‘Constitutional Sheriff’ Thinks States Can Nullify Federal Income Taxes

Richard Mack, the thoroughly deranged and self-declared “constitutional sheriff” who thinks county sheriffs are the highest authority in the country, also thinks that the states can nullify anything the federal government does, including the income tax.

There isn’t anything that’s going on in our country today that the states can’t stop,” Mack said, encouraging states and counties to refuse to take federal funds and refuse to direct money to the federal government.

“And even spending,” he said. “You want to balance the budget? Get the governors together and the state legislatures together and tell them, ‘This is how it’s going to be from now on, we’re not going to send you this and we’re not taking this, we’re not going to do this, and we might even tell the citizens, we might even pass a law in Arizona to nullify federal income tax.’ That would be courageous, wouldn’t that? It would also be a lot of fun.”

“Who asserts the 10th Amendment? Who has the constitutional and moral and ethical obligation to enforce the 10th Amendment? Is that the federal government’s job? They’re destroying it. Who’s going to stand and enforce and defend the 10th Amendment? It’s us,” he said later in his talk. “We retain everything else that’s not given to them. If we don’t hold onto it, and we’ve allowed them to take it, we have to take it back. And hopefully we have the courage and the smarts and the wherewithal to keep this process peaceful. And if we get a lot of people doing it, and a lot of states doing it, and a lot of governors doing it, and a lot of sheriffs doing it, and a lot of counties doing it, it will remain peaceful. And that’s why my whole thing has been, we take back America county by county and state by state.”

Here’s a pretty good rule of thumb: If you hear someone declare themselves to be a “constitutionalist,” there’s a better than even chance that they have no idea what that document actually says or means. The power of the federal government to collect income taxes is explicitly stated. Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 says:

The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.

And Article I, Section 9, Clause 4 says:

No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

But the latter was rescinded by the 16th Amendment, which says:

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

It doesn’t get any more explicit than that. There is zero ambiguity. But for radicals like Mack, they falsely imagine themselves to be defending the Constitution that they know nothing about.

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  • brucegee1962

    I believe the argument in wingnuttia is that the 16th amendment isn’t properly ratified:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_protester_Sixteenth_Amendment_arguments

    What do you want to bet that Arizona is one of those states that takes in more money from the Federal Government than it pays in taxes?

    I suspect that any country that seceded these days via its legislature might be allowed to go.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/mrupright Mr. Upright

    But Ed, you ignore the 10th amendment, which says,

    Any powers delegated to the United States in, or by future amendment to, this Constitution shall be void of a County Sheriff deems it so.

    Case closed.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    He’s right. We don’t need the UnConstitutional Income Tax. DC takes our state’s money, and after they take their cut they hand the rest back to the states, some of which get back more than they put in! States like Ariz…forget what just I said.

  • raven

    This is covered under the Alice section of the US constitution.

    Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

    It’s the guiding principle of the Oath Keepers, Sovereign Citizens, the GOP, and fundie xianity.

  • Larry

    Let me know how that works out for ya, sheriff. You should be able to buy postcards in the prison gift shop.

  • John Pieret

    Larry:

    Let me know how that works out for ya, sheriff.

    He could always ask Kent Hovind …

  • John Hinkle

    …we might even pass a law in Arizona to nullify federal income tax.’ That would be courageous, wouldn’t that? It would also be a lot of fun.

    Remind me not to purchase the home schooling curriculum they used on this guy.

  • busterggi

    In Right-Win-Nuttia the Constitution is only a state of mind.

  • raven

    In Right-Win-Nuttia the Constitution is only a state of mind.

    They treat the constitution like they treat their magic bible book.

    Claim their beliefs come from the constitution knowing that no one will actually check (or care) and find out they are just makiing stuff up.

    Scientists: Earth Endangered by New Strain of Fact-Resistant Humans – The New Yorker

    Mack is a fact-resistant human.

  • eric

    But for radicals like Mack, they falsely imagine themselves to be defending the Constitution that they know nothing about.

    They often defend what is really the Articles of Confederation. I.e., they claim the federal government can tax the states, but has no power to tax individual citizens or tell the states how they are to come up with that tax.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    Here’s another part of the Constitution that “constitutionalists” are willfully ignorant of:

    This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

  • Artor

    I like the way this man thinks. By all means, we should cut Arizona off from the public trough. As it is, Arizona receives $1.19 per tax dollar paid. They are a drag on the rest of the country. Let’s kick those freeloaders to the curb and let them figure out how to support themselves, since they don’t want to play nice with the other kids.