Our Problem: We Have Taxation WITH Representation

Several people in comments to my article “Liberal Compares Obama’s Push for Tax Hikes to Lincoln Wanting to End Slavery,” used the phrase ‘No Taxation without Representation’ in reaction to where our nation is headed. It’s not a good response to our current situation.

Right now there are more people who want higher taxes than people who don’t want higher taxes. The people who want higher taxes vote for people who will represent what they want. This means that if a certain segment of the population can get 51 percent of the electorate to vote for representatives who will raise taxes, then we have taxation with representation.

Harvard University’s Harvey Mansfield writes,

“‘within democracy there is good and bad, free and slave,’ and that ‘democracy can produce a slavish mind and a slavish country.’ . . . The end goal, Mr. Mansfield worries, is to sideline the American constitutional tradition in favor of ‘a practical constitution consisting of progressive measures the left has passed that cannot be revoked. And that is what would be fixed in our political system — not the Constitution.’ . . . The welfare state’s size isn’t what makes it so stifling, Mr. Mansfield says. ‘What makes government dangerous to the common good is guaranteed entitlements, so that you can never question what expenses have been or will be incurred.'”1

Since 51 percent of the people voted to keep President Obama in office, the appeal is being made to Republicans that they need to support his call for higher taxes because this is “the will of the people.” A number of Republicans are buying into this bit of political malarkey that will lead us down the path of European socialism.

The slogan was adopted because the colonists maintained “they were not directly represented in the distant British Parliament,” and that any laws “Parliament passed taxing the colonists (such as the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act) were illegal under the Bill of Rights 1689, and were a denial of their rights as Englishmen.” Our situation is different. We do have representation, but that representation is being manipulated by people who are being paid for their vote.

In constitutional terms, it does not matter what the majority of voters want the Federal government to do in their name. What does matter is what the Constitution gives them the authority to do.

If the Constitution does not give the Federal government the authority to tax people for education, bail out bankrupt companies, support businesses financially that are involved in so-called “Green Energy,” or any number of extra-constitutional endeavors, it does not matter how the people vote.

Every representative takes an oath to uphold the Constitution, not the will of the people that put them into office. When you hear an elected official say, “I was elected to do the will of the people,” you immediately know that he did not take his oath seriously.

Benjamin Franklin didn’t appeal to the “will of the people.” He appealed to the Constitution. Why draft a contractual document like the Constitution if the will of the people can overturn its governing limitations with a majority vote?

“In questions of power,” Benjamin Franklin wrote, “let no more be heard of confidence in man but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the constitution.”

So let’s drop the slogan “No taxation without representation” because we have taxation with representation, and that’s the real problem.

  1. Sohrab Ahmari, “The Crisis of American Self-Government,” The Wall Street Journal (Nov. 30, 2012). []



Gary is a graduate of Western Michigan University (1973) and earned his M.Div. at Reformed Theological Seminary in 1979. He is the author of countless essays, news articles, and more than 27 book titles.

Posted in Debt, Education, History, Liberalism, socialism, Welfare Tagged with: , ,
  • Lois

    I don’t understand why 47% pay no taxes. In Canada everyone pays taxes unless they are very low income people. My mother-in-law had an income of $13,000 per year (which does not go far with Canadian prices) but she still paid a small amount of tax on this amount. Instead of adding more taxes to the rich, who already pay a large portion, everyone should be taxed something, even if it is a small amount. This would be more fair, and would bring in considerably more income. Lois Halls, Edmonton, Canada

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dan-Williams/100000740775101 Dan Williams

      Canada has essentially a conservative government with no real debt. The United States has a Progressive/Socialist government with insurmountable debt. Huge differences between the two countries.
      P.S. My daughter lives in Red Deer, Alberta.

  • sandraleesmith46

    Depends on how you define “representation” in this case. Yes, we do have bodies present; but they’re not actually permitted to represent our beliefs and goals for this nation, so in EFFECT, Conservatives in this nation do NOT have representation!

  • Bob Marshall

    ” When people find they can vote themselves money, that will be the end of the republic.” George Washington

  • Poppo

    I live in Colorado. Sorry, the Senators in my state do not represent anything that I believe in. As JohnGalt below me states, the problem is Representation without Taxation. Millions of folks on the dole vote to continue the freebies. I might not mind so much if they were citizens, or if the ‘rules of the dole’ did something to encourage helping them get off the dole. Give a man a fish, you have a dependent. Lets start teaching these folks how to fish and end the line at the free fish market!

  • HDA

    The problem is that the people really does not want obama; HE STOLE THE ELECTION.

  • Chuck

    The real problem is that the Liberal Idiot Unions stole the election, and the desires of the Unions are what is being represented by the Tax increases. As for the stupid people sucking the government tit, they will ultimately be so much worse off as a result of their stupid blind greed.

  • DrowningKittens

    Actually, what we have is representation WITHOUT taxation. It’s an easy vote when the Welfare Royalty can grab themselves another pay raise. Voter ID should be the 1040.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dan-Williams/100000740775101 Dan Williams

      Then every voter will have skin in the game, because we are the ones getting skinned!

    • daves

      That would be unconstitutional.

  • exshuttleguy

    As I recall, Obamacare was written by a group of unelected, so called experts and became a law by a Congress that had never read it. It was then declaired to be a tax by our Spreme Court. Where in this process were We the People represented? This is taxation without representation.

    • daves

      When your representative voted on the law.

  • http://theawakenednation.ning.com/profile/KevinMKeener Snowman8wa

    First off….it was NOT 51% of the people to keep the “Post Turtle” in office. It was 51% of the counted votes of who voted-BOTH LEGALLY AND IILEGALLY which kept him in office!

    121 Million votes of a populace of 320 Million + is only 38% of the Country. So 51% of one third of the Country (A MINORITY FACTION) voted to keep him in office and reek further Havoc upon OUR COUNTRY!
    We are a Representative REPUBLIC, so “democracy” has NOTHING to do with a Republican Government. I did not serve my Country to have it turn into an Oligarchy of a Pinheaded Despot and his 37+ Czars……….It is time to DEMAND, not ask politely, kissing the toes of Harry Reid, et Al…….We are the Sovereign….it is OUR COUNTRY and you had better REMIND YOUR LEGISLATORS that they WORK for you………not the other way around. It is documented that we have not had a Budget in over 1400 days……THAT is Taxation WITHOUT Representation……….
    Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dan-Williams/100000740775101 Dan Williams

    I always say: “No taxation without ADEQUATE representation.” What we have now is inadequate representation. So, henceforth, I will not vote for anyone who has not been endorsed by the Tea Party until I meet my demise.

  • daves

    Going back to the tax rates of the 90’s for top income earners is going to lead to European Socialism? Those are still very low compared to the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Were we European Socialists then?

  • Dennis Haggerty

    When Congress can pass a bill through legal trickery that 65-70% of Americans DO NOT want we no longer have representative government.

  • JacktheFAC

    I beg to differ with this article’s title. The people STILL have no representation. Oh, there are people who CALL THEMSELVES representatives, but they do not represent the PEOPLE, they just represent themselves, and the special money class.

  • John Spencer

    “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote”

    This, usually (but perhaps incorrectly) attributed to Ben Franklin, admirably distills the essence of the problem.

  • The_American_Way

    We (American tax payers) must come to the realization that the vast majority of our elected officials are cowards. They will not attack the problems such as “entitlements – government waste – government corruption – government inefficiency. The politicians know that if they do they will not get re-elected. This goes for Republicans just as much as socialist Democrats.

    I don’t know exactly where it happens but these politicians, once elected, lose their soul. They lose their direction. They lose their morality. Staying in office becomes more important than fixing the things they know are broken. Power becomes their elixir.

    Of course we all know that term limits would be a huge step in the right direction, but we also know these elected politicians will never vote term limits for themselves. That would require integrity and putting the American people ahead of their own self interests.

    Our government is broken and needs to be overhauled but sadly, it is not going to happen.

  • Dianna9490

    If all this tax crap happens – i’m quiting my job and only working for cash under the table. I’m joining the entitlement society! I am fed up Until this man is impeached – No one is going to stop him – we have all seen it this last 4 years and I’m sure the Dems Libs and Atheist love it! But I am fed up. The everyday regular American can’t trust anyone. Emails are just asking for donations to stand up for us – Yea right – they are all just getting richer off the taxpayers back. I will put the word Christ in Christmas and I really don’t care whom likes it!

  • Jack Parker

    How about NO representation without Taxation? We cannot survive a Santa Clause form of Gov’t. We can’t contiunue to allow deadbeats to determine our national fiscal and social policies.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6LE5GJQNKBUMSIWBTG2LMPFH4 Douglas

    The problem is that if others don’t care who is elected, as long as they get something out of it…and in many cases they have no connection to America one way or the other…representation isn’t a good thing either. We have so many in this country that has no interest to be an American, and show it by not speaking English, or dress as we do. They don’t don’t respect our country’s values! Yet they are encouraged to vote Democrat, and they are given gifts to do so! So it isn’t the practice that is wrong, it is the people elected to represent us that are wrong…to many lawyers in Washington! Look at O and his lack of concern that the American people should know him and what he actually stands for based on his history…but he hides this history from us..so in O’s case we have no idea who is Representing our collective interest!!! Goes to show you how far America has fallen…anyone can actually take control of our Nation…anyone regardless of his/her history or past (which is generally the same thing). good luck America you are going to need it…4 more years, 4 more years…Yes He Can, and thanks to you Yes He Will at His Will!!

  • freedomlvr

    John Birch Society was right all along
    EVERYBODY should view the 29 min vid called “Overview of America” That video will clearly demonstrate why America became the envy of the world. You can watch it in parts on YouTube or go to the JBS website and buy quantities of it for a $1… pass them out. Educating the people is our only hope to sustain the way of life we have and perhaps pass it on to other countries.

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