TAXPAYERS STRIKE BACK
3,000 Tax Honesty Protesters Demand End to Persecution
By James P.
taxpayers from 50 states have joined in a lawsuit demanding that the United
States end retaliation against citizens who question their government over
going to war, imposing taxes on labor and printing funny money.
The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in
Washington July 19, under auspices of the We the People Foundation, by Mark
Lane, longtime general counsel to the now-defunct Spotlight and its
publisher, Liberty Lobby.
Plaintiffs argue that, when citizens exercise
their First Amendment right to petition government for a redress of grievances,
they suffer retaliation from the Internal Revenue Service and other federal
“These are people who have, for years, raised
questions,” Lane told American Free Press. “The only answer came when
the IRS told The New York Times that ‘we are answering those petitions
through enforcement actions.’ Congress used to answer all questions raised by
citizens. The foundation has a good case under the law.”
In the past five years, the foundation said, 14,592
citizens have petitioned the president and every member of Congress for redress
of grievances relating to the invasion of Iraq, the taxing clauses of the
Constitution and the direct tax on labor, the money clauses and national debt
and privacy clauses and the Patriot Act.
“Thus far, the executive and legislative branches
have arrogantly refused to answer the people’s questions; they have refused to
be held accountable to the Constitution,” Bob Schulz, chairman of the
foundation, told AFP.
The Constitution “not only guarantees the people’s
right to petition the government for a redress of grievances and obligates the
government to properly respond, but guarantees the people the right to retain
their money until their grievances are addressed,” Schulz said.
“Instead of answering the questions the government
has been retaliating against the growing number of people who have decided to
take a principled stand in defense of their First Amendment rights by retaining
the money,” Schulz said.
They will ask the court, he said, to order the
government to answer the questions and, if it refuses, “to enjoin the
administration from further punishing the petitioners until the questions are
However, government and some private lawyers say
it is illegal to refuse to pay taxes on such grounds and those who do risk
prison and fines. “I’m not advising anybody to do that,” Lane said.
Joining Schulz as plaintiffs of record were three
former IRS agents: Joseph Banister, John Turner and Sherry Jackson.
The government is retaliating against petitioners
“by sending plaintiffs threatening letters; placing liens on plaintiffs’
property; levying and seizing plaintiffs property and/or wages; raiding
plaintiffs’ homes and/or offices; forcing plaintiffs to appear before administrative,
civil and/or criminal tribunals; denying plaintiffs due process or by some
other enforcement action,” the foundation charges.
The judiciary has never required the IRS or
Congress “to specify where exactly within the [tax] code that an individual is
mandated by law to pay taxes on wages he has earned,” the petition argues.
Unanswered questions include how the United States
can invade Iraq without a declaration of war by Congress as required by the
Constitution and how the Federal Reserve—a private group of bankers—can print
dollars when the Constitution limits that power to Congress.
“The people are the source of all political power
and, in America, all of government is limited by a written Constitution,”
“Any right that is not enforceable is not a
right,” he added. “The petition process is the only non-violent instrument
available for the individual and the minority to hold government accountable to
the Constitution. The ballot is merely an instrument for the majority.”