Saturday, January 20, 2007

NH tax evader: "Income tax is illegal, so I won't pay"

From Myway News:
A former militia man convicted of tax evasion prepared for a government siege Friday at his fortress-like home, but U.S. marshals gave no indication they were planning to confront him.

Ed Brown said he was ready for a swarm of federal agents to descend on his property to execute an arrest warrant issued after he failed to appear for the end of his trial. He and his wife contend that they did not have to pay income taxes, and his supporters say a conflict could be violent.

"If Mexico came up on my land and tried to take my land, would I not fight?" Brown said. "The United States is the same exact thing as Mexico in this state."

Brown, 63, and his wife, Elaine, 65, were convicted Thursday of plotting to conceal their income and avoid paying federal income tax. They argued the tax is illegitimate and they are not required to pay it.
This man is throwing away his life for a stupid reason, and that reason is that his knowledge of the law is woefully inadequate. A brief history of the income tax is here, but here is the condensed version:

There was no income tax in the early days of the republic. Congress tried to impose one, but the courts shot it down as unconstitutional. A constitutional amendment was passed that authorized Congress to impose an income tax in a manner it saw fit, and Congress has been (ab)using that power ever since.

Look, I firmly believe that the income tax is a horrible way for the government to collect revenue, and that the national sales tax (as described in the Fair Tax) is the best way to go. That's a different topic for a different day. However, the current income tax system, regardless of what you think of it, is entirely legal and legitimate. The sooner this NH nutbar recognizes that, the sooner he can get on with a normal life. Well, as normal as his life can be, anyway.