Three-fifths of a person


Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller has been hopping up and down about a rumor that the discredited outfit ACORN will be involved in collecting Nevada data for the 2010 Census.

The rumor is false and could hamper Nevada’s efforts to count all its residents, which in turn could cost the state millions in federal funding, Mr. Miller worries.

How?

“The deliberate dissemination of this misinformation ... could cause some people to not respond to the census, thereby costing Nevadans tens of millions of dollars in federal funding,” Miller said.

For those plagued with short scandal attention span, several regional offices of ACORN -- the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now -- proved willing last year to help an undercover couple claiming to be interested in arranging federal mortgage assistance to set up a bordello full of illegal alien prostitutes. It’s not clear whether the deal also called for all the illegal alien prostitutes to register as Democratic voters, but it’s not much of a stretch, given ACORN’s Obama-saturated history.

What I find most interesting here, though, is the “costing Nevadans tens of millions of dollars in federal funding” part.

The Census was never intended to serve as a road map for distributing federal largesse, because there’s not supposed to be any federal largesse.
Yes, there are some legitimate federal functions that can end up dispersing federal excise receipts back within the several states -- building and maintaining post roads, for instance.

But those funds aren’t distributed per capita, and were never intended to be -- any more than federal dockyards and naval bases are assigned per capita, which would lead to such absurdities as Colorado and Illinois getting far more such facilities than Connecticut and New Hampshire.

The Census is intended to determine representation in Congress, and the amount each state will be billed -- and instructed to collect among its citizens, per capita -- should the federal government find itself in debt and in need of “direct taxes.”

An interesting subject for research would be whether the states actually collected those funds -- on the several occasions when this provision was used, such as to pay off the debt run up in the process of conquering the South in the early 1860s -- by assessing each RESIDENT, each TAXPAYER, or each VOTER.

If the practice was or would be to assess the tax against only voters, shouldn’t those who register to vote be warned they could eventually get a bill for their share of the national debt?

STRINGS ATTACHED

But the main point is that far too much of our wealth is already siphoned away to Washington, and then doled back to us in dribs and drabs -- with plenty of strings attached.

“You want your federal highway money? Well, hang on just a second, there, missy, till we check and see if you’ve enacted all the seat belt and drunk driving and speed limit and ‘photo ID’ laws just the way we want them.

“And now you also want your federal kickbacks to help fund your youth propaganda camps? Whoa, baby; let’s check to make sure you’ve set things up just the way the educrat unions want them, to guarantee your camps are as expensive, ineffective, and dumbed-down as required.”

Enough Nevadans are sick and tired of this doling back of federal kickbacks as a means of controlling our behavior that it’s Secretary of State Miller who could easily end up convincing folks to boycott the census, if they come to believe that doing so could have the effect of lessening the incursions here of the federal government, which currently claims to own and control 88 percent of Nevada’s land area (though, curiously, the federals can show no deed or bill of sale demonstrating those lands were “purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be,” as required in Article I Section 8 of the Constitution.)

Unlike me, let me hasten to add. The enumeration of persons in these United States is a legitimate function of the central government. Yes, technically census workers are federal officials, but most have taken this misguided step only as a temporary measure and under considerable financial duress, given the mess Washington has made of our once-free economy.

They will surely be forgiven the onerous punishment which lies in store for any persons who earned the BULK of their lifetime pay as federal tax collectors.

COOPERATE, PLEASE

So cooperate, please. Tell them how many people live in your domicile -- and nothing else, since that’s all they’re authorized to ask.

If your home holds only two adults, for instance, and if you both pay out more than half your earnings in the form of taxes (income withholding tax doubled to include the “employer’s share”; property tax; sales tax; capital gains tax; Social Security tax; Medicare tax; extra road tax collected under the guise of “speeding tickets” for traveling at the prevailing speed of the traffic ... and don’t forget they’ll seize at least 45 percent of whatever’s left when you die) then your proper legal answer would be “Six fifths of a person lives here. Yep, that’s what I said, write it down -- 1-point-2 persons.”

For the Constitution is quite clear. The number of persons is to be determined by “adding to the whole Number of free Persons ... and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.”

After 1866, it became the custom to assume all persons were “free Persons,” and the habit of counting anyone as “three fifths of a person” fell into disuse.

But that was long before the invention of the income tax and -- even more insidious -- the “payroll withholding tax.”

Half a person’s gross income is more than the sharecroppers had to pay their former massa, in the bad old days of Jim Crow in the Deep South, more than a century ago.

Who can say with a straight face that anyone who finds half his substance now extracted by the government -- under threat of fine, property seizure, and imprisonment -- remains a “free Person”?

What’s that? We’re “free to vote against the taxes”? Wow. Which lever was I supposed to pull at the last election to repeal the income tax? I ALWAYS vote for candidates who swear they’re not going to raise our taxes. How’s that been working out for you?