In the wake of Brian Doherty’s article on the tax protest movement, I’ve seen a handful of letters from folks with links to a variety of sites pimping elaborate theories showing how, if you pull a sentence here or there from a few statutes and Supreme Court opinions, you can “prove” you’re not obligated to pay income tax, contra the pretty obvious intent of both the 16th Amendment and the tax code. This site has quick knockdowns of the popular ones, in case anyone’s tempted to take this stuff seriously. What’s infuriating about these is that the impetus for most of these guys is, I suspect, a perfectly reasonable normative commitment to the idea that taxes are too high and too complex. But “tax protest” distracts from the project of trying to actually prompt reform by convincing people that there’s not “really” a problem because the income tax, in one sense or another, doesn’t exist.
May 14th, 2004 · No Comments