Congressman Paul asks a witness (perhaps from the Treasury Department) to define what, exactly, is a dollar. It’s funny to see the witness hem, haw and squirm for a few seconds and finally BS his way out of actually defining the “dollar”. Curiously, Congressman Paul lets him off the hook. Nevertheless, it appears that government has no current definition for “dollars”.
But definitions are the “law” of the Law. You cannot know what a “law” means unless you know the definitions of the words used to express that law. How can anyone know the the meaning of a law that employs a word that is not defined?
The government’s inability to define the word “dollar,” raises an interesting possibility. Suppose the IRS asked you to pay a certain number of “dollars” in tax liabilities and you asked the IRS for a legal definition of the “dollar”.
This isn’t a frivolous question. There are a number of number of national currencies that are called “dollars”. For example, I believe that Zimbabwe uses a “dollar” as its national currency. Given that there are several different kinds of “dollars,” which one does the IRS refer to?
Presumably our tax bills are denominated in “US dollars,” but what is the legal definition of that term? If the IRS were trying to collect for 100,000 undefined “dollars” what would that mean? How would that differ from trying to collect for 100,000 undefined “qlerks”? Aren’t I entitled to know the “nature and cause” of accusations against me? How can I know the “nature and cause” if the key word in the accusation is undefined? Don’t I have a right to sufficient notice of the allegations against me? If someone claims I owe them some “dollars” aren’t I entitled to know what “dollars” means?
Again, definitions are the law of the law. To paraphrase President Clinton’s famous observation, “It all depend on what the meaning [definition] of ‘dollars’ is.”
So, what is the legal definition of the current “dollar”? Is there a definition in the United States Code? What are the legal implications if the word “dollar” is not defined?
Congressman Paul claims the the only definition for the “dollar” that he’s found in the United States Code is “371 grains of silver”. 371 grains = about 0.85 ounce.
The current bullion price for silver is about 40 undefined “US dollars” per ounce. Given that a real, legally-defined “dollar” is about 0.85 ounce of silver, then a real defined dollar (0.85 ounce of silver) is currently worth about 0.85 x $40 (undefined) = 34 undefined “dollars”.
This suggests that your income for last year (100,000 in undefined dollars) might also be described as 2,941 legally-defined dollars (100,000 undefined dollars/34 undefined dollars/defined dollar).
Given that we have a “graduated” income tax, the tax due on 100,000 undefined dollars may be a much higher percentage than the tax due on 2,941 legally-defined dollars. In fact, it’s possible that while a 20% tax rate might apply to 100,000 undefined dollars, the tax rate on 2,941 legally-defined dollars might be 5% or even 0%.
Would you rather pay 20% on 100,000 undefined dollars or 5% on 2,941 defined dollars?
Yes, if you calculated your taxes in defined dollars (371 grains of silver), you might have to pay in defined dollars (silver). But 5% of 2,941 defined dollars is about 147 defined dollars. Given that a defined dollar is 0.85 ounce of silver, 147 defined dollars = 125 ounces of silver. The current bullion price of silver (as denominated in undefined dollars) is 40 undefined dollars per ounce. Thus, 125 ounces of silver is currently priced at 5,000 undefined “dollars”.
Thus, the tax calculated in defined dollars might be just 25% of the tax calculated in undefined dollars. And if the graduated income tax required no payment whatsoever on an anual gross of 2,941 (defined) dollars, the real tax rate on those defined dollars might be zero.
I would agree that all of these calculations are fanciful and absurd–if the term “dollar” had a legal definition. But, because the modern “dollar” is not defined, these calculations may seem confusing and hard to believe, but they are are not irrational. They are simply reactions to the irrationality of government’s failure to define the dollar.
Congressman Paul’s inquiry into the definition of “dollars” goes to the heart of our entire governmental and economic system. If enough people began to demand a definition for dollars, the whole house of FRNs might collapse.
Think about that. Raising an issue about the “mere” definition of a single word might be enough to topple the whole system. No guns, no bombs, no violence. Simply make ‘em define the dollar and the whole damned system might collapse.
It’s all about words, ladies and gentlemen. It’s all about words. Insofar as you can master the language, you can master the system.
The first step on the road back to Liberty is to purchase a series of dictionaries and to begin to master the meanings of words.