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Federal Income Tax is Not Lawful—16th Amendment Never Properly Ratified


By:  David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, April 10, 2019


   When the Constitution for the united States was being debated, the anti-federalists opposed it because they feared too much power would concentrate in the hands of the Federal government.  While their side lost and the Constitution was ratified, their fears have been shown to be well-founded as the U.S. government today operates essentially as an organized crime syndicate when it comes to enforcing and collecting the Federal Income Tax on behalf of the private, run for profit, Federal Reserve Bank—which, despite its name, is not a branch of the Federal government.

   The Constitution never authorized a progressive income tax directly on the people in the States—that was one of the powers the people did not want to give the new central government because they were concerned about how that type of power would be abused by it. However, in 1909 an amendment to the U.S. Constitution was proposed to allow that which was never authorized—a direct tax on people’s income.

   Based on research by Bill Benson and Red Beckmen, in their co-authored two volume book set, The Law That Never Was, it was discovered that at least four states in the union at the time that were purported to have ratified, either improperly ratified the so-called “Income Tax Amendment” or failed to ratify it at all, thus making the amendment null and void, and the enforcement of that tax has been arbitrary and illegal ever since.

   Hardly a tax-protesting kook, Benson was a retired investigator with the Illinois Department of Revenue. According to the authors’ website, in 1984, Benson began an investigation of the process of ratification of the 16th Amendment, to determine if the amendment had been lawfully made a part of the constitution. He set about to review all documents stored in various state archives, state law libraries, legislative libraries and offices of the secretaries of states, clerks of the houses and secretaries to the senates, that related to the method by which the States in the American Union in 1913 allegedly approved the amendment as a part of the constitution. Benson spent a year traveling, at his own expense, to the state capitols to review those records

   The federal government rests its authority to collect income tax, from the people directly, on the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  However, less than twenty years earlier, in 1895, the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled that a similar federal income tax act adopted the year before was unconstitutional. This deprived the federal government of a lucrative source of tax revenue. In 1909, the 16th Amendment was proposed by Congress to circumvent that decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. By 1913, the process of ratification of the amendment was claimed to have been completed. Because of the purported legal existence of this amendment, the federal government lays claim to the power to collect this tax from the inhabitants of the States directly.

   After reviewing the records, Benson began to see that serious problems existed as to whether these states had legally ratified the same amendment which had been proposed by Congress. When examination of the records of about 20 states showed that many had not ratified the amendment and that information regarding the action taken by these States had been sent to the U.S. Secretary of State, he determined that records in the District of Columbia most probably existed to prove the point.

   In August 1984, Benson traveled to the District of Columbia to research the historical records in the National Archives. After several days of pursuing fruitless leads, he finally found a book that had contained within it all federal records which had been prepared during the process of amending the Constitution by the 16th Amendment. This proved to be an exceptional discovery because those documents revealed that a man named Philander Chase Knox, the Secretary of State in 1913, was fully aware that the amendment had not been ratified. After making this important discovery, Benson decided it was essential that he also study the records of all other states which the federal government claimed had ratified the amendment.

   In the Fall of 1984, Benson investigated the remainder of the states and completed the project on December 1984.  At the conclusion of his research, Benson found that not a single state had actually and legally ratified the proposal to amend the Constitution in the manner required by law. Such a conclusion obviously meant that the federal government lacked the power to legally impose and collect the federal income tax.

   According to the aforementioned website, “The federal government claims that the State of Kentucky was the second state to ratify the amendment, such action taking place on February 8, 1910. But, the records of the State of Kentucky reveal a far different picture. These records show that the Kentucky House proposed a resolution to adopt the amendment and then sent that resolution to the Senate in early February 1910. On February 8, 1910, the Kentucky Senate voted upon that resolution, but rejected it by a vote of 9 in favor and 22 opposed. The Kentucky Senate never did ratify that amendment, but federal officials, being in possession of documents showing this rejection, fraudulently claimed otherwise.”

   “A second interesting situation involves the State of Oklahoma. Here, this proposed amendment was passed by the Oklahoma House and the language of the resolution perfectly matched the one passed by Congress. However, the Oklahoma Senate obviously disliked what Congress had proposed, so it amended the language of the 16th Amendment in such a fashion as to have a precisely opposite meaning. After all was settled and done in Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Legislature wanted an amendment which meant something entirely different than that which was proposed by Congress.”

   “What happened in California reveals a comedy of errors. That legislative assembly never recorded any vote upon any proposal to adopt the amendment proposed by Congress. However, assuming that a nonexistent vote was taken, whatever California did adopt bore no resemblance to what Congress had proposed. And many states engaged in the unauthorized activity of amending the language of the amendment proposed by congress, a power that these states did not possess.”

   “The State of Minnesota sent nothing to the Secretary of State in Washington, but this did not deter Philander Knox as he claimed that Minnesota ratified the amendment regardless of the absence of any documentation from the State of Minnesota.”

  So the whole amendment process was a complete joke since the U.S. Secretary of State was simply arbitrarily declaring States to have ratified the amendment who had done no such thing.  The reason for this can be speculated to be purely political since the U.S. government was set to pass the Federal Reserve Act later that year, granting the power over the U.S. money supply to a private consortium of for-profit banks called the “Federal Reserve.”  The Income Tax was designed to collect interest payments on behalf of the Federal Reserve on the soon to be issued, fraudulent Federal Reserve Notes, which were never authorized in the U.S. Constitution to circulate as money - and no amendment has ever been offered, or passed, to do the same.

   The U.S. Constitution requires that three-fourths of the States ratify any amendment proposed by Congress. “In 1913, there were 48 States in the American Union, so to adopt any amendment required the affirmative act of 36 states. In February 1913, Knox issued a proclamation claiming that 38 states had ratified the amendment, including Kentucky, California and Oklahoma. But, as previously shown, Kentucky had rejected the amendment, California had not voted on it and Oklahoma wanted something entirely different. If just these 3 states are excluded from the count of those which ratified, then the amendment was not legally adopted, the number of ratifying States being only 35. But, then again, a total of 11 states even failed to vote on the amendment, 33 changed the language of the amendment and Minnesota sent in nothing. If the process of the adoption of the amendment is subjected to strict legal scrutiny the so-called federal income tax amendment was not adopted by any of the states.”

     After reviewing this thesis in the two volume book set, The Law That Never Was, the American public began to understand the illegal and fraudulent nature of the federal income tax.  The U.S. government, attempting to maintain the fraud and keep their cover story intact pushed back.   On January 10, 2008, the Federal District Court in Chicago issued a permanent injunction against Bill Benson on the grounds that by offering information demonstrating that the 16th Amendment was not legally ratified, he was promoting an abusive tax shelter. The Court then predictably refused to look at the government-certified documentary evidence, deciding instead that the facts necessary to prove his statements true were “irrelevant.”

   When it comes to stealing money, the U.S. government now does what it wants with a wink and a nod from government-run court systems and an acquiescent and compliant army of police officers and bureaucrats who do what they're told because “it's their job.”

   This is the type of government behavior the anti-federalists tried to warn the public about prior to the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, which granted so much power to the central government. But the pro-Constitution Federalists were able to win the day with a compliant press succumbing to the will of its advertisers and wealthy businessmen to stifle nearly all written opposition to that document. 

    “This is not 1985, we now live in a world with drone assassinations, exiled whistle-blowers, torture in secret prisons, bodyscanners, and 100% surveillance,” writes Kelly Snyder in a review of the book set on Amazon.  “Before you run off to join the tax protesters, remember rule #1:  if the government does it, that means that it is not illegal. Whether the amendment was passed correctly or not is totally irrelevant.”

  While the cynical view of Snyder is correct on its face, this does not negate the fact that people in the U.S. are now suffering under a totally illegitimate money system, federal taxation system and government that is no longer held accountable to its own laws. 

   Since the Congress has no jurisdiction to enforce its laws in the several States, and the 16th amendment was never properly ratified anyway, the U.S. government relies on fear and intimidation; threats of jail and loss of property in order to coerce the inhabitants of the several states to voluntarily admit to being “U.S. Persons” on W-4 and W-9 forms and subsequently volunteer to pay the otherwise illegitimate federal income tax—a tax, that if the courts systems were truly independent, would never exist to begin with.