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Fortunately, there are two angles for the unreligious, the garden variety constitutionalist, and just plain protesters: the fifth amendment approach against self-incrimination and the lack of gold and silver income necessary to require the filing of a return.
INVOKING THE CONSTITUTION
The fifth amendment approach is quite straight-forward: the ex-taxpayer merely places the fifth amendment objection to self-incrimihation in each blank space in the 1040 return where his answer to the question may tend to incriminate him. The U.S. Supreme Court and the appeals courts, in the Sullivan, Bishop, Miranda, Murdock, and other landmark cases, have upheld this approach, providing it is invoked properly. From that point on, Big Brother is responsible for proving a tax liability and initiating civil or criminal action. But a shrewd practitioner of tax avoidance will have covered his trail nicely.
And what does gold and silver have to do with resistance? The Founding Fathers, in their infinite wisdom, wanted only gold and silver coin to circulate as legal tender, and all legislative activity to the contrary notwithstanding, the constitutionality of this approach has not been overturned. Therefore, anyone who has not made the requisite $750 income in gold and silver during a taxable year is not required to file a return. Since U.S. Federal Reserve Notes have not been redeemable in gold or silver since March 18, 1968, no one has gotten "income"-no real income, no taxable income.
Just to cinch things up a little tighter in favor of the overburdened taxpayer, it is necessary that the taxing agencies go to the courts for enforcement of the writs they use for inspecting and seizing records and assets. It is therefore difficult for them to prove a tax liability when they are refused the information needed to make an assessment. Some courts have already ruled that the mechanical tax tables cannot be used to prove a specific tax liability because citizens have the right to itemize their deductions. It is very hard for the IRS to prove whether or not money has been spent on deductible or nondeductible items.
In case anyone's worried about how to stop withholding of taxes from his paycheck, it's as simple as filing a W-4E Form each year or working for an employer on contract. And in case there are worries about what to do on April 15 each year, the tax protesters say it's as simple as saying "no" to the government-operated extortion racket; refuse to be coerced or intimidated. The legal way to do it, of course, is to refuse to waive any of one's constitutional protections; just take the fifth and demand that due process be observed. Also, it may help to tell the taxmen about being "innocent until proven guilty." The taxmen must be assured, however, that payment will be made in full when it's been proven by a jury that a specific tax is owed; that obviates criminal intent.
None of the above loopholes and constitutional advantages would be necessary if the tax system were as voluntary as the IRS claims it is. Try not volunteering without knowledge of the individual's rights and privileges, however, and see what happens. Also, if the IRS really cared about protecting the rights of taxpayers, wouldn't it make sense for it to put the famous Miranda Warning on the 1040 Form? After all, every suspected criminal is told that he doesn't have to incriminate himself. Of course, the IRS is not foolish enough to warn citizeris that the information put on the 1040 and other government forms may be used against them-people might get the idea that they have a choice in the matter.
THE ANTITAX POLITICAL PARTY
To aid in the abolition of our revolting tax system, there is a new political party on the scene, the Libertarian Party. Libertarians identify taxation as theft and hold that it therefore ought to be outlawed. Their platform calls for legal challenges to the tax system, and their ranks are growing, in part, as a result of this stand.
The libertarians' view of taxation stems from their conclusion that the individual is the primary agent of economic transactions and ought to be free to spend what he earns as he prefers. Having thus precluded forced financing of government activities, they advocate a totally voluntary society in which the proper function of government would be only the protection of the life, liberty, and property of each from fraud and coercion, Each person would be free to purchase as much protection as he or she believes needed, Government services would have to compete in the marketplace for the consumer dollar, and government activity would occupy only that share of the market which reflected the choices of the consumers. And that would be the end of compulsory government financing.
HOW TO GET THERE FROM HERE
The current US. political system delegates unlimited taxing powers to the legislatures. This, coupled with the desire of the majority of the voting population to enrich itself from the public treasury, has nearly brought on national bankruptcy. The public monies are being spent faster than they are being collected, and the end of that downward spiral means disaster.
Will the recipients of public monies stop voting for the politicians who give them the goodies? It is not likely. So, it seems that a situation of "irreconcilable differences" is. developing between tax producers and tax consumers, a truly revolting situation. And if this is true, as mounting evidence suggests, then perhaps the natural tendency to revolt is the cure.
Revolts have traditionally trimmed the irritating factors from the political system and allowed the body politic a system permitting greater personal and economic liberty. At least this was true of the American Revolution. We may be fortunate enough to repeat our own history and come up with an improved political ideology that will remedy the defects of our currently failing society.
Perhaps the tax protesters are standard bearers of ideas that will end the something-for-nothing syndrome in the United States. If successful, they will be ultimately responsible for putting thousands of tax collectors to work in the private sector doing a full and honest day's work.