the Honest Tax Amendment

Resolved, that the United States Constitution be amended as follows: “All bills for raising Revenue shall state particularly for what purpose such Revenue shall be appropriated; and no Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of an Appropriation, made by Law, of taxes laid and collected for that particular purpose.”

2 thoughts on “the Honest Tax Amendment”

  1. pgepps

    Yeah, it was complicated to write, as well, but in modifying the language to add a requirement that revenue (taxes, but also fees) be raised only for clearly stated purposes, I had to close the loop to the Constitutional language about appropriations; that’s the only way to make the requirement have teeth (as it means Congress can’t raise money without stating exactly what it will be appropriated for *and* can’t use money that it doesn’t specifically appropriate for that purpose).

    The original language about appropriations is “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.”

    The expected objection to my change is that this will prevent Congress from spending as necessary in emergencies, but that’s actually a non-problem; all it has to do is pass an emergency bill that both raises the revenue and spends it. Also, it doesn’t say they can’t raise revenue incrementally for a particular purpose (like, increasing taxes for defense spending 10% until current emergency spending is paid off). So it seems pretty commonsensical, to me.

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