I always enjoy asking a question and getting an answer that directs the subject in another direction because the person you question doesn’t want to answer the question at hand. This is what appears to have happened when I questioned House Representative Mick Mulvaney about the 5th Amendment. The Congressional two-step begins.
Under the 5th Amendment you are under NO obligation to tell the government anything that they may one day use against you in court so how can congress pass a law that says you have to tell them something? You would think asking a lawyer about this would be a simple question. But No.
Mulvaney starts with “I get this question a lot.” but proceeds to go back to the 2nd Amendment because I used the CWP as an example. My question was about the 5th. When I finally get him to speak to the 5th Amendment he states, “The social convention over the course of the last 200 years is we are willing to make some limitations on our own [rights].” WHAT? “Social convention” is a reason for the government to step on my rights? Where is that spelled out in the Constitution? He continues, “You can waive any of your Constitutional rights”. Actually you can’t but that was an argument for another time. But even if I could where does it say I have to in order to appease government? Because that is now “the social norm”? Really Mick?
Later I questioned him again. And again he dances. This time the question went to the 16th Amendment and the Supreme court ruling that the 16th Amendment gave Congress no new taxing authority. He does go into a story about a college professor who said he would give an automatic A on an exam to any student who can show the section of the code that says you have to pay an income tax.
So what does the code say…
“Title 26 CFR Ch. 1 (4-1-03 Edition) (iii) The purpose of publishing revenue rulings and revenue procedures in the Internal Revenue Bulletin is to promote correct and uniform application of the tax laws by Internal Revenue Service employees and to assist taxpayers in attaining maximum voluntary compliance by informing Service personnel and the public of National Office interpretations of the internal revenue laws, related statues, treaties, regulations, and statements of Service procedures affecting the rights and duties of taxpayers. Therefore – issues and answers involving substantive tax under the jurisdiction of the Internal Revenue Service will be published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin.”
I have been to several of these Town hall meetings and always leave feeling like I just danced with a master. Is it the lawyer or the politician I just danced with? Is there a difference? But Mick was right. Social convention does allow for a lot of things that an informed populace would stand against. Or at least one would hope they would.
He may not like my questions but at least he is willing to listen and put himself out there.