The leader of the nation's Libertarian Party said today he's outraged that Wesley Snipes has been sentenced to three years in prison, citing it as an example of the IRS' unfair "selective enforcement," and of the fact evaders evade because "THE TAX IS TOO DAMN HIGH!," according to a party press release featuring all-caps.
Sadly, Libertarian Party executive director Wes Benedict's points are logically incompatible.
The IRS aggressively, and selectively, pursues high-profile cases such as Snipes' to save taxpayers' money. Free publicity from high-profile cases instills fear in millions of potential tax cheats as effectively as paying thousands of federal agents to audit tax returns.
Snipes was originally charged with eight felony counts related to tax evasion after he fell in with tax defiance protester Eddie Kahn -- referred to as "my old buddy, Eddie (The Moron) Kahn," on the website of Burlingame tax specialist Steve Kassel.
Snipes failed to file three years worth of returns, despite earning $14 million per year. The actor was ultimately convicted of misdemeanor charges of failing to file the tax returns, and two weeks ago a judge ordered Snipes to give himself up.
Just as Libertarians come in both Liberal and Right Wing flavors, tax defiers span the political spectrum. San Francisco technical writer David Gross reportedly quit his $100,000 job three years ago in order to avoid paying taxes that might support the Iraq war.
Wes Benedict, however, didn't go so far as to endorse Kahn's tax defiance ideas.
But Benedict did use the Snipes sentencing as an opportunity to voice Libertarians' view that eliminating the income tax would be good policy, irrespective of whether the tax is constititutional.
Should we simplify the tax code? Obviously. But better yet, I want to get rid of the federal income tax and replace it with nothing. A federal government limited to its proper functions would cost so little compared to today's bloated, unconstitutional leviathan, that an income tax would be unnecessary.
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