We live in interesting times, don’t we?
Just a month ago, with our economy humming along, our attention was on March Madness, and the upcoming baseball season.
Now we are occupied with COVID-19 and “social distancing”.
I think we can all agree that this has happened very quickly and reactively, and the attitude of government officials is that they must take whatever actions necessary to intervene in the economy, as well as to dictate our comings and goings.
What is concerning me most in the public discourse is any reference to the authority, and the limits of authority, by which governments are acting.
In many instances, one might say that under the banner of emergency, our liberties are being redefined as privileges by government rather than as gifts of God.
For example, I have found it very helpful to listen and act on the warnings of state and federal officials regarding the dangers of personal contact.
However, I can find no authority for governors to declare edicts that restrict gatherings to ten persons, attaching stiff criminal penalties for those who do not comply with the suggestion.
Let me explain. In the state of Ohio, IOTC’s Chapter Leader Ricki Pepin identified:
“An EXECUTIVE ORDER is legally applicable when used to execute existing laws. No authority is given to an Ohio governor to make law. Governor DeWine’s illegal order to destroy free enterprise by closing businesses, public or private, is contrary to state law.”
“Ohio’s lawmaking responsibility is given to the General Assembly by mandate of our state constitution. A specified process is addressed for the declaration of an emergency action that is necessary ‘for the immediate preservation of…health or safety;’ however, executive order is not involved in the process.”
“Emergency legislative action remains in the hands of the General Assembly.”
“Regardless of a citizen’s viewpoint regarding the value of such a shutdown, blanket acceptance of any autocratic actions opens the door to limitless control by a single, renegade official.”
This is the stuff that children’s movies are made of…remember A Bugs Life? Fievel Goes West? Star Wars?
It seems like only yesterday that President Trump firmly declared, “America will never be a socialist country”.
In an abrupt departure from his earlier rhetoric, the president is now engaged in promoting a whirlwind of socialist schemes including a multi-trillion dollar plan to make direct payments to families and individuals along with bailouts for both small and large businesses.
There is, of course, no authority granted to him by the Constitution to do these things, but that doesn’t seem to matter to anyone in Washington anymore.
In the name of emergency, elected officials have jettisoned the rule of law.
I will certainly acknowledge that there is an emergency and a crisis. Therefore, I want to make a suggestion that would put much-needed cash in the hands of hardworking everyday Americans in a way that is not only fair but constitutional — that is to say — lawful.
Here the plan:
- Immediately suspend the collection of withheld taxes as well as estimated taxes.
- Rebate to taxpayers all payments by them made so far for the tax year 2020.
- Rebate to every taxpayer the amount of taxes paid in 2019.
- Make a subsequent determination regarding rebating tax payments from 2018 and earlier.
This is an eminently fair way to deal with all parties.
And, it is a lawful plan.
And, because the IRS already has the data, it is doable.
AND, best of all, it is NOT socialist.
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- The supreme executive power of this state shall be vested in the governor. (Constitution of the State of Ohio; Article III, §5)
- The legislative power of the state shall be vested in a General Assembly consisting of a Senate and House of Representatives but the people reserve to themselves the power to propose to the General Assembly laws and amendments to the constitution, and to adopt or reject the same at the polls … (Constitution of the State of Ohio;Article II, §1)
- …emergency laws necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety, shall go into immediate effect. Such emergency laws upon a yea and nay vote must receive the vote of two thirds of all the members elected to each branch of the General Assembly, and the reasons for such necessity shall be set forth in one section of the law, which section shall be passed only upon a yea and nay vote, upon a separate roll call thereon… (Constitution of the State of Ohio;Article II, §1d)