In Wesley Snipes Case I.R.S. Fails to Get the Headlines They Wanted

Some bits and pieces from around the web:

  • The War Resisters League plans to blockade the IRS headquarters on . “Just as military recruiters supply the bodies for the war, the IRS supplies the funding. We call on all war opponents to help dramatize our opposition and to disrupt business as usual by joining this nonviolent blockade.”
  • Every year as people start getting their W-2s and 1099s and start thinking about filing their taxes, the IRS likes to put a high-profile tax evasion arrest or conviction in the headlines, to keep us from getting any funny ideas about not coughing up our tribute. This year, they chose a case with star power: prosecuting Wesley Snipes on felony conspiracy charges after he refused to file or pay taxes for several years based on his adherence to fantastic tax protester arguments. Unfortunately for them, the headlines came out all wrong: It didn’t go quite as well for Snipes as these headlines suggest. As Neil Buchanan points out, “Notwithstanding the focus on the acquittal for the felony counts, the jury did convict on 3 misdemeanors. Although it is unlikely that Snipes will receive the 3-year maximum jail time, he might well serve some time in jail; so this is hardly a case where a tax denier got off scot-free. He does still owe the tax plus interest plus penalties; so for his efforts, Snipes will pay much more to the government than he otherwise would have, he’ll pay huge legal fees, and he’s been convicted of criminal offenses.” But the IRS lost the deterrent effect that they hoped to get from “Snipes to Do Time on Tax Fraud Felonies” headlines.
  • Wendy McElroy has a good bit on frugality as a blood sport. Excerpt:

    To me, frugality is a game, a hobby, a competitive blood sport between me and the government with their running-dog State-privileged corporations. And it is a sport at which I excel! Part of the reason I am able to enjoy frugality is because I don’t cut from my/our budget anything that I value more than I value the time it takes to produce or earn it. We still travel abroad, I still pursue ethnic cooking, we indulge frequently in live theatre… But I don’t write much about the specifics of my various and many frugal strategies even though I am proud of them. For example, with food prices soaring, last month I was able to cut an additional 20% out of an-already-frugal grocery budget and I did so without sacrificing the foods — including luxury ones — that we enjoy. Again, frugality doesn’t mean giving up a single thing you truly value; it means discovering exactly what it is you value and, then, finding a way to afford it comfortably… and legally I should quickly add.

  • NTodd plugs tax resistance on Pax Americana and elsewhere. Excerpt:

    Don’t fear that you are alone. You aren’t. And while the IRS is a big scary bureaucratic matrix of control, consider how many bombs you had to dodge on your way to work or the supermarket or kids’ basketball practice today. None? Then you’re doing much better than the Iraqis. Isn’t taking a small chance with the tax man the minimum sacrifice we can make as individuals who want to stop the murder?

  • The White House proposed a new budget. You probably won’t be shocked to hear that vast increases in military spending are in the works. Fred Kaplan and Winslow T. Wheeler have done a good job of running the numbers to show that it’s even worse than you’d guess from what you read in the papers. Even if you’re not a squeamish peacenik who looks at expensive armaments and worries about those who will be on the receiving end you should be appalled at the corruption, pork, and waste.