(originally launched into cyberspace on 02/05/2003)
Dear List Subscriber,
In my prior message about "Playing Against Cheaters," I used the analogy of
playing against a football team that has a reputation for cheating. That
analogy has to be drastically exaggerated to make it match what we are
really up against with the IRS. Not only does the other team cheat (late
hits, knee to the crotch, etc.), but the referee LETS them. On fourth down
and five, they go for it. They get two yards. The ref says "hey, that’s
close enough… FIRST DOWN!" Eventually they make it to the 50 yard line, and
the ref says "touchdown!" Your team captain complains… and the ref kicks
him out of the game. Then you get ready to get the ball. But the ref gives
the other team the ball again, and they start again at the 50. "Ref,
they’re supposed to kick off to us after a touchdown!" "Shut up. You
wouldn’t have scored anyway. If you complain again you’re out of the game."
Sounds a bit extreme? That is exactly how it is in real life when dealing
with the IRS. The IRS can’t find an actual "assessment," but they have a
computer printout that has a code that means one was made. The court says
"that’s close enough." (Never mind that the IRM says that the actual signed
assessment certificate is the document that allows collection actions.)
Someone is denied his administrative hearing with the IRS, and the court
says "That’s okay, they would have disagreed with you anyway." (I kid you
not. See the Madge case.) If you cite their OWN RULES, you will probably
be threatened with a FINE. If you cite their own rules in Tax Court, you
will get a BIGGER fine. If you cite their rules too often, they will
silence you permanently with a court injunction.
That sounds pretty much like the football game, doesn’t it? How on earth
could anyone win such a game? In short, you CAN’T win… not the conventional
way. We cannot sway the ref. We cannot reason with the team of cheaters.
And we’re not even allowed to play by the rules. What are we to do? There
is a solution.
Convince the spectators to storm the field.
I have watched a whole lot of people try to reason with the other "team"
(the IRS), or with the ref (judge), to try to play it by their rules (which
they make up as they go), only to find that the other side doesn’t play by
the rules. For years now all sorts of people have been telling me that we
just have to present it just right, or file the right lawsuit, and then
we’ll get justice. If we can say the magic words, they’ll finally say
"shucks, NOW I get it… so sorry… you don’t owe this… have a nice day." Wake
up. Authoritarian power doesn’t work that way. Never has, and never will.
"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will.
Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact
amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these
will continue till they have resisted with either words or blows, or with
both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom
they suppress." - Frederick Douglas
(Incidentally, the guy who said that was once a slave in this country, back
when the politicians and judges all said that was okay. He knew what he was
Just like in the hypothetical football game, we can really really wish the
other side would play fair, and we can be shocked and outraged at the
referee. And then what? Slink into silent servitude, and surrender money
you know you don’t owe (and leave the fraud in place so the next generation
of cheaters can rob your children)? No thanks.
STORM THE DAMN FIELD!
Don’t waste another minute begging cheaters for justice. They have a lot of
reason to keep robbing you, to call what we do "frivolous", to penalize us
for citing the law, to vilify, slander, insult, threaten and rob us. Us
saying "please" very politely is NOT going to counteract that. In short, we
have to give them an incentive to stop robbing people; something big enough
to outweigh what is driving them now.
The Founders of this country used a rather effective "incentive" on the
tyrants of their day: shooting them. However, I wouldn’t suggest that in
this situation (I know that might disappoint some of you). But we
should—and must—do the "legal" equivalent. No, I don’t mean suing anyone,
since all such court actions will be presided over by the referee who kicks
you out of the game for mentioning the rules. We have to make it
uncomfortable to be a cheater, and there are a lot of "legal" ways to do
First, we have to stop thinking in terms of the way the game is USUALLY
played. Forget law suits, and petitions*, and complaining to the nearest
politician. Those of you who have tried that by now know it doesn’t work.
(Why would those who BENEFIT from the fraud help you end it?) Don’t think
in terms of convincing someone in "authority" to punish the meanies. PUNISH
(* Petitions can be useful, not in and of themselves, but to educate the
public and to put public pressure on the extortionist du jour. More on this
No, I don’t mean take a tire iron to the kneecaps of the nearest IRS agent.
(Even if it might be justifiable in some cases, they have more guns than
you.) If you "punish" them illegally, you will get punished worse. To put
it another way, don’t hang the referee from the goal posts, or the cops will
show up and arrest you. Unfortunately, that’s often how people respond to
government injustice: beg and plead with the system for ages (to no avail),
and then totally lose it and kill either yourself or the nearest bureaucrat.
Not a good plan.
I won’t get into all the specific ideas I think we SHOULD do right now (the
plan is still evolving), but I’ll give one hypothetical example of how to
"legally" punish a federal extortionist:
The new Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Pam Olson, sounded reasonable
for a while. Then a few hundred people asked her six perfectly reasonable
questions about how we’re supposed to determine what we owe. She didn’t
answer. Now she’s talking about how the IRS needs to focus more on cracking
down on tax cheats--a category she would no doubt put many of us in, despite
what the LAW says. (Meanwhile, the Prez just approved tens of millions of
extra dollars for the IRS to harass more people.)
So far Ms. Olson has only gotten letters. I bet a few hundred letters got
her attention. It probably caused her some stress when she realized she
can’t answer the questions. She may not know the truth yet, but she at
least knows something is fishy. How much do the letters bother her? Maybe
none, maybe pretty much. How much would a full-page ad in the Washington
Times bother her, that said…
ANSWER THE DAMN
(…and then briefly explained the situation.)
How about if that appeared in newspapers across the country? How about if
500 people showed up at her office in DC one day, asking her to answer the
questions. How about if eight people a day (one an hour) took turns
visiting her office, every day for the next few months? How about at her
house? How about if 500 people called her office every DAY, asking when she
was going to answer the questions? How about if people could ask their
"representatives" to please tell Pam Olson to answer the questions? What if
it was 5000 people, instead of 500? What if a few thousand people called
every talk show they could find, and mention the insanity of the feds being
unable to answer basic questions about how we are supposed to determine what
we owe (and have a handy-dandy web page about it to point to)? A few
hundred letters to the editor, all mentioning Pam Olson in particular?
If you don’t think things like that can have an impact, take a lesson from
the people of Tennessee, and their efforts to stop the state legislature
there from sneaking in a state income tax. (As far as I know, there is
STILL no state income tax there, but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.)
More than 10,000 people have seen "Theft By Deception," and probably well
over 100,000 have at least a basic understanding of what the 861 evidence is
about. If HALF the people who have seen the video would invest a little
time in a well-orchestrated endeavor, we could squash ANY official anywhere.
We could put them on the spot, and give them nowhere to hide. One by one we
set them up, knock them down, and move to the next one. (By the way, this
only works because they CAN’T answer the questions without either directly
contradicting the law or ending the fraud. Any suffering they go through
for evading and obfuscating is their own fault.)
A lot of people send me e-mails saying they just got some letter from the
IRS, and they don’t know what to do. (By the way, I can’t tell you what to
do.) How many of you are willing to take to the field BEFORE the IRS is on
your doorstep? If there aren’t any, you can bet that they will get around
to your doorstep eventually. When they do, no one will help you.
There are a LOT of people behind the effort to end this fraud, with quite a
collection of resources, credentials, etc. (It’s probably a lot more than
most of you suspect.) There are a lot of people who have been waiting
around for something to DO about it, something that will actually show some
results. I confess that I haven’t given a real overall "game plan" yet,
because it keeps changing. But the time for ending this fraud is about
here. Consider this: when the fraud is finally demolished, which of these
do you want to be able to say?:
1) "I didn’t do squat. I sat around hoping someone else would do it."
2) "Yeah, I was there. I helped end the fraud."
Pick one, and then act accordingly.