Earlier this week first term State Rep (and current State Senate candidate) Kris Jordan introduced one of the most misguided, wingnutty, over-the-top pieces of legislation I have seen in a long, long time.

HB 496 would “assert the state’s claim of sovereignty pursuant to the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution” which is crazy right wing loony talk for we don’t like the current administration and the federal legislation it supports so we’re not going follow any federal laws we disagree with.

Though the text of the bill never actually mentions the health care coverage mandate, that’s exactly what it intends to address.

And how does Mr. (yes, Kris is a guy) Jordan intend to prevent Ohioans from being forced to purchase health care coverage?

It seems obvious, doesn’t it: just have Ohioans pay all of their federal taxes to the state instead of to the IRS and then let the state decide what it wants to do with the money.

Seriously.

That’s what he is proposing.

I shit you not.

The bill would “require Ohio residents to remit federal taxes to the Treasurer of State” and “to require that those taxes be retained by the state for its own use”

Oh, and the bill also would “declare an emergency”…

This act is hereby declared to be an emergency measure necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety. The reason for such necessity is that the federal government, by repeatedly acting outside its constitutional limitations, is causing irreparable damage to the peace, health, and safety of the people of the state of Ohio. Therefore, this act shall go into immediate effect.

Mr. Jordan obviously hasn’t thought this one through. Specifically the cost.

Implementing a change like this would require hundreds if not thousands of new government employees and probably at least one new department to oversee the collection and distribution of federal taxes.

Then there’s the enforcement cost.

Oh and the legal costs as well – because at the end of the bill Jordan promises to pay for all of the legal fees, penalties and interest for any ohio resident resulting from their failure to pay proper federal taxes. Which, if this law was enacted, would pretty much be everyone in Ohio.

The state shall defend all civil and criminal actions brought against an Ohio resident by the federal government for compliance with this section, shall indemnify the Ohio resident for any tax, civil or criminal penalty or restitution, or interest the Ohio resident is forced to pay, and shall compensate the Ohio resident for any economic damages caused by the action. Any cost incurred or amount paid by the state pursuant to this section shall be certified to the director of budget and management.

For a guy who claims on his campaign website that “spending is out of control” you’d think he would spend a few minutes reviewing the potential cost of his proposals.

There’s always the possibility that this bill was never intended to be passed and it’s just political theatre on the part of Jordan. In which case Jordan is still wasting all of the taxpayer dollars required for transcribing the bill and paying lawmakers who have to debate it, posting the bill on the website, printing and distributing the bill, etc. All for a piece of legislation that was never intended to be seriously considered for passage.

With so many GOP candidates fighting each other over who can be the nuttiest tea party favorite, I’m surprised Jordan has put out a press release proudly pronouncing that he is saving the state by seceding from the union. That ought to win over some of those Tea Party ‘patriots’.

 
  • anastasiap

    The only “emergency” I see here is a potential fatal brain deficit in the Ohio Republocan Party.

  • mvirenicus

    potential? only ohio?

  • Pingback: Have Coffee Will Write » Blog Archive » MY COMMENTS…()

  • Shalom Joseph,

    I take it seriously when anyone disparages any of our Constitutional amendments and take particular umbrage when the discussion involves our Bill of Rights. The 10th Amendment is not some throwaway afterthought.

    I'm not agreeing with Jordan, but the 10th is there for a reason.

    In your view, when might a State rightly assert its Constitutional rights under the 10th?

    B'shalom,

    Jeff

  • Shalom Joseph,

    I take it seriously when anyone disparages any of our Constitutional amendments and take particular umbrage when the discussion involves our Bill of Rights. The 10th Amendment is not some throwaway afterthought.

    I'm not agreeing with Jordan, but the 10th is there for a reason.

    In your view, when might a State rightly assert its Constitutional rights under the 10th?

    B'shalom,

    Jeff

  • baggeroh

    I'm thinking that this would qualify as an act of rebellion and treason. Most federal mandates are covered under powers of interstate commerce. The way to challenge the law is through the courts, ie through the constitutional right of trial therefore still under the federal system and not in defiance of it.

  • Well certainly not to override another part of the constitution, specifically the sixteenth amendment…

    “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.”

  • Shalom Joseph,

    There is also a sense of primacy in the ordering of the amendments, although I recognize that they do hold equal legal sway.

    Imagine if the 10th had been placed first and the other nine moved down the line. The intent of the framers would clearly have been different.

    As to the 16th, what clearly was seen as a necessary action at the time, has become fraught with serious problems in subsequent years.

    Personally, I favor a flat tax on all net annual increases in revenue (not just income) regardless of the source and with no deductions levied on all individuals old enough to vote.

    (I don't think 16-year-olds should pay taxes since they are not yet part of the franchise. There is a huge loophole there, I realize — daddy can pay his 15-year-old daughter a multi-million salary — but I think that is a better start than our present tax code.)

    B'shalom,

    Jeff

  • Regardless of which national tax system you favor, do you really think the State of Ohio has the constitutional authority to override the IRS and instead directly collect all federally mandated income tax because some members of the state legislature disagree with recently passed federal laws?

    The tenth amendment “reserves” powers not delegated to the US by the constitution for the states – it doesn't guarantee or delegate these powers.

    More importantly the US Constitution – via the 16th Amendment – DOES delegate the power to collect income taxes to the US government. So the 10th amendment argument is ridiculous.

    I'm not saying we should ignore the 10th Amendment – though it is pretty weak and has rarely been used for any serious constitutional challenge – I'm just saying that it doesn't at all apply in this case.

  • Shalom Joseph,

    No. I clearly said that I do not agree with Jordan.

    My point is that we ought not to dismiss States' Rights arguments out of hand.

    B'shalom,

    Jeff

  • Agreed. I guess my second paragraph could seem like I was dismissing any and all states' rights claims.

    But I still stand by my claim that this bill, like all of other 10th amendment bills that have been proposed across the country in the past year and a half, is a waste of time and money and never was intended to be serious legislation.

    I would further add that proposed legislation like this is dangerous, extreme-right propaganda intended to fuel anti-Obama tea party activists and it is exactly the kind of legislation that will help drive more anti-government militia activity.

  • Shalom Joseph,

    Agreed.

    To any and all of those JD impaired types here, has the 10th ever played a role in any Supreme Court of the United States decisions?

    B'shalom,

    Jeff

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