Most people have heard some version of the old African saying “When elephants fight, the grass gets trampled.” Mitt Romney’s attack on Donald Trump for not releasing his tax return warrants adapting that thought to the politics of our day: “When the elitists stage a fight, the Constitution gets trampled.” According to the Constitution, only two things disqualify someone from being President of the United States: a) not being at least 35 years if age and b) not being a natural born citizen of the United States. Mitt Romney, however, says that “It is disqualifying for a modern-day presidential nominee to refuse to release tax returns to the voters.”
Now, the U.S. Constitution also says that “no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself….” Thanks to this prohibition no decent defense attorney would allow a client to give testimony that could be used against him in a criminal prosecution without receiving assurances that the information will not be used in any criminal prosecution; or else negotiating some understanding that mitigates the charges and/or penalties arising from such prosecution.
As I have often pointed out, the income tax return U.S. taxpayers file each year takes the form of a sworn affidavit. Tax payers affix their signature to the return in token of their affirmation that its contents are true and accurate. This affirmation is what makes them subject to prosecution for perjury if they deliberately include false statements in the return. They can be criminally prosecuted because the U.S. Federal income is administered under the demonstrably false pretense that the submission of the return is a voluntary act.
This whole situation is what has led me to take the position that some version of the Miranda warning should be obtrusively placed above the official heading on every tax return, to remind taxpayers that the Constitution leaves them at liberty to remain silent. Unfortunately, as things stand, presumptively law-abiding taxpayers are not accorded the same respect given to people being arrested on suspicion of breaking the law. Instead, they are deliberately left prey to ignorance, and to the prevalent impression, warranted by common sense experience, that the submission of the income tax return is compulsory, not voluntary.
Now, elections are supposed to give voters an opportunity to elect government officials to represent them in government’s exercise of its just powers. Those just powers are delimited first by “the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”, and then by provisions of the various constitutions of the United States, including the one ordained and established by the people of the United States to be the Supreme law that governs all the rest.
But what if voters are seeking to elect candidates to reform abuses that have developed, abuses that plainly violate one or more provisions of the U.S. Constitution. Does it make sense to suggest that, in seeking representatives to reform those abuses, anyone who acts in opposition to the abuses should be disqualified as a candidate for office? Forcing people to provide testimony that may be used against them in a criminal proceeding violates the U.S. Constitution. Yet Mr. Romney is suggesting that Donald Trump should be forced to do so in order to qualify as a candidate for the Presidency.
But if voters stand against this violation of the Constitution for all taxpayers, how is it right effectively to prevent them from voting for candidates who share their stand, and who act accordingly? If Romney’s attack on Trump succeeds sham Parties already being used to effect a long train of abuses against the liberty of the America people will be used to impose another. People who want to end the violate of Constitutional right inherent in the administration of the Federal income tax will be prevented from voting for candidates with the courage to enact their wishes.
I have devoted a good many of my columns over the last 18 months or so to the effort to alert Constitutional loyalists to the likely possibility that Donald Trump’s pandering demagoguery is the a prelude to tyranny, such as America’s Founders repeatedly warned against. I do not support him. I will not voter for him. So what I say in criticism of Romney’s attack on Mr. Trump has no other motive than to prevent the elitist faction’s political stage show from further trampling a Constitutional provision already nearly effaced by the plainly anti-constitutional administration of the Federal Income tax.
The warning against Romney also highlights one of the many deficiencies that illustrate Donald Trump’s conformity with the elitist faction’s agenda against the Constitutional liberty of the American people: He does not support the only sufficient remedy for the threat to liberty the IRS income tax represents.: Abolish the Federal Income Tax. Return to the Framers original provisions for funding the U.S. Government. Instead of freeing the American people from the anti-Constitutional duress the Federal income tax imposes, Mr. Trump joins with other elitist faction manipulators in proposing steps that will do little more than ornament our chains. [For further discussion of the better alternative, see my blog posts, Real Change Step One: Abolish the Income Tax and Abolish the Income Tax (Cont’d)].