Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Nancy Pelosi

After watching Meet The Press and Tim Russert interviewing Representative Nancy Pelosi (from California) last Sunday (read the transcript), it raised an interesting dilemma. No where in her 30-minute speech did she used the term "taxpayer". Russert used the term twice: once from reading from the USA Today, and another when he questioned Pelosi, but not from Pelosi herself. She switched "taxpayer" to "American people" (e.g., Pelosi said in her speech, "You have corruption, cronyism, and incompetence which has cost--has a cost to the American people", not "has a cost to the American taxpayer", or "has a cost to the taxpayer").

It may surprise you, but "American people" and "taxpayer" are not the same thing. If Pelosi used the world "taxpayer" in the appropriate places, her speech would be accurate. But what Pelosi said is inaccurate. The word "American people" means--well, it's self-explanatory. The word "taxpayer" is a legal term, found in the Internal Revenue Code, or IRC. In IRC Section 7701, we find the general definitions of terms not found anywhere else in this code. In Paragraph (a)(14) in the preceding section, titled "Taxpayer", it states, "The term 'taxpayer' means any person subject to any internal revenue tax." If all American people are "taxpayers", there wouldn't be a special term in the IRC. If I am subject to any internal revenue tax, I am a "taxpayer". But, if I am not subject to any internal revenue tax, that would mean, by definition, I'm a "nontaxpayer". The definition of "nontaxpayer" is not found in the IRC; but the courts have a definition of "nontaxpayer" (4th paragraph from the top, right below Section 7701). Which one are you? It is all up to you. If you have trouble labeling yourself one or the other, look at the law!

There is one more thing Pelosi is inaccurate in her speech. She said about taxes, "[Y]ou're paying your considerable taxes, thank you for your patriotism". Now, let's get the facts straight: paying taxes is not being a patriot. Patriotism means loving his/her country. If the government wants to hurt the country, it is the genuine patriot who is willing to stand up and fight against the government in favor of the country. In taxes, it is the patriot who remembers the last right listed in the 1st Amendment: "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom...to petition the Government for a redress of grievances", and to make the government answer simple questions about taxes, including the basic question, "Where is the law requiring me to pay?" If government refuses to answer, or refuses to show up at all, the genuine patriot will have no choice but to refuse to pay taxes. That is what Bob Schulz and the rest of the members of We the People Foundation and We the People Congress did. Those members are true, outstanding patriots, in spite of what Pelosi claimed!

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