Taxation Without Representation

by C. E. Tibbles
Chapter XXXIII from Book of Letters: How to Make Best of Life vs. Woman Suffrage

At the commencement of the agitation for Woman Suffrage, the agitators offered as their main complaint that women who owned property were taxed without representation.

It is claimed by the advocates of Universal Suffrage that our forefathers established the doctrine in opposition to taxation without representation by declaring the Colonies independent of Great Britain because they were subjected to taxation without representation. This, it is claimed by suffragettes was set forth in the Declaration of Independence, but upon examination, we find that our forefathers made no such complaint in the Declaration of Independence, which sets out all the reasons why they declared themselves independent of the Crown and established an independent nation of their own. They could not make any such claim, because the inhabitants of the Colonies did have representation.

The Colonies elected their representatives for the purpose making laws for their home government and those representative who made the laws, represented the colonies to the Crown, there fore they had representation through men of their own selection However, Great Britain appointed a Governor who had the power to veto and no law went into effect until the governor passed it b affixing his signature.

The taxation referred to in the Declaration of Independence was not taxation levied by a government on its individual citizens, but was a business matter transacted between the government of the colonies in America and Great Britain proper and not between a individual and a government, and for that reason, the taxation o property owned by women in the United States cannot be compared to taxes levied by one government on another.

The representatives of the Colonies offered complaint Crown for the imposing of taxes without their consent. However, they did not ask that the citizens of the Colonies be made electors in Great Britain proper because they paid taxes.

The right of suffrage and taxation of property are two different and distinct propositions and cannot be linked together as if the were one.

The principle of taxation of property is not in any way connected with the qualifications for suffrage.

Suffrage was bequeathed to the male sex by their forefather among whom were the signers of the Declaration of Independence which shows that the signers of the Declaration of Independence did not believe that taxation and the suffrage was one and the same proposition.

The bequests or wills of great statesmen made in favor of future generations are embodied in the laws they place upon the statute books, and had the signers of the Declaration of Independence believed that the payment of taxes was a qualification for suffrage, THEY WOULD NOT HAVE COMPELLED aliens to pay taxes until they were given the right of suffrage, but this they did. They also compelled those aliens who were paying taxes to obligate themselves in their primary applications for naturalization, to become LIABLE FOR DUTY IN THE MAINTAINENCE OF SOCIAL ORDER, and later to take the oath of allegiance to the government of the United States, part of which reads as follows: "THAT I WILL SUPPORT AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION AND LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES AGAINST ALL ENEMIES, FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC, AND BEAR TRUE FAITH AND ALLEGIANCE TO THE SAME." This obligation grants him the right of suffrage at once and he can cast his vote on the same day on which he takes the oath; and there is not one word mentioned in the obligations required of a foreigner about the payment of taxes. This shows that suffrage and the payment of taxes are not in any way connected.

Any foreigner twenty-one years of age who has been honorably discharged from the army of the United States, does not, in order to vote, have to become naturalized the same as a foreigner who has not served in the army is required to do. He is granted the right of suffrage at once because he served in the army as a soldier for the United States, which positively proves that the qualification for suffrage is ability and willingness to bear the burdens of the government by going to war if necessary.

We have no law for the naturalization of women who immigrate to this country such as we have for men, this because they could not comply With the obligations required of men to become electors. They could not go to battle in defense of our Constitution and laws. However, if they have property, our government taxes that property without asking their consent, the same as it does that of male aliens, also that of all non-residents.

These unnaturalized women are awarded all the privileges of an elector and they are protected by our laws, just as certainly as they would be if they had the suffrage. They are not granted the suffrage because they cannot comply with the duties of an elector; therefore, they remain subjects of the foreign countries in which they were born, but are entitled to all the privileges of this government which our American born women enjoy. However, should a woman immigrant marry an American citizen, she would become an American at once and her allegiance to her native country would cease, thus our laws sustain the teachings of the Bible, the principle of the "family unit."

These are the laws left to us by the signers of the Declaration of Independence which do not give to any one the right of suffrage because they pay taxes.

The Woman Suffrage Agitators of the United States asking for suffrage claiming that they purchase it through the payment of taxes, which makes the two complaints, one by the representatives of the Colonies and the other by individual women altogether different propositions. There is so much difference between them that there can be no comparison whatever.

The taxation complained of by the colonies was first, a stamp tax similar to the stamp tax we had in the United States during and long after our Civil War. In order to make an official transaction legal, the United States Stamp Law made it imperative that the papers be stamped. If one person gave another his note, it would have to be stamped or the amount of the note could not be collected. If a check was given on a bank it had to be stamped or it would not be paid by the bank, and so on with all private and official papers. The cost of the stamps varied in amount in proportion to the number of dollars involved in the transaction. The second complaint was an export duty charged by Great Britain, which is the same in effect as a tariff and which advanced the price of material used by the Colonies. The complaint of taxation through tariff is not unheard of in this country today, but it is not regarded as a sufficient cause for revolution.

I quote below the important complaints made in the Declaration of Independence against the King of England, which complaints were given to show that the Colonies had good cause to de themselves a free and independent nation. It sets out twenty complaints showing ALL the reasons why they should do so, at I give eleven of those complaints, including all that is said in about taxation. As the Colonies had representation, nothing said about it.

The reader will readily understand when he reads the char made against the King of England that there would have been rebellion by our forefathers had they not been oppressed in any other way except by excessive taxation, and that taxation without representation is not mentioned in the Declaration of Independence and that taxation without representation was not the cause of our Revolutionary War as claimed by the suffragists.

Excerpts From the Declaration of Independence.

"The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having, in direct object, the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these States. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world:

"He has obstructed the administration of justice by REFUSING HIS ASSENT to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

"He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

"He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies, without the consent of our legislatures.

"He has affected to render the military independent of, and superior to, the civil power.

"For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

"For protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment, for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these States:

"For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

"For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

"For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering, fundamentally, the powers of our governments:

"HE HAS ABDICATED GOVERNMENT HERE, by declaring us out of his protection, and WAGING WAR AGAINST US.

"For imposing taxes on us without our consent."

I would gladly publish the full text of the Declaration of Independence, but want of space forbids.

There is no such doctrine as taxation of its people by a government without giving them representation, referred to in the Declaration of Independence and the fact of the people of the United States listening with patience to such hollow arguments, when positively disproven by the Declaration of Independence, goes to show that the busy men of this country have paid but little attention to the proposition of Woman Suffrage.

The claim that the Declaration of Independence states that taxation without representation was the cause of our Revolutionary War, is so absurd and unwarranted that I deem it unnecessary to write at length upon the subject. However will call the reader's attention to the fact that the laws of the United States and the plan of the construction of its government is very much like that of England, especially that part which takes into the Union a territory and makes it one of the states.

For illustration, in an early day the territory which is now known as the State of Nebraska, was a wild, unsettled country. A few trappers and hunters located there; others followed, but the Indians harassed the settlers and the United States sent it's soldiers into that territory, built forts and protected the white people. As soon as the whites were assured of protection by the presence of the Army, they migrated and the territory was rapidly settled. After there were a certain number of white people in the territory, the government of the United States appointed a Governor for it and the people of that district elected a territorial legislature which made laws for the government of the territory of Nebraska.

At that time the territory which is now known as the State of Nebraska, stood in relation to the government of the United States practically the same as the Colonies of the United States stood in relation to Great Britain. The government of the United States did not admit senators into the Senate from Nebraska territory. Great Britain did not accredit a member to Parliament from the Colonies but the territory of Nebraska was represented to the government of the United States through its legislature, and the appointed governor.

The Colonies were represented through their legislatures and the appointed governor to the Crown of Great Britain the same as Nebraska was represented in the United States and no one would deny the tact that the territory of Nebraska was represented although the territory was not accredited with members of The Congress. Any one who studies this matter will not deny the fact that the Colonies were represented to Great Britain by their legislators and governors, this after reading the Declaration of Independence which shows that many requests were presented to the King through the legislatures for the Colonies. Some were granted and many refused. And the fact of the King refusing to grant them does not show that the Colonies were not represented, but, on the other hand, shows that the Crown did consider the requests made by the representatives of the Colonies, which act acknowledges them as the representatives of the Colonies.

To go further with this illustration, will say that a territory in the United States cannot be admitted as a state until it has a certain number of inhabitants, and states only are accredited with members of The Congress. When the proper number of inhabitants are obtained, the legislature of the territory submits to the people a Constitution for their consideration. After it has been voted upon and ratified, that constitution is then presented through their territorial legislature to the government of the United States, and if approved by it, the territory is then admitted into the Union as a state, after which time it is accredited with United States Senators and Congressmen which the state elects and sends to The Congress.

This plan was followed by Great Britain and as the Colonies had not formed a Union, they were independent of each other. Not one of them had a sufficient number of inhabitants to be entitled to, a member in Parliament, but that fact does not show that they were not represented. The people of a territory in the United States are represented, and so were the Colonies of America represented to Great Britain.

Fifty-six of the wisest and most noted men of America, representatives of the Colonies, signed the Declaration of Independence in which all the grievances and complaints against Great Britain were set out and made public for the purpose of showing the world they had good cause for declaring the Colonies independent of Great Britain. If taxation without representation had been a cause for complaint, it would have been mentioned in-the Declaration of Independence, and I am proud to associate my thoughts with those of these wise men in opposition to the claim made by those who believe in Woman Suffrage.

Should we say Great Britain did not give the Colonies of the United States representation because it did not accredit them with a member of Parliament, then we must say that the United States does not give our territories representation because they are not accredited with senators.

Should we say that the Colonies did not have representation, then we must say that our territories in the United States do not have representation. If we say the people of the Colonies were oppressed by export duty imposed by Great Britain, we must say that the people of our territories are oppressed by the tariff levied by the United States. If we say the people of the Colonies were oppressed by the Stamp Tax Law, we must say that the people in our territories were oppressed by the Stamp Tax Law enforced in the United States.

The signers of the Declaration of Independence understood this proposition thoroughly. They did not make mention of taxation without representation in the Declaration of Independence, because that statement would have been untruthful.

Referring to the complaints made by American women of taxation of their property, which they call "taxation without representation," will say that one government has a right to demand that another government shall not tax it without it's consent, but individuals have no right to demand that the government under which they live shall not tax their property without their consent. Still the women claim that their property should not be taxed without their consent and that they are upheld in that claim by the Declaration of Independence.

All governments, including that of the United States, tax the property of the inhabitants without their consent, and should they change that plan of taxation by only taxing the property of those who gave their personal consent, that would be the end of taxation, also the end of government.

Many of our citizens own property in foreign countries, and many foreigners who do not reside in this country own property in the United States, but those foreigners are not subjects of taxation without representation. In neither case do such persons pay any more taxes than those who have the right to vote. Nor have they ever complained that they were being taxed without representation.

All men who own property in a state in which they do not reside, know that property cannot be taxed for more in proportion to its value than the property of residents who have the suffrage. And to prevent such a possibility, the law has in some states created a Board of Review whither all those who are dissatisfied with the amount of their taxes may go and compare their assessments with those on other properties in the same locality. This gives them a chance to ascertain whether one property has been assessed at a higher rate than another. If such proves the case, the Board equalizes the assessments. From this it will be seen that it is impossible to compel a woman, an alien or non-resident, even if she does not have the right of suffrage, to pay any more taxes than a man resident. The Board of Review can be called upon either by a property owner or his representative.

The hue and cry of suffragettes, "Taxation without Representation," is a deception. There is no such thing carried on in the United States.

No woman who has taxable property is denied representation. She can send her representative to the COUNTY RECORDS to examine them and if her property has been assessed at a higher rate than other property in the same locality, she can, through her representative, demand a rebate equal to the excess taxation, and if the rebate is refused, she has all the rights of an elector in the matter of taxation and can go in person or send her representative before a court and compel the government to pay the refund. There is also the Board of Equalization before which she can, under the laws, appear in person or through her representative.

It should be remembered that the Colonies in this country as a body did not, through their representatives, ask Great Britain for suffrage as it is now asked for in the United States by the women. Every individual in the United States today, including the women, even those who are criminals and idiots have representation through our legislatures in all matters including that of taxation.

About one-half of the electors in the United States do not have their chosen representatives to hold office in this government, and where several different candidates are running for the same office, there is not more than one-third of the electors who have their chosen representatives in office, because where there are more than two candidates, one of them is elected by a plurality and the woman who pays taxes has no more cause for complaint of oppression because she pays taxes without being able to vote for her choice of the representatives than half of all the electors in the United States.

The President represents all the people of the United States. If he is a Democrat, he represents the Republicans the same as he does the Democrats and The Congress of the United States a so represents all the people. The Governor and the State Legislature represent all the people in a state.

Our legislators cannot pass laws for the benefit of the special ones who voted for them, without committing the crime of violating their oath of office. They could not select a few out of the many for whom they would make laws. The laws are made for the government of all the people, not specially for those who vote for the legislators.

There is only one way in which the voter whose choice of representative is elected, can be benefited more than the voter who voted for the unsuccessful one or the one who did not vote, that is, through friendship with the representative, he might obtain an appointive office in the government.

When all the reasons given by the women agitators for suffrage are sifted down, that one reason is the only one which prompts them to fight for Woman Suffrage. They WANT OFFICE but they are adroit enough not to admit it, still they must know that they are represented by our legislatures and the administration whether it be Republican or Democratic, and that all the laws must be obeyed by those whose choice of representatives are elected to the legislatures as well as by those who do not vote for those legislators.

I was personally acquainted and connected in business with two foreigners who immigrated to this country, both of whom refused to qualify for the suffrage by becoming naturalized. Those men were in fair financial circumstances and resided permanently in America.

They believed that they were represented by our legislators quite as well as those who voted and knew that they did not pay any more taxes than those who bad the suffrage, yet they had the advantage over the electors in that they could not be compelled to bear the burdens of this government by serving as soldiers in the army. They occupied the same position in relation to this government that the female portion of this country occupies and they preferred it to that of the elector.

If there was a war in progress today, I suspect that many of our young men would wish they had been born in foreign countries that they might, through the same process, attain to the desirable positions females now occupy.

I understand that Hetty Green, the wealthiest woman in the world, owning large properties in nearly every state in the Union, has never taken the trouble to vote. If she had thought it necessary in order to protect herself against fraud by excess taxation, certainly she would have exercised her right. She has a representative in each state who attends to taxation matters for her.

Claims made by the agitators of Woman Suffrage of oppression from taxation without representation have been proven to be mythical and farcical. They are also disproven by the fact that wherever the agitators have asked the legislatures, as has been the case in many states, for the right to vote on tax questions, laws have been passed without a murmur giving all women who owned taxable property, and desired it, that right. In every one of these states where suffrage has been granted those women who own property, I believe in fourteen of them, outside of Woman Suffrage States, the experiment has shown that the women cared little, if anything, about the right to vote on taxation matters. Indeed very few of them ever took the trouble to vote, thus proving that the argument about taxation without representation has no foundation.

The agitators for Woman Suffrage care nothing whatever about "Taxation without Representation," as they call it. They refuse to go before the legislatures and ask that the women of this country who have taxable property shall have the right to vote upon all questions relating to taxation of property, this because it would be granted them, and would prevent them from using "Taxation without Representation," as an argument for Universal Woman Suffrage.

When the suffragette agitators found that by simply presenting to the legislatures petitions for suffrage for those women who were subjects of taxation, that their requests were granted, they discontinued going before those bodies in the interests of only those women who own property. Nevertheless they still continue picking on the same deceptive claim of TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION for the purpose of misleading persons who do not understand the situation as it is. They ask for Universal Suffrage, which would give fifty thousand women of all classes the right to the elective franchise, to vote on all matters, BECAUSE ONE WOMAN OUT OF THAT FIFTY THOUSAND OWNS PROPERTY. The fact is, not one woman out of every fifty thousand owns taxable property; the disproportion is even greater than that, and more than one-half of those who own property oppose Universal Suffrage.

When a young lady and gentleman are married, the bride has voted for and elected the bridegroom her chosen representative; therefore, the wife is not deprived of representation. However, should she join the Woman Suffrage Movement she would then become a mugwump - a bolter. |