SB 1813 is titled, Transportation Research and Innovative Technology Act of 2012. BUT, just like the NDAA, this bill has become a Trojan horse for an assault on the protected rights of the people. Inserted deep within this bill, in section 40304, is a provision that gives the IRS the power to revoke your passport for a “seriously delinquent tax debt in an amount in excess of $50,000.” There appears to be no requirement for a judgment by a court; no conviction for fraud or evasion is required, only a “certification by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue”.
This is a violation of your right to due process. There is also no provision for Congressional review or approval, therefore this removal of your passport is facilitated by an unelected official who is completely immune from political control of the people. This is a prime example of Legislation without representation. Sure the Senate and House must pass it, but after that the people’s representation is completely removed and a regulatory agency becomes the dictator of the common born rights of PEOPLE. What does the IRS have to do with your passport? How can non-payment of taxes be the impetus to remove your proof of citizenship or your right to freely travel? Doesn’t the removal of your passport practically affect the status of your citizenship? Are we now forced to believe that common rights of Americans, inherited from our Universal Creator, are bought by our taxes? For if our Trade may be taxed why not our Lands? Why not the Produce of our Lands & every thing [sic] we possess or make use of? This we apprehend annihilates our Charter Right to govern & tax ourselves– If Taxes are laid upon us in any shape without our having a legal Representation where they are laid, are we not reduced from the Character of free Subjects to the miserable State of tributary Slaves? [Samuel Adams, May 15, 1764, Boston Record Commissioners' Report, vol. 16, pp. 120-122, emphasis added] Consistent with recent legislation attacking our Constutionally protected rights, this section is infested with overbroad and vague language. What does “seriously delinquent tax debt” mean? The language seems to imply that it is limited to debts of $50,000, but is it really? Must a debt be “seriously delinquent” in time AND be at least $50,000 in debt? There is no official definition to make this limitation. How long before we see the limits of the term “seriously delinquent tax debt” further expanded? If the monetary threshold is $50,000, what does it take to accrue a debt of $50,000 to the IRS? I personally know of a man who owed $10,000 to the IRS through no fault of his own; he received bad advice from his bank. His debt remained unknown to him for 3 years until the IRS sent him a notice that his original $10,000 debt is now upwards of $25,000.00 with fines and penalties. This man is no millionaire, but a middle class retired blue collar worker. And if the IRS can establish that $50,000 is the price of your rights, how long before that price becomes $20,000 or $10,000? When the IRS can take 3 years to notify someone of a debt, what happens when 3 years now equates to “seriously delinquent?” What if your livelihood requires this type of travel, does this not become a “debtor’s prison”
law that will prevent you from paying back your debt? There are fundamentally no limitations to the level of tyranny to be inflicted by this arbitrary and capricious law. In addition to the obvious constitutional violations of this law, I believe it is also an unconstitutional establishment of a Bill of Attainder. Bills of Attainder are unconstitutional by direct reference in the Constitution. No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, shall be passed. [Article I, Section 9; Clause 3] A bill of attainder is an act of the legislature declaring a person or group of person guilty of some crime and punishing them without benefit of a judicial trial. This bill is a bill of attainder. There is no requirement of conviction of fraud or evasion, no requirement of judicial judgment of debt before these rights are taken away. It is completely reasonable to believe that someone’s proof of citizenship can be revoked by the IRS even in cases of disputed debt. Bills of attainder are considered to be not only a revocation of habeas corpus but also a violation of separation of powers. These allow the legislative body to circumvent the judicial system in determining a person or group of people guilty of a crime. THIS LAW is even worse. Not only is it a violation of separation of powers, but Congress is transferring their power to an executive branch regulatory agency! The legislature is stealing power from the judicial system and then handing that stolen power to the executive branch for unrestrained, arbitrary, and capricious enforcement. I understand that “all experience hath shewn (sic) that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” [Declaration of Independence] But the blatant actions of our congress have become completely tyrannical in nature and, if I may borrow language from the English Bill of Rights, have become an attempt to overturn and completely destroy the laws and liberties of this country. Borrowing language from our Declaration of Independence; “A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.” When will we have suffered enough of the long train of abuses?