Friday, February 1, 2008

Snipes vs the IRS - Snipes 1, IRS 0

In the truest tradition of the Amercian Action Hero, Wesley Snipes took on the most feared element of the US government, and won. He didn't take the stand, or even put on a defense, yet he was cleared of all but three misdemeanor charges of failure to file. The government charged Snipes with several counts of fruad, which were dismissed. The issue was Snipes failure to file income tax returns over the past several years even though he made over $38 million.

The evidence was all on the government's side, but the jury sided with Snipes. I've said many times that great civilizations fall when the general public no longer feels any great compulsion to defend their government. This government has gotten too big, too intrusive and too arrogant. The jury let them know that in no uncertain terms.

Snipes allegedly owes $11 million in taxes, which the IRS must now sue him for in a separate case. Snipes alleges the income tax is illegal and unconstitutional and I'm sure he'll play this thing out in the courts as far as the government is willing to take it.

This could all be solved, of course, with a national sales tax, coupled with a constitutional amendment banning the income tax. There is a huge movement against this, because there is a huge industry that relies on our 70,000 page tax code. A sales tax would be a half page form that any sixth grader could correctly fill out. Another downside to the status-quo proponents is that a sales tax would make it abundantly clear just how much of our money is going to the government. To fund it at current levels, the sales tax would need to be around 22%. Sound huge, but guess what? You're already paying that, it's just buried in withholding taxes.

Thank you Mr. Snipes and esteemed members of the jury, for putting this issue on the front page.

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