Thursday, July 2, 2009

California To Violate Article I Section 10 of The Constitution of the United States

In you didn't see it, the "news" is California ready to issue IOUs
The controller's office is set to begin printing the scrip this afternoon, the first time in 17 years. Some 28,742 IOUs worth $53.3 million will be sent, mostly to residents awaiting tax refunds.
Seems to be Unconstitutional to me....

Article I - Section 10 of The Constitution of the United States reads:

Powers prohibited of States

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

The interesting item in the list seems to be "Bill of Credit" which is has a legal definition explained as:
Bill of Credit
A bill of credit is some sort of paper medium by which value is exchanged between the government and individuals. Money is a bill of credit, but a bill of credit need not be money. An interest-bearing certificate that was issued by Missouri, and usable in the payment of taxes, was thus ruled to be an unconstitutional bill of credit.
So, it seems to me at least that the government of California is breaking their oath to The Constitution of the United States. Interestingly enough, Counterfeiting is a federal felony handled by the U.S. Secret Service. In fact, according to the US Secret Service website (emphasis mine):
1865 - The Secret Service Division was created on July 5, 1865 in Washington, D.C., to suppress counterfeit currency. Chief William P. Wood was sworn in by Secretary of the Treasury Hugh McCulloch.
So get to work boys and girls of the Secret Service, seems like you have a state full of criminals to go take down.

With that said, if anyone from California would like to send me one of these California issued IOUs, I certainly wouldn't mind using one (or more) to pay my federal and state income taxes this year... somehow I don't think that the US government would accept the IOUs as payments and taxpayers shouldn't either. If someone has written a new Constitution and we can all print legal tender again, please do let me know as I have a few rolls of toilet paper that I'd like to trade in for a Ferrari in California .

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