Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate Darryl W. Perry: IRS Can Now Restrict Your Right to Travel

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In addition to running for the Libertarian Party Presidential nomination, Darryl serves as Vice-Chair of the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire. You can learn more about his campaign at his website.

This original article can be read here.

The US Congress often passes legislation dealing with multiple topics. One of the most well-known examples of the Congress passing legislation within legislation is REAL ID. Jim Babka of the DownsizeDC Foundation writes, “The REAL ID Act did something Americans have always rejected. It created a national identification system. This idea had so little support it couldn’t even be brought to a vote in the Senate. But Congressional leaders got it passed anyway. They attached it to a bill Senators were afraid to oppose — the “Emergency, Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief.” (May, 2005)
Senators were scared to defeat a bill that funded the troops, so the REAL ID Act became the law of the land.”

REAL ID has not yet been fully implemented, and a handful of state governments have opted not to comply with the provisions of REAL ID. If REAL ID is ever implemented by the federal government, people with a drivers license from Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, or New York will need a passport in order to avoid intense scrutiny from the TSA if they wish to fly, and may be denied access to federal buildings. CNN reports that approximately 9.5 million drivers licenses have been issued in those states.

On the surface this doesn’t seem like a big deal – 3% of Americans will need a passport to enter a federal building or get on a flight – until you realize that over 60% of Americans don’t have a valid passport, and the Congress has just granted the IRS the authority to revoke the passport of anyone with a delinquent tax debt in excess of $50,000. Like REAL ID, the section of law titled “Revocation or Denial of Passport in Case of Certain Tax Delinquencies” was passed as a provision of an unrelated bill, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, (aka “FAST Act”).

Forbes reports, “this $50,000 figure includes penalties and interest. And as everyone knows, interest and penalties can add up fast.”

As with all other numerical figures in statute, the $50,000 number could always be lowered to include any amount of alleged delinquent tax debt. As if this weren’t bad enough, the fees for expatriating from the United States were recently increased by 422% from $450 to $2,350. And according to the US State Department to renounce United States citizenship someone must appear before a US consular or diplomatic officer in a foreign country. With very few exceptions, an American citizen wishing to emigrate from the United States will need a valid passport. These new rules mean that for some people, those from the non-REAL ID states are especially susceptible, the fundamental right to travel can now be limited or restricted because one government agency claims they owe money.

Does restricting the right to travel, whilst simultaneously telling people “love it, or leave it” really sound like something that should happen in the so-called “Land of the Free”?

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About Caryn Ann Harlos

Caryn Ann Harlos is a paralegal residing in Castle Rock, Colorado and presently serving as the Region 1 Representative on the Libertarian National Committee and is a candidate for LNC Secretary at the 2018 Libertarian Party Convention. Articles posted should NOT be considered the opinions of the LNC nor always those of Caryn Ann Harlos personally. Caryn Ann's goal is to provide information on items of interest and (sometimes) controversy about the Libertarian Party and minor parties in general not to necessarily endorse the contents.

12 thoughts on “Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate Darryl W. Perry: IRS Can Now Restrict Your Right to Travel

  1. Thomas L. Knapp

    The whole idea is clearly and plainly unconstitutional as regards foreign travel.

    Article VI of the US Constitution:

    “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land”

    Both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (part of the constitutive law of the United Nations, which the US joined by duly ratified treaty in 1945) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (a treaty duly ratified by the US in 1992) clearly protect the right of any individual to leave any country, including his or her own.

  2. jim

    Thomas L. Knapp: One problem with naming ‘treaties’ as being ‘the Supreme Law of the Land’ is that if it is interpreted as covering American citizens (and not just government employees) is that means such citizens don’t get the protection of the House of Representatives. Therefore, I don’t believe that treaties should be considered so as to bind the actions or rights of individual citizens, or require or allow the American government to restrict citizens’ rights merely due to the ratification of a treaty.

  3. steve m

    Well actually the 5th amendment is the law of the land which states…

    “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

    and to be specific….

    “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”

    so is free and uni-fringed travel a liberty? I would think so.

  4. Thomas L. Knapp

    Jim,

    To the extent that I care much about constitutions and such, I agree with your assessment of how things should be.

    How things should be and how things actually are, however, are two different things.

    Back in the 1870s and 1880s, before an activist Supreme Court miracled a federal power to regulate immigration into the US Constitution (and for awhile after, probably on fears that the ruling might get revisited and undone), the people who wanted to reduce or end immigration from China did it by ginning up a treaty with China that included strict limits on said immigration.

    And, of course, in the matter I’m referring to, the situation is the opposite of what you fear. The UN Charter/Declaration on Human Rights/ICCPR, to the extent that they are treaties and therefore law, protect the rights of US citizens from the US government with respect to the right to leave the country if we wish. Or rather they would if the US government honored said treaties. Which, as Jill points out, isn’t something we see from the US government very often.

  5. Thomas L. Knapp

    Steve,

    Yes, the 5th Amendment implicitly protects the right to travel, at home and abroad. I brought up those treaties because they EXPLICITLY do so.

    Back in the 1990s, “conservatives” opposed national/federal ID schemes. Since 9/11, they’ve supported those schemes. With respect first to air travel, and later to some degree on train and bus travel, the US has developed an internal passport system not at all unlike the ones we used to deride and make fun of in totalitarian states. And that system keeps getting tighter and tighter.

  6. paulie

    There isn’t much of a right to leave if there isn’t anywhere else you are allowed to go. If every regime gang on the planet exercises “border control” the whole planet becomes a prison with the “nations” just being different prison housing units.

  7. steve m

    Hard to get business done if you prevent business men from meeting with each other. So I am not worried that all travel will be shut down just as I am not worried that the internet will be shut down… well maybe terrorists provocateur sites such as IPR. 😉

  8. paulie

    Hard to get business done if you prevent business men from meeting with each other. So I am not worried that all travel will be shut down just as I am not worried that the internet will be shut down… well maybe terrorists provocateur sites such as IPR. ?

    Having a few select people allowed to travel under restricted conditions…still sounds like a prison to me.

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