Copyright 2012 by John T. Reed

One of the battle cries of the American Revolution was

No taxation without representation.

Makes sense. If you make a person pay taxes, you have to let him decide how much and how the money is spent.

Too far the other way

But we have gone way too far the other way.

49.5% of the American people now pay no federal income taxes.

The “Occupy” crowd had a lot to say about the 1% and the 99%. They had nothing to say about the 49.5% and the 50.5%. I am in the 99% (this year) and the 50.5%.

The Revolutionary battle cry implies a corollary:

No representation without taxation.

Simply, if you pay no taxes, stay the hell home on election day. And don’t let the polling place door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Head tax is better but…

First off, my real tax plan is a head tax. Every adult pays the same dollar amount regardless of income. See my web article about it at

But if we are going to continue the current system, instead of adopting my head tax, we must adopt the principle of no representation without taxation.

At present, voters get to elect politicians who promise the voters more freebies and lower taxes or even cash tax “refunds”—grants actually—to those who paid no income tax.

If only actual taxpayers vote—the top 50.5%—they will be less likely to reduce the taxes of the nonpayers—through grants—and less likely to vote for politicians who bribe voters with freebies.

Binding referendums

My head tax also calls for annual national binding referendums to decide the annual federal budget. No more Congress/politician involvement with that. Those guys will spend our great grandchildern’s money if we don't stop them soon.

If you pay no taxes, you may not vote on the referendum. We are not interested in your opinions on how much money to spend or tax. You have “no standing” as they say in litigation. We won’t tax you without giving you a chance to choose your elected representative, but since we are not taxing you at all, you are not being subjected to taxation without representation. No taxation; no representation. Stay home.

The way it was when the country was founded

It sort of used to be this way during the time of the Founding Fathers. About the only tax back then was property tax. Only property owners were allowed to vote. Wikipedia put it this way:

When the country was founded, in most states, only white men with property were permitted to vote (freed African Americans could vote in four states).

Not letting blacks vote then was consistent with the Constitution and the slavery laws. Not letting women vote was consistent with the legal fact that wives and children were considered chattels of the husband/father back then. Obviously blacks and women should be allowed to vote, but under my proposed modification, only if they pay taxes.

Defense surtax on property

As you read in my head tax article, one reader said there should be a equal head tax on everyone for all federal expenses plus a property value surtax for defense only. I am not sure I agree with the need to tax property for defense rather than just people. But accepting that principle for the sake of argument, only property owners—men, women, blacks, et al.—can vote on the defense property surtax.

Only income taxpayers can vote in the referendum on the main head tax; only property owners on the defense property value surtax.

Simple. Fair. Logical. And based on a principle right from the Founding Fathers who never anticipated the welfare state.

John T. Reed