Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A tax dilemma

If you don't know, Ed and Elaine Brown still have been holed up at there house trying to ask Marshal Stephan Monier, or anyone else, where is the law that makes the Browns liable to file a return and pay an income tax. So far, the police/government will not answer (Hint: there is no law!). Here's why the government has a dilemma in Plainfield, NH.

1. The obvious and peaceful way out of this standoff is for it to name, publicly and in detail ready for open scrutiny, the law that taxes what the Browns earned. Ed Brown has promised to surrender upon seeing that, and if the condition is met but he breaks his word, public opinion would swing firmly against him and force would then become an acceptable option.

2. However, the government has not done that. Not in the two years preceding the Brown trial, despite their repeated requests of the IRS; not at the trial itself in early 2007, which so disgusted them that they declared it a farce and walked out; and not since the trial during the 6-month standoff, during which government lips have been zipped in what is daily becoming an ever more deafening silence. Reasonable people (and eventually, who knows, even mainstream journalists) might conclude from this that the government does not answer that wholly reasonable question because it cannot answer it - and that it cannot answer it because no such law exists. Now, if no such law exists while the Feds have been enforcing collection of a trillion (2007) dollars a year for all of living memory as if it did exist, the Emperor would be exposed as buck naked. So much for Option #1.

3. Option #2 is to use force, of which the government has plenty, but that brings a downside: public opinion will rightly call them bullies and murderers, as public opinion did after Waco and Ruby Ridge, and even more strongly suspect that since the Feds would sooner kill than reveal the mystery law, probably the mystery law doesn't exist. So the Marshal in charge has said he will not "play that game" but instead prevent people coming and going around the Brown house - at a cost which he reportedly does not know but which can hardly be less than $1,000 every day. Understandable; for ultimately government, for all its enormous arsenal, depends on favorable public opinion, along with widespread belief that the mystery law does exist. So while Option #2 is not impossible, it's extremely unpalatable.

4. Option #3 is to wait the Browns out, to starve them into submission. To make that work they have to prohibit supporters visiting and bringing supplies, which is what happened this month with their court order. But that's risky; suppose the court order is dismissed as unconstitutional? Further risk: the Browns are so principled that they have let it be known from the beginning that they would rather die than submit, so Option #3 may simply not work. Weeks, months or years from now when all has gone quiet, SWATters may move in to the house one night and find only a pair of corpses. That will bring just as much public revulsion as Option #2. Either way, Option #3 is very dodgy, yet that's the one currently being attempted.

5. Option #4 would be simply to declare victory and walk away. Normal life has already been denied the Browns; they can be put on so many black lists that they will never again earn more than can keep them at subsistence level. The declaration will of course be false, but the mainstream media can be relied upon to publish it uncritically and move on to important news about the next Red Sox game. I'm surprised that this Option has not been chosen, for the associated risk is quite small.

I disagree with most of Ed Brown's opinions, which I think absurd, except the one that matters - that no law taxes earnings. Every day, that one becomes more and more credible. I've wondered why, if no such law has been written, Congress doesn't just fix the problem and write one. This paper suggests why it cannot, and if any reader can rebut its reasoning, I'd be eager to learn how.

It is really impressive that one determined man, and his courageous wife, can stop this arrogant, scofflaw government cold. It reminds me of that un-named Chinaman, standing in front of the tanks in Tiananmen Square.

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