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View Diary: Can "the People" Sue the US Congress? (106 comments)

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  •  The problem with your argument... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib

    ...is that there has been no legal determination defining the funds deducted from the paychecks of US Postal Service employees, according to policies set by Congress (who have the power to set such policies under the Constitution), as "overpayments."

    In fact, the GAO report cited by another user goes out of its way to explicitly not present a legal definition of those funds as "overpayments."

    The funds were legally deducted from the employees' paychecks and put into the federal pension fund; at the moment, they may be rhetorically agreed to have been "overpayments," but there is no law, statute, or judicial statement establishing that as their legal status.

    For the moment, legally speaking, they are not "overpayments" at all, just more money in the federal workers' pension fund.

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 12:46:39 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Why don't you (0+ / 0-)

      tell me the legal Policy or Bill passed that gave Congress the power to decide which taxpayers get their payroll tax overpayments?

      When your payroll taxes are taken out they go to Social Security and Medicaid, so if your boss overpays from taking too much out of your FICA then I suppose you don't get that money back - and I know you'd be cool with that, right?

      •  FICA and payroll-tax deductions... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib

        ...are set statutorily by Congress.

        If Congress passed a law stating that such overpayments, once they'd reached the federal government, wouldn't be paid back, but that they instead functioned as an effective hike in the FICA rate, I'd be pissed off about it, but I wouldn't have any legal recourse in the matter.

        That is also the case for federal employees and their payments into the federal pension system. There has been no legal determination whatsoever that the payments in question were, in fact, "overpayments."

        "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

        by JamesGG on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 01:47:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's just it JamesGG -Congress has NO SUCH LAW (0+ / 0-)

          I agree with you,

          If Congress passed a law stating that such overpayments, once they'd reached the federal government, wouldn't be paid back, but that they instead functioned as an effective hike in the FICA rate, I'd be pissed off about it, but I wouldn't have any legal recourse in the matter.

          But Congress has no such law.  Nor do they have a law that says
          "If fed employees overpay in payroll taxes they don't get their money refunded."

          That's just it, there is NO SUCH LAW.

          BTW: Postal Workers are not federal employees. They haven't been since the 80's but that's a technicality the point is, even if they were still Federal employees there is no law that Congress has ever passed that says overpayments won't be sent back to the employee.

          Also, I don't think they'd have the Constitutional authority as the Constitution says the taxes shall be uniform and if Congress keeps overpayment then one group would be paying more than another group which would mean taxes were not collected "uniformly"

          Art 1 Section 8
          imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
          •  That portion was superseded... (0+ / 0-)

            ...by the 16th Amendment expressly permitting income tax, "from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration."

            If I:8 were still in force for all taxes, then progressive income taxation would be unconstitutional.

            "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

            by JamesGG on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 02:16:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

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