Monday, February 04, 2008

Ron Paul and the IRS

-- by Dave

The facts about Ron Paul's predilection for far-right conspiracy theories are nothing new to regular readers here, as well as for anyone who's >taken a look at his old newsletters. They are among the reasons, as we've explained, that Paul attracts far-right adherents, and they manifest themselves in the form of classic far-right scams like "Ron Paul dollars".

Now comes the news that Paul has hired as his "economic adviser" a fellow named Peter Schiff. He who runs securities brokerage and has authored a book on the forthcoming economic doomsday (ahem) -- and he also has a history of promoting the claim that the Internal Revenue Service is an illegitimate federal agency that taxpayers have a legal right to ignore, which is a classic "Patriot" movement theory:
Not mentioned by the Paul campaign is that Mr. Schiff is the son of Irwin Schiff of Las Vegas, now serving his third federal prison sentence for tax crimes. He is also the author of such books as "The Federal Mafia," which asserts that federal judges are paid off by the Internal Revenue Service, and other books describing the federal government as a criminal organization that illegally extracts income taxes.

Peter Schiff was the co-author of "the Great Income Tax Hoax."

The son, in interviews, has said he thinks his father is correct in asserting that there is no law to make most Americans liable for income taxes and so they can legally put zeroes on their tax returns. Peter Schiff, however, said that he pays his taxes.

Dr. Paul wants to eliminate income and estate taxes and taxes on tips.
(Clarification here on his position on a consumption tax.) He has written that a consumption tax would be better, but only if the income tax is first repealed. Dr. Paul said he wants to shrink the government to what he consider its constitutionally appropriate size, but has not said precisely how he would raise that revenue.

Dr. Paul has not criticized the tax protesters among his supporters, even ones who deny the legitimacy of the tax laws. While he has said that the income tax law is valid, he has also said that rules requiring people who make more than minimal income fill out income tax returns violates the 13th Amendment's prohibition against involuntary servitude.

No, this does not come as a surprise here. But it's decidedly yet another piece of evidence regarding Paul's fitness to be president, or rather the lack thereof.

If anyone needs a rundown on why these various theories about the IRS are bogus, there's a pretty complete discussion of them here.

No comments: