Sunday, July 22, 2007

What people think about "show me the law"

Ed Brown for Income Tax Reform

During my years as state senator, I sometimes came into contact with persons holding distinctly marginal viewpoints. Ed Brown was the outlier even in that group. He was never able to persuade me that the Illuminati is on the cusp of executing its 100-year plan to impose a global police state … or that the income tax is unconstitutional.

Ed and Elaine Brown were properly found guilty of having failed to pay their income taxes. And, yes, it is good that U.S. Marshal Stephen Monier has not yet called in what would assuredly be a deadly assault on the Browns.

But the stand off between the Browns and the Marshall has already gone too far. A SWAT team brought in to surround the Browns’ property shot at and nearly killed an unarmed man walking the Browns’ dog.

Purveyors of the innocuous are urging the Browns to surrender. To encourage this, law enforcement has cut off power, phone and Internet service to the property. But the Browns have obviously envisioned and spent years preparing for exactly these circumstances. They’ve got dry firewood, solar and wind power, a diesel back-up generator, canned food, a reinforced concrete watchtower, and God knows how much firepower. They’ve got access to the world via cell phone and have been able to broadcast the daily “Ed Brown Under Siege” radio show. Perhaps a dozen like-minded conspiracy theorists from around the country, now including Randy Weaver of Ruby Ridge, have converged in a quasi-permanent live-in on the property.

Watch Elaine Brown yourself in this Monday video to decide for yourself whether they are serious. “If they come in … we’re dead .. we will not be arrested .. we will not volunteer to go into their prison for a non-crime. We have committed no crime … We either walk out of here free or we die.”

Yes, the Browns should turn themselves in, serve out their 5 year sentences and live on to make their political points. But my fear in watching Ed Brown’s YouTube videos is that, if the feds approach the Brown “compound,” they will engage in a futile firefight to the death. “We do this for you folks. Don’t forget it,” said Ed Brown. “These people need to be strung up, they are so criminal. A lot of people would love the opportunity to rip out their hearts and shove them back down their throats.” Eerily similar to the words of Cho Seung-Hui, Virginia Tech massacre/suicide perpetrator.

Some accidental good may come of the Browns’ deadly theater. Congress might finally be moved to reform the proximate cause of the Browns' complaint -- the universally reviled income tax code, with its endlessly changing and impossibly complex special provisions, total pages for which have increased 42 percent since 2000. Ed Brown is right about maybe this: it is time to do something usefully radical. Replace the income tax with a consumption tax.

The IRS itself conservatively estimates that between one-third and one-half of all of us with income tax liability play the tax cheating game. Individual tax evasion tallied to $345 billion in 2001, up from $100 billion in 1990 (IRS, 2006).

My consumption tax preference is the Fair Tax, which would replace all federal taxes on income, payroll, corporate profits, capital gains and gifts with a 30 percent, single-stage tax on consumer purchases of new goods and services. The Fair Tax would be made moderately progressive via a monthly prebate check sent to all low income households. Savings in record keeping, tax compliance and reduced tax evasion could exceed $500 billion annually. The number of obligated taxpayers would be reduced several fold.

And when Ed Brown buys the 3G infrared rifle scope he asked for in one of his broadcasts, the government would get its revenue and Plainfield, New Hampshire would again live in peace.

Posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2007 at 10:05PM by Registered CommenterJim Rubens | Comments26 Comments

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Reader Comments (26)

Jim, this is a good post. While part of me surely sympathizes with the Brown's, the talk of the Illuminati and that a ratified Constitutional Amendment is somehow unconstitutional, reminds me that they may live in an alternative reality. I agree with the need for an alternative tax system, such as the Fair Tax which will actually capture revenue from money made on the black market.

What amazes me is how the people in Washington, especially those that are all upset about the war, don't get the fact that the War is only possible BECAUSE of the income tax. A direct line of money to the government makes out of control spending more possible, and contrtary to what the big government people say, is not "progressive". I wish there was someway to get more people on board but the fact is that the very same people that claim to favor change, the so-called "progressives", are reluctant to try anything new that strays from their coveted quasi-socialist ideology.
June 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterNate Deleault
There is one key error on the part of the government in the handling of the Brown's situation.
Ed has repeatedly said that if he was shown the law requiring him to pay an income tax he would surrender and pay what he owes. Rather then attempt to show him the laws the government has taken the stance that they are the government and they are right no matter what and hence don't need to show him anything. What harm would come in trying to show him the law he's requesting?
June 21, 2007 | Registered CommenterRichard Barnes
Because they can't! There is no law. Income tax was meant to be voluntary and temporary but the stupid public thinks they must pay.

If more of us did what the Brown's did, what are they going to do, put us ALL in jail?

I don't know what he means by Illuminati, but I do know this country isn't run by who you think it is, and there's not a dime's worth of difference...
June 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymoose
A couple of things bother me about your post, Jim. First, is the reference to Illuminati at the beginning. I admit I know nothing about this topic, but it seems to me you bring it up to discredit your target and coerce the reader into accepting your position on Brown before any details are presented. Shouldn't the facts be strong enough to stand on their own? If you need to resort to tactics like this, it merely makes me suspicious of you. I feel I could have read your statement and substituted "little green men" for illuminati with no material change in your post. And then you link this to the constitutionality of income tax - which IS being debated - whether or not you feel it has merit. Simply calling Brown misguided is hardly a legal defense of your position. Why not give us a few facts?

The other thing that bothered me was your reference to "the Fair Tax". I am positive any tax concept is going to have followers and detractors so labeling anything tax related as "fair" seems like simply more propaganda.

Nate Deleault: Huh? Income tax is the only source of revenue that supports the government? Dig a little deeper...
June 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCare
Richard, good point. Care, nowhere did I say that the income tax was at all the only source of revenue that feeds the government. I was simply stating that if you look at the growth in the size of government since its inception, you'll notice a unidirectional trend. Take NH versus the other NE states. We have no income tax and spend far less than our neighbors. Like it or hate it the property tax keeps the government accountable. Sure they can raise fees to pay for spending, but those increases don't go unnoticed. The bureaucrats in Washington spend our money before its even collected, thanks to withholding.
June 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterNate Deleault
The Browns could have cheated on their taxes like many of us do but no, they had the audacity to stand out in a crowd of bleating sheep and yell "show me the law". Do you call that a marginal viewpoint? I don't think the browns asked for income tax reform or Fair Tax or a 16th amendment ratification debate. They asked to see which codified Federal law compels them to pay income taxes and they will pay. I can't find the specific Federally codified tax law that applies to me either. Can you? Shouldn't we all be asking our Government the same question? What are they afraid of? What are YOU afraid of? If they can't answer us with the specific law then the whole income tax thing is a sham and they should stop trying to collect. If the law doesn't exist then the Brown's are being sent to jail for nothing more than a government show to force compliance of a non-law.
June 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterQuestioner

The government did show them the law they violated. It was clearly listed in their indictment as is required by the Sixth Amendment to the US Constitution.
June 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterOld Guy

They were charged with "Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud United States" among other similar things...
On April 13th 1997 they sent a letter to the IRS saying they would not pay taxes until they were shown the law requiring them to do so. There was not conspiracy to commit fraud, they were open all the way that they wanted to see the law. There was no cover up as the government's charges claim.

What they were charged with equates to being charged with covering up the crime of painting your house blue... but there is no law preventing you from painting your house blue, there is a law about covering up crimes though. Would you say it would be unreasonable to ask to see the law showing you couldn't paint your house blue?

The Browns are gaining more and more support everyday this goes on and the fact that the government is NOT sitting down and trying to show them the income tax laws only helps their cause.
June 21, 2007 | Registered CommenterRichard Barnes
"Ed and Elaine Brown were properly found guilty of having failed to pay their income taxes."

Properly you say? Without due process?
I couldnt read much more after that.
The Marshalls now have 2 attempted murder issues!
Why is this not a issue?

The government did NOT show them the law they claim was violated.

Wake up people!

June 22, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBrowns Supporter

Show me the law that says its illegal to drive 100mph down the highway. Until the state shows me the law I guess I can do it using your logic.

I also like how the Browns claim they "are not US Citizens". Cute.

Next time Richard, present all the facts before attempting to make an argument. It will at least make you appear to be intellectually honest. I like how you only reported in your previous post, the first count of their indictment that alleges conspiracy, while counts two through fourteen allege violations of US tax law - Title 26 USC.

Then of course there are the endearing fraud and evasion allegations that they haven't even attempted to explain or defend.

They are tax evaders. There is a law. Its our obligation as a U.S. Citizens to be familiar with the laws of the United States. Ignorance of the law is never a defense for breaking it.

Not only were Ed and Elaine Brown properly found guilty of having failed to pay their income taxes but they were shown the laws they violated in their indictment. And regardless as to whether or not they were "shown" the law by the government before their indictment, they have an obligation (like every US Citizen does) to know the laws of this country or hire someone who can interpret those laws for them.
June 22, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterOld Guy
"Show me the law that says its illegal to drive 100mph down the highway. Until the state shows me the law I guess I can do it using your logic." - Old Guy

Sorry but that's not quite the same.

If the government says you owe something and you ask for the law showing you owe, you can pay up what you owe.

Driving 100 MPH is not something you can undo if shown there is a law.

"I like how you only reported in your previous post, the first count of their indictment that alleges conspiracy"

I supplied a link that listed ALL their indictments. Look it over and please point me to which one is the law that requires them to pay up as compared to what I pointed out were simply "side effect" laws similar to the example I gave.

"They are tax evaders. There is a law."

Ed Brown is offering $1 million to whoever can show him the law. You have a chance to make some real money simply by finding it, printing it out and taking a short trim to his house.

I'm not arguing there is no law by the way. I'm simply pointing out that not once has the government shown Ed the law
June 22, 2007 | Registered CommenterRichard Barnes
Richard, the anon just did show you the law.

If those FBI/ATF agents go up to the Browns front door and tell them that, or tell them about the Revenue Act of 1861 or the 16th Amendment to the US Constitution (and if you dispute that amendment, let's have a discussion about "shall-issue versus may issue" in terms of gun permits.), or the many other pieces of legislation about income taxes.

They Browns may or may not have a million dollars to give, considering that they haven't paid their taxes in years and they probably saved up enough, but it wouldn't matter what anybody would say, their minds are already made up.
June 22, 2007 | Registered CommenterAndrew Sylvia

The reference to the "illuminati" was probably prompted by the fact that Ed and Elaine have publicly stated that they are the victime and are bing harassed by a "Zionist, Illuminati, Free Mason movement", anf the US Marshalls are the agents of this movement.

Mr. Barnes:
This idea that you have to be shown the law before you are sent to the hoosegow for breaking it is comical. I have spent a number of hours in courts - as part of a jury- and I don't recall the judge ever hauling out the ol' statute book, calling the defendent over to the bench, and reading along with the defendent the specifics of the statute the defendent has transgressed.

To All:

Whether you agree or disagree with the nutty ideas and inane rationalizations of these two misguided people, we should at least acknowledge them by their new, self-chosen names. They no longer wish to be called Ed and Elaine Brown. They have chosen to be known as "Edward, a Living Soul in the Body of the Lord, of the House of Israel" and "Elaine, a Living Soul in the Body of the Lord, of the House of Israel".

We owe them this courtesy, at least.
June 23, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMike Emm
How can the Browns claim the "Zionists" are after them if they claim to belong to the "House of Israel"?

Are the Brown's trying for an insanity defense?
June 26, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterOld Guy
"This idea that you have to be shown the law before you are sent to the hoosegow for breaking it is comical. I have spent a number of hours in courts - as part of a jury- and I don't recall the judge ever hauling out the ol' statute book, calling the defendent over to the bench, and reading along with the defendent the specifics of the statute the defendent has transgressed."

The Browns have repeatedly said that their defense in court is that they contend that there is no law requiring them to pay income tax. That is their defense. The burden of proof is on the prosecution's side now to discredit their defense. All the prosecution has to do is show them the law or statute that requires them to pay income tax and they will pay it. They have yet to show them the actual law that requires them to pay.

Many people love to say that the 16th amendment is the law. It's not. Amendments do not create law. They merely lay out which rights specific parties hold. For instance. The 16th amendment isn't a law stating that people are required to pay income tax. The 16th amendment is a statute that gives congress the ABILITY to levy taxes derived from income. This still requires congress to pass a law stipulating that the government is indeed following through with that right and enforcing the law.

Amendments propose and laws dispose. Actual action comes directly from laws, but laws are not possible without the proper amendments being ratified.

That being said, this situation is very, very easy to solve.

If there is a law, show them and they will pay the money. They've stated over and over that they will.

If there isn't a law, dismiss all charges and either send a bill to congress requesting an income tax law or keep the IRS from taking taxes derived from income.

But the government won't show them the law...
June 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterUnbreakable
I think the Browns have a good case against the government. They ask to see the law, were never shown the law, However the government has made an attempt to kill them, cut off there power and utilitys, are tampering with there mail.
I want to see the LAW also.DJWOLFF
June 27, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterdallas Wolff
Obviously there is a sucker born every second.

June 28, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterChaz Proulx
To Richard Barnes:

I noticed you expressed a desire to learn about what the Illuminati is. The Illuminati is a theoretical group that embraces the ideals of a "world government." The words "Norvus Ordo Seclorum", which are wrritten on the back of the one-dollar note (along with the famed "all-seeing eye"), is said to be the motto of the Illuminati. The "all-seeing eye" is actually believed to be their symbol.

Many conspiracy theorists hold the notion that the Illuminati's long-term goal is to make the US Constitution obsolete, and form a sort of "world government" with complete and absolute power over its people.

The IRS (which is part of the Department of the Treasury) is believed to be instrumental in setting up the Illuminati's world government.
July 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMallin Schafer
By the way, the words "Norvus Ordo Seclorum" have meaning. In Latin, it means "New Order of the Ages" or "New World Order"
July 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMallin Schafer
To Mallin Schafer,

You say ...".The IRS ( which is part of the Department of the Treasury)"well that is a misleading truth...The fact is that IRS is NOT an agency of the United States Government..Title 44 USC mandates all agencies of the United States Government must be listed in Title 31 USC ...You will not find IRS listed in the entire volume of any current title 31 USC Department of Treasurey or anywhere else...The fact of the matter is...IRS and BATF are the same agency. an off shore privat Trust ....Trust #62 in Puerto Rico...There Delegation of Authority comes Directly from the Secretary of the Treasury of the commonwealth of Puerto Rico...NOT from this country..Dont believe it ? File a (FOIA)... Get your own copy right from the horses mouth..

.Just as a little side note here...Secret Service is not listed and is not an agency of The United States Govenment either...who are they ? I dont know. They wont reveal or answer on (FOIA)..Must be a secret...My best gues is they are there to let the president know he works for somebody else...Never mind what they say...Watch what they do...
July 21, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterpuddin tane
Old Guy, you should stop posting to this site.
You show every time you post that you are either ignorant or working for the other side.
I would say they are paying you to post the nonsense you put out here.
If you claim there is a law that makes the Browns liable,why don't you in your wisdom, put it out here for the world to see.
In fact, Freedom Law School has a reward for you if you can.

Quoting Old Guy,
"They are tax evaders. There is a law. Its our obligation as a U.S. Citizens to be familiar with the laws of the United States. Ignorance of the law is never a defense for breaking it."

Well, you have opened your mouth, now we want you to put your money where your mouth is.
Put up or shut up !
quote the statue that makes them liable.

Also, the 16th did not give Congress any new taxing powers and there are court cases that prove that. So if they didn't have it before and they didn't get it with the 16th, where does that power come from?

Old guy, the ball is in your court. Don't come back just to slam me, prove your point with law.
July 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterStrawman
Attorney Wins Tax Case
Sunday, July 15, 2007 -

At the start of the trial the DOJ withdrew the felony charges, leaving two counts of willful failure to file. The Constitution and the law were allowed into the courtroom. Although Cryer was able to tell the jury what he read, he was not allowed to show the jury what he read. Cryer was also able to tell the jury what he did not read in the law because he could not find it in the law - the law that made him liable to file and pay the federal income tax. Tom did a good job of explaining to the jury what he read in the Brushhaber, Stanton and Eisner Supreme Court cases about the legal meaning of the word "income" and what he read in the Internal Revenue Code - everything but the law that required him to file. Tom had asked the IRS to show him the law that made him liable but the IRS did not respond. -FairTaxGroup

See this link, and below:
July 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterStandupfortruth
"You know those kooks who go around not paying their taxes and saying there's no law to make them? Well, one of them just won.

Attorney Tom Cryer, who hasn't paid taxes in 10 years, thinks income tax "is a sham," and argued in court that the current tax laws don't apply to personal earnings, reports the Shreveport Times.

Cryer created a trust listing himself as the trustee, and received payments of dividends, interest and stock income to that trust, according to the indictment. He also was accused of concealing his receipt of the sources of income from the IRS by failing to file a tax return on behalf of that trust. "I determined that my personal earnings were not 100 percent profits, some were income," Cryer said.

While Cryer agrees he has income, the U.S. Attorney's office was apparently unable to prove that income equals taxable revenue.

Local attorney acquitted on federal income tax charges [Shreveport Times]"
July 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterStandupfortruth
The law that makes the Browns liable is not in the I.R.S. code. Do you know why? Because it is a commercial crime and as such the origin of law both the liability and relief are found in the U.C.C. The Brown's lost the case the day they entered a plea of not guilty. (entered by a court appointed lawyer) That allowed the Judge (actually a Magistrate Judge) to gain jurisdiction over the case,(the Brown’s) determine what statutes would and would not apply. And the funny part of this is no one in the blogging world has a clue as to the applicable law in this case. "Show me the law" is not the right question, as the judge, the prosecutors, and the government at large are not obligated to give legal advice. The role of a defense attorney as an officer of the court is to use the statutes available and not the law as you would expect. show me the instrument that makes me liable is the proper question. A "JURY" trial is not of article III making, it has been turned to Article 4– "process" The outcome is a given. Within 20 days of being served "arrested and brought to court" an affidavit must be filed demanding to see the Instrument, or you lose by Default. look up U.C.C. 3-501 This is the proper response to "criminal charges" as all crime is in fact commercial by nature. The jury did not award "restitution" but did hand down an "assessment" This is why you have ten days to "appeal". On day eleven you accept the terms. Again, by default, Ed is not dead because they have a problem (the Gov.) and the problem is Ed by definition and action it is being looked at as a belligerent claimant of law. This is why the judge was so kind to file a notice of appeal on the Brown’s behalf.
July 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge

where I see supporters of ed and elaine I see intelligent questions, and points. where I see derogatory comments I see no facts, nothing but ignorant claims to "myths" they were brainwashed into believing. Like the previous folks are saying, amendments are not laws. There is no law, and asking for proof of this law is no way relevant to speeding down a highway that has posted speed limits with statutes clearly posted in your state's offices.


Tom Cryer
Joe Bannister
Sherry Peele Jackson

July 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnother "KOOK"
you are a cartoon fool, an idiot, moron and crackpot. You should be working for the government and selling land deals in Arkansas.
July 22, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterkosmic

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