This article was originally published on americanchronicle.com on April 28th, 2008
Recently, Wesley Snipes was sentenced to three years in prison for not paying his taxes. He was acquitted of tax fraud and conspiracy charges, but convicted of three counts of the misdemeanor charge of failure to file tax returns. I´ve read and heard some stuff about this case that is rather disturbing to me, most of it having to do with the prosecutors´ conduct and the judge´s reasoning for being so harsh.
It seems that the prosecutors wanted the judge in this case to give Snipes a harsh sentence not because he was particularly malicious, or because he was a repeat offender, or because his crime with particularly heinous, but they wanted to send a message to other "tax protesters" that this kind of behavior would not be tolerated. The prosecutors wanted it to be known that the government will no longer tolerate people who exercise their god given right to question manmade law when it comes to the IRS collecting their tribute. They want to make certain it is known by all citizens that their gang will send armed men to your place of residence or work, kidnap you (at gunpoint if necessary) and throw you in a cold cell (perhaps even kill you if circumstances permit) if you have the audacity to question whether or not you actually owe these "taxes" to the extortionists that are demanding them. When passing sentence the judge said something to the effect of if one believes that one does not owe taxes, they should take it up with the IRS and not just simply refuse to pay one´s taxes. Yet it has been shown and documented more than once that if you ask the IRS to show you a law that says you must pay taxes, they will not. If one tries to work it through with the IRS and they do not cooperate, shouldn´t the next logical step be to take it to the court system? Ah, but Mr. Snipes may have forgotten that those in charge of the courts must realize that their livelihoods come from the very tax money he and others are protesting. They are very prejudiced against seeing things objectively. Why would they kill the goose laying the golden eggs?
It shouldn´t matter, really, whether there is a "law" requiring one to pay income taxes or not. To levy taxes against a man´s labor is stealing, pure and simple. The actions taken against Wesley Snipes and others prove that this is not a voluntary system of government, as it was meant to be. If one is forced to pay for protection under the threat of violence that is by definition extortion. If one has to ask permission from the government to work (as is required as evidenced by all the tax paperwork one needs to fill out before one can start a job) and one has to pay a portion of their salary to the "masters" who gave them permission to work, that is akin to slavery.
I may not know much about manmade laws, but I do know about common law. I know when I´m being ripped off. I know the difference between right and wrong. Natural law, or common sense, which is what our constitution was based upon, or at the very least should have been based upon, is obvious for all to see. Something is a crime if it hurts another or deprives them of something that they´ve rightfully earned, inherited or were given. That sounds more like what the IRS is doing than what Wesley Snipes did. Perhaps that is why a straight forward tax law has never been written, because it would be so obviously unconstitutional and blatantly illegal. Perhaps that´s why the tax code is so convoluted, because they know no one would pay into a legitimately voluntary system, especially since the federal government seems to screw up everything it touches. The problem seems to be that so many American citizens seem to think that government is the solution to the problems that government creates. We as a society, as the common people, need to learn to take personal responsibility for the laws we live under and to exercise our power as common men to decide whether or not a law should exist.
Juries have the power to do this. They have the power to judge the law. Those in the legal profession might not want you to know this, they certainly won´t tell you this and they may even lie to get you to believe otherwise, but juries have that power regardless. Juries can simply find a man not guilty regardless of the evidence against him. In fact, one juror who decides that principle is more important than an unjust law can hang a jury and make all the difference in the world. Juries are the reason the prohibition of liquor was done away with, not lawmakers. If the juries consisting of common folk had been convicting common folk of breaking the law back in the day when consuming alcohol was a crime, it would still be illegal to consume alcohol. If modern day juries consisting of common folk would stop convicting common folk of breaking the law when they decide not to pay their income taxes, it wouldn´t be long until the income tax would be done away with and the government would be forced to try to figure out a different way to steal from the common man.
I bet a great many Americans would think that Wesley Snipes was a rich man trying to not pay his "fair share" and that he got what he deserved. I beg to differ. One can only expect to receive as much freedom as he is willing to grant another. If it is wrong to tax the poor, then it is wrong to tax the rich. Remember, the income tax started as a tax on only "the rich" and left poorer folks be. Back when it started one was considered rich if he earned over $14000 per year. A person making that much in the modern world is most likely not making ends meet, if they´re not totally impoverished, and yet the government would think nothing of withholding a portion of his money for their tax schemes. The government doesn´t care about the common man, or more precisely those individuals with power working for the government don´t care about common folk. They only care about seeking more power, helping their friends, and punishing their enemies. If the income tax is to be abolished, it will be up to the common folk to break the bonds, for the politicians will try to maintain their grip on power like an alligator trying to maintain its hold on its prey.
Men with suits and robes sitting in legislative halls and behind benches wielding gavels have done more harm to our nation and its principles than any man refusing to pay taxes because the laws haven´t been adequately explained or simply because they want to keep the fruits of their labor. These men are not held accountable for their actions. These men are not being sent to prison for years for crimes against their fellow countrymen. These men continue to enforce manmade laws that enrich the elite and shackle the less fortunate. Until and unless the common man starts to wield the power of his god given rights and becomes truly free by ridding himself of the collectivist systems of wealth redistribution by taxation, these men will continue to take advantage of ignorance and unjustly imprison anyone who sees through the thin veneer of their legalized extortion schemes and dares to question their authority.