizens often have competing interest in financial matters and priorities. One citizen may not share the same interest, or priority as another.

2.  Oversight and Stewardship. The people have no assurance or oversight in where, how much or when the tax will be spent. When citizens impose a tax by vote, they have assumed the power of the legislative branch. They must by that vote be held accountable for the tax levy and the expenditure of the tax. The citizen has no such power. They, in essence, are taxed without representation.

3.   Division of Community. The taxing of a persons’ money by a vote is a source of frustration and division among people who see this as “organized theft.” It is perceived as such because it is not constitutional and against the will of the taxed.

4. Imposition of An Economic Burden. Sovereign citizens have no enumerated, inherent or constitutional right to impose a tax that takes the fruits of his labor away without consent! SPLOST is the unconstitutional theft pitting citizens against citizens!

5.   Immoral. Taxation that takes ones’ possessions, property or money without his consent in immoral! It appears some have forgotten the Second Commandment of God. Love thy neighbor as thyself.

Taxation by vote of the citizenry that imposes an economic burden on his neighbor without his consent is immoral, and unconstitutional.

Frank Barnes

LaGrange