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10/25/2005 Archived Entry: "Irwin Schiff -- guilty on all counts"
An interesting tho' predictable news item: "Irwin Schiff, the Nevada man who has made a career out of telling Americans that payment of federal income taxes is voluntary instead of mandatory, was convicted on all 13 counts by a federal jury in Las Vegas yesterday."
I'm sorry to see this happen. I am not a fan of Irwin Schiff's strategy to defeat the federal income tax (FIT) but I have to admire his sheer stubborn refusal to comply. Or perhaps it is a martyr complex? I can't remember a time when Schiff's contention that FIT was purely voluntary wasn't part of the libertarian debate. For those not similarly cursed with having *that* particular discussion hundreds of times over, Schiff's contention is that FIT is actually voluntary and cannot legally be required because the 16th Amendment, which gives Congress "power to lay and collect taxes on incomes," was never properly ratified. I always took the position that it didn't matter whether the 16th Amendment was properly ratified or not...tho' personally, I think it wasn't. The federal government is simply not going to surrender the flow of income especially not now when it is so desperate for money. Thus, Schiff's point may be historically interesting but it has no practical significance.
On a different note, I have just set up a forum for libertarian discussion. I invite you to check it out.