Conservatives in Congress over the last few years have actually done something that increased our liberty.
Things have changed a lot since 1913. There was no income tax, for starters. And even after 1916, once the income tax amendment had passed, there was still no automatic withholding by your employer. The responsibility was still up to the individual to send the IRS the taxes they owed each year. They didn’t automatically take it from your paycheck each month like they do now, through your employer. Wikipedia reports:
The Current Tax Payment Act [of 1943] compelled employers to withhold federal income taxes from workers’ paychecks and pay them directly to the government on the workers’ behalf.
You could also still exchange paper money for gold coins at your local bank. Just imagine this: swapping a $20 bill for a double eagle gold coin. Technically a coin worth $20 (face value), today it contains about $1200 worth of gold at the going market rates. That ended in 1933, when President Franklin Roosevelt signed an executive order confiscating all gold coins:
Executive Order 6102 is a United States presidential executive order signed on April 5, 1933, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt “forbidding the Hoarding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the continental United States”. The effect of the order, in conjunction with the statute under which it was issued, was to criminalize the possession of monetary gold by any individual, partnership, association or corporation.
WHAT WE’VE LOST
He did it so that the Federal Reserve, created in 1913, could inflate the money supply to expand federal government. The gold coin standard operating in America at the time restrained the Fed’s ability to inflate. It put economic authority in the hands of the citizens, in other words. Roosevelt stripped that authority from the citizens in 1933.
Lastly, there were no passports.
Anywhere in the West. Imagine travelling around America and Europe without needing a passport.
These incredible conditions were the result of small government and great individual liberty. They represent much of what we have lost, as well as the corrosive power that large government has on most everything it touches.
An important, conservative American sociologist named Robert Nisbet made an astonishing observation about the condition of American liberty before he died. He said this…