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Income Tax and the Right to Privacy

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Brian S.
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I would hold that the income tax, besides being extortion, is also a violation of privacy. Specifically, the mandate to report all forms of your income to the government. Do you agree with this assertion? I am curious why I haven't heard this argument before.

Also, it seems to me that there is a clear constitutional violation of privacy as well. I know of no other area where the government is allowed to unilaterally demand such private information of citizens. Is there a legal argument here?

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I'm inclined to agree with about the income tax--if the income if either progressive or regressive. Lately I've been doing some research on the flat tax. Interesting idea, but with the liberals running Congress in both the Republican and Democratic parties, I'm not sure it will ever come to fruition. Time will tell. I'm reading the Taxing Ourselves, which takes up many sides of the issue of the progressive income and regressive income systems, then places the flat tax as a third alternative, with a myraid of other lesser known alternative ideas from across the political spectrum.

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It is a question of some debate whether or not the constitution confers a general right to privacy. It is a common misconception that there is an explicit "right to privacy" in the Constitution. There is no statement as such, only more limited provisions which confer rights to privacy over certain spheres (against unreasonable searches, over religious beliefs, etc). The ninth amendment was more than likely intended to confer a general right of privacy, along with many other rights, but it is not explicitly stated in that form.

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So, if the government demanded annual reports with information such as how many sexual partners you have had, how many purchases you made, how many minutes you slept…this would technically be legal?

It's just not expressly forbidden in the constitution. Some judges have ruled that the 14th Amendment's protection of "liberty" includes protection of privacy, but there's no direct statement of the right to privacy per se. For all I know, there are regular old Congressional laws against bureaucracies demanding such things; there's probably court precedent protecting a lot of that stuff too. All I'm saying is that the constitutional itself doesn't state it clearly one way or the other.

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I would hold that the income tax, besides being extortion, is also a violation of privacy. Specifically, the mandate to report all forms of your income to the government. Do you agree with this assertion? I am curious why I haven't heard this argument before.

Also, it seems to me that there is a clear constitutional violation of privacy as well. I know of no other area where the government is allowed to unilaterally demand such private information of citizens. Is there a legal argument here?

I have heard the argument before.

As has already been stated, the Constitution does not specifically guarantee a right to privacy.

The problem is, even if it did, that our government no longer follows the Constitution and in fact sees it as little more than a hinderance in furthering their agendas. And not much of a hinderance at that. Our progressive politicians have long been dragging the country into a European style "social democracy" which by definition does not regard individuals as having rights outside of the context of their place within the community.

Edited by SapereAude
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