I love it. Another United States Senator admits that there is no standard definition of the U.S. dollar. How can that be? The dollar is a measurement unit. It measures the value of an item like an inch measures distance; an ounce measures weight, and a cup measures liquid.
“How many dollars will that flat screen television be,” you ask?
And the store clerk responds: “It depends on the day. We don’t currently have a standard definition for the U.S. dollar. But if you have an 27 one ounce U.S. legal tender silver dollar coins or 276, day old meat chickens or 449 Swiss chocolate bars or 900 Federal Reserve Note paper dollars. I can let you have it for any of those. Make me an offer. What have you got?”
How would you know the length of board or the height of your child if there was no standard value of an inch/foot/yard?
How many cups would be in a gallon if the cup was not “standard” and neither was the gallon?
How much weight would you need to lose if the ounce and pound could weigh as much stone or as little as a fly?
What would your life be like if there was no “standard definition” of OTHER United States Standard units of measurement like the gallon, foot, mile, teaspoon, hour or watts? What if things were just “sky high” or as “big as an elephant,” “fast as an eagle,” “slow as a slug,” “tall as a tree” or just “teeny-weeny” or “about right” or “big enough“?
An ancient unit of linear measure, originally equal to the length of the forearm from the tip of the middle finger to the elbow, or about 17 to 22 inches (43 to 56 centimeters).
So would you use 17 inched or 22 inches or something in between?
And remember that a cubit measurement is FAR more accurate than the U.S. dollar measurement because “there does not seem to be any standard definition of a dollar since the U.S. went off the gold standard several decades ago.”
What if you were asked to sign a tax document, for the government, under penalties of perjury that you owned a piece of property that was 30 cubit by 50 cubits or 1,500 square cubits. Since you could find no “standard definition” you guess at what it is EXACTLY and decided to used the 22 inch per cubit “standard definition” because that is how long your forearm is and the government had not established a “standard definition” for what a cubit was for 80 years. Then you discover later that the government agent, without telling you or publishing the “standard definition” for the cubit, had determined that a cubit was 17 inches.
Now the REAL problem begins. The tax on all property in the nation is 100 shekels per square cubit and you reported, under penalties of perjury, that you had 1,500 square cubits using the 22 inches to a cubit standard definition. But the government doesn’t believe you and decides to do an audit. The government agent comes out and measures your same property and finds that you REALLY have 1941 square cubits of land which meant you REALLY owed 194,100 shekels and not the 150,000 shekels you claimed. He tells you:
“Everyone knows that a cubit is exactly the distance between my elbow and my finger tip and that is 17 inches.”
But you show him your arm. You get out a tape measure and prove that from your elbow to your finger tip is 22 inches.
He laughs and says:
“But you are not a government agent. I am.”
Naturally there will be a 50,000 shekel penalty because of the costs on the audit and because the government agent has discovers that you were obviously and willfully trying to cheat the government out of 44,100 shekels. He tells you that you may also be prosecuted depending on what is the length of the Government attorney’s forearm.
The agent tells you that you must now voluntarily fill-out and sign another tax form under penalties of perjury that you will pay exactly 244,100 shekels within the next 5 days or you will be arrested.
You ask: “What is a shekel”?
The agent tells you that, “there does not seem to be any current standard definition of a shekel since the government went off the gold standard several decades ago.” He then explains that you can currently buy 27 paper notes that are called shekels but are not actually shekels for one silver shekel or you can buy 1620 paper note imitation shekels for 50 gold shekels.
You ask: “But which shekel do I pay with? The variable Babylonian shekel or the obsolete Israeli shekel?”
The agent says he cannot tell you that because there does not seem to be any standard definition of a shekel since the government went off the gold standard several decades ago.
And you ask: “What if I guess wrong?”
“Not to worry,” says the agent. “The prisons are not even full yet.”
Think this fantasy story is funny?
You say: “That story is just a fantasy. It is nothing like the United States. Of course the United States Congress must have defined what a dollar is. If they did not set a standard definition then no one could know how many dollars in income they had. And people have to sign, under penalties of perjury, the 1040 forms telling the government how many dollars they had in income.”
And what if the U.S. dollar is not defined so you cannot know for sure how many dollars you REALLY had in income?
Keeping in mind the well-settled rule that the citizen is exempt from taxation unless the same is imposed by clear and unequivocal language, and that where the construction of a tax law is doubtful, the doubt is to be resolved in favor of those upon whom the tax is sought to be laid…
Spreckels Sugar Refining Co. v. McClain,192 U.S. 397, 24 S.Ct. 376, 418, U.S. 1904
So since it is obvious that you really don’t know what a dollar is, and neither do I, and neither does the government, then does that mean that the taxing statutes are imposed in clear and unequivocal language or that the citizen (that is you and me) is exempt from taxation because “there does not seem to be any standard definition of a dollar since the U.S. went off the gold standard several decades ago”?
Utah’s United States Senator Michael S. Lee wrote this about how the U.S. dollar is defdined:
Thank you for your message regarding a number of monetary policy related questions. You have raised some interesting questions and concerns that are often a matter of debate. The Constitution does recognize gold and silver coins as money, however, there does not seem to be any standard definition of a dollar since the U.S. went off the gold standard several decades ago.
Senator Lee introduced the Sound Money Promotion Act last year which would make gold and silver coins legal tender (Editor note: gold and silver dollar coins are ALREADY legal tender) and remove any taxes on their use. Also, the Senator is currently working on additional monetary reforms which would help to address many of the important issues you have raised. Please feel free to contact Jon Taylor, Senator Lee’s budget staffer, at 202-224-4073 if you have additional questions.
Again, thank your for writing.
Office of Senator Michael S. Lee
“It is well enough that people of this nation do not understand our banking and monetary system – for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning”. Henry Ford.