Taxation With or Without Representation?
Apr 15, 2010
By Matt Bogard
Some people have claimed that Tea Party activists are ignorant of history because the original Boston Tea Party was a response to their taxation without representation, while it seems obvious that we all have representation today.
The issue is not historical ignorance, but constitutional ignorance, and it's not on behalf of Tea Party goers. When we elect our senators and representatives to represent us, they are to represent us in all things authorized by the specifically enumerated powers in the Constitution. In essence, the Constitution represents our common will and personal interests.
When our elected officials violate our will by voting for policies that are contrary to Constitutional principles they are no longer representing us in good faith and we have lost the most important form of representation that we have, the Constitution.
When we have to pay taxes to support these policies, we have literally, taxation without representation. They are no longer representing our interests, but serving special interests or their own.
Some will go so far as to say that language in the Constitution relating to promoting the general welfare and regulating interstate commerce assure us that many of these questionable policies are Constitutional. However, this is based on court cases like Helvering v. Davis (1937)
or Wickard v. Filburn (1942)
, but both of which were based on the dubious logic of supreme court justices, making heroic interpretations beyond the cognitive meaning of the actual Constitutional text. This is what economist Thomas Sowell has referred to as ‘the quiet repeal of the American revolution’ and represents a transfer of power away from the people to government and unelected judges and bureaucrats. True taxation WITH representation implies that our elected officials represent us only in those matters that are authorized by the Constitution.