Chicago Saturday PM May 2 2009
Editors, Wall Street Journal
Mr. Randy Barnett starts his Thursday, April 23 article "The Case for a Federalism Amendment" by pointing out how "hundreds of 'tea party' rallies around the country" are a strong indication of public distaste for "an unprecedented expansion of federal power...." Barnett proposes a "Federalism Amendment" to the US Constitution to stop this.
A better solution may be found by first looking upstream of the problem, specifically, The 2009 Statistical Abstract of the US which says, in 2007, 65% of all federal income came from employer-withheld taxes. This is the scam where the employer must send a tax check to the feds every month based on the number of employees he has, but is also forced to give the employee a written statement saying that if the employer were not so taxed, he would be giving the money to the employee.
Unhappy as the employer may be with this inconvenient truth, he can pass on the entire expense to customers as higher prices. So 65% of the entire federal income is actually a sales tax, silently, near-painlessly, being extracted from the soft underbelly of a regularly expanding US economy.
This problem could be fixed without a Constitutional Amendment, but by 218 house members, 60 Senators, and an agreeable president changing paragraph 3402 of USC Title 26 — 'Internal Revenue Code' Subtitle C 'Employment taxes' Chapter 24 'Collection Of Income Tax At Source On Wages'... from "every employer making payment of wages shall deduct and withhold upon such wages a tax..." to "every employer making payment of wages shall pay all of those wages to the employee...." leaving the tax calculation with the employer but insisting that a stern note telling the employee how much the feds are expecting him to send in within 30 days accompany the paycheck.
This could not be done overnite, but even implementing it on the entire alphabetic list of US citizens, one letter at a time, in 26 months you would have the entire electorate sending in checks from their personal checking accounts for twenty per cent of their pay to the feds every month. This would cause an abrupt change in voters' preferences for congress creatures supporting "expansion of federal power" to supporters of significantly cutting federal spending and the tax rate.
Arnold H Nelson 5056 North Marine Drive Chicago IL 60640