Always Bet on Black

Following reason contributor Tim Cavanaugh's "iron principle that even inadvertent tax cheats are secret tax rebels," I'm happy to report that b-movie bad boy and convicted tax outlaw Wesley Snipes remains a free man while his appeal is pending. But as Reuters ominously notes:

U.S. District Judge William Terrell Hodges wrote that he was "dubious" of Snipes appeal arguments. But Hodges agreed to bail, noting that Snipes otherwise could easily serve his entire sentence before a decision could be reached on his appeal.

Whole thing here. Title explained here.

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  • ||

    Out on bail? Crap. Back to the closet for my "Free Wesley!" T-shirt.

  • The Voice of Reason||

    So, is it time yet for Wesley Snipes to escape to the Maldives?

  • Episiarch||

    So he is no longer Prisoner 57?

  • ||

    [Insert witty and topical remark here]

  • Rhywun||

    I'd rather Mr. Snipes be a tax rebel by, I dunno, advocating lower taxes? instead of "forgetting" to file and thus raising the burden on the rest of us.

  • Ska||

    I still think he's a douche. Are his financial planners also appealing? They belong in jail for leading their client down this path.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Personally, I would like to see Snipes start a reality TV show. One in which Snipes hunts down his accountant and gives him a Bruce Lee style beat down.

  • tarran||

    Ryhwun,

    If wesley snipes *had* filed, do you really think Congress would lower the tax rates?

    Come on. If everybody ponied up all of the protection money that Uncle Sam claims they owe, the politicians would crow about how well the govenrment's fiscal situation was and expand a few programs to take advantage of this extra wealth flowing through their fingers.

    I think the tax-resisters who try to argue argue that somehow the law is being improperly enforced and they owe no tax are fools to do so merely because they are guaranteed to lose in a government court. Even if they win, the government will quickly rewrite the law and once again things will return to the status quo ante.

    With that being said, Wesley snipes is a hero. If more people refused to pay their taxes, the Federal Government would be able to afford far less, and we would all be better off.

  • An Honest Question||

    If I became a resident of American Samoa would I still have to pay taxes? I hear they get exemptions for various things. I would be happy to give up having my vote "count" to not have property stolen from me.

  • ||

    Wesley Snipes a "B-movie" actor? You're kidding, right? He hasn't been up for any Academy Awards (TM), but he was in some big-budget blockbusters back in the day. That's why the dollar amount the government claims he owes them is so high.

    As far as anti-tax arguments go, I liked Snipes' statement that he was "a man without a country" and a sovereign individual better than arcane arguments about the meaning of the existing tax laws. If someone doesn't consent to be taxed, and chooses not to be a subject of the government, by what right does the government claim his money?

  • Rhywun||

    If wesley snipes *had* filed, do you really think Congress would lower the tax rates?

    Not at all, but it would bring us one person closer to the government no longer being able to use tax dodgers as an excuse for not lowering them.

    If more people refused to pay their taxes, the Federal Government would be able to afford far less, and we would all be better off.

    How many "more"? 25 percent of the population? 50? By the time the IRS gives up and concludes that it isn't worth going after tax dodgers any more, they will have managed to turn this country into a police state the likes of which we haven't seen before. There are better ways to protest high taxes.

  • ||

    Uum, Wesley Snipes DID File ( for some years anyway).

    That's really what probably got him the most attention/trouble.

    he filed taxes with something like $18 million in yearly income and paid his taxes. Then after becoming involved with the tax protestors/"patriots"/whatever they went back and filed Amended "0" tax returns requesting millions in refunds.

    He has a combination of not filing and filing "0" income and requesting refunds for several years.

  • ||

    And Craig has it right as far as the "b movie" actor part.

    Snipes has made some stinkers and direct to dvd action stuff, but he has opened #1 movies that paid him $10 mil+ per film.

    B movie actors dont get 8 figure paydays and free Total gyms.

  • Simon Phoenix||

    These tax laws are so crazy, I don't know how anyone can keep their head on straight!

    *decapitates IRS commissioner*

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    ....thus raising the burden on the rest of us....

    I do not believe that tax cheats or tax cuts raises the burden on anyone else. Here's Why:

    The federal government has demonstrated for decades that it will spend every last dime and 20% more of the revenue it receives. It will do this irrespective of how many billions or trillions of dollars in revenue it collects.

    If there was 100% tax compliance the government would spend all of it and more and none of us would pay any less than we're paying right now. There will be no reduction in spending. Ever. Not in absolute terms, not in per capita terms.

    My state today spends 140 times as much money as it did the year I was born.

    What else costs 140 times as much as it did 50 years ago?

  • ||

    Rhywun | May 23, 2008, 2:40pm | #
    How many "more"? 25 percent of the population? 50? By the time the IRS gives up and concludes that it isn't worth going after tax dodgers any more, they will have managed to turn this country into a police state the likes of which we haven't seen before.


    Urrm, in order to have a "police state" the state needs money to run it.

    What is the IRS' annual budget? How many people would it take to effectively shut down their auditing and prosecution team? What would congress be able to shut down to divert cash flow to the IRS without pissing off a bunch of people?

    Lawyers, even ones sucking from the government tit, won't work for free. Without lawyers the IRS is a sunk ship.

  • tarran||

    Rhywun,

    One of Aleexander Hamilton's first acts as Washington's Seecretary of the Treasury was to try to collect a tax on Whiskey.

    Nobody paid it.

    Geroge Washington took the U.S. Amry out to Pennsylvania intending to use it against the American people. In the end, he "won" a victory and the counties he threatened in Penssylvania capitutlated and formally agreed to pay the tax.

    However, the tax continued to be ignored throughout the rest of the country and the Federal Government gave up and repealed the tax. IT was repealed in, what, 3 years, and the Feds waited a long time before they tried it again.

    Contrast that with the tax levied on telephones that was supposed to pay for the Spanish American War. Everybody dutifull ypaid the tax. For years people pointed out that after 50 years the Spanish American War had probaby been paid for, yet the tax stayed on the books. It took over a hundred years to get rid of it.

    Don't get me wrong. I pay taxes, mainly because I don't want my children to grow up without a father while I spend my few years on this earth locked in cage, while my kidnappers joke about prison rape. But I don't see Wesley Snipes as somehow making my life worse.

  • ||

    What else costs 140 times as much as it did 50 years ago?

    Arranging a night of discreet passion with Marilyn Monroe?

  • ||

    I'm going to hell for sure.

  • Tippy||

    "Tim Cavanaugh"

    I remember Tim Cavanaugh!

    Time for a bowel movement...

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Don't get me wrong. I pay taxes, mainly because I don't want my children to grow up without a father while I spend my few years on this earth locked in cage, while my kidnappers joke about prison rape. But I don't see Wesley Snipes as somehow making my life worse.

    Exactly.

    Jake Boone, why do you suppose you're ending up in the theological place of eternal punishment?

  • ||

    Jake Boone, why do you suppose you're ending up in the theological place of eternal punishment?
    If you knew how I learned so much about the going rate for sex with Marilyn Monroe's mouldering corpse, you wouldn't have to ask.

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