This is a weird story. It’s about a dentist who has claimed he doesn’t have to file taxes because he’s “Ambassador and Citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven under its King Jesus the Christ” and therefore has diplomatic immunity from federal jurisdiction. That’s pretty nutty and this guy is also a militant anti-tax activist. I’m not opposed to paying taxes. On the contrary, I believe there are things that are only possible if we each chip in: public safety (fire, police, health department), access to health care (aka, Universal Health Care), the social service safety net and much more. I detest seeing my hard earned money used to kill people so Americans can have big cars and Bush, Cheney and Halliburton can get rich, but maybe we’ll change that someday.
Having said all that, it is hard not to sympathize with this guy, even if he isn’t really an Ambassador from Heaven:
Genard’s crusade began after a pharmacy he had opened in 1989 went under. His bank forgave his loan debt, thus making it taxable income in the eyes of the IRS. Genard was outraged by the tax, and “around that time that he stopped filing his taxes,” said assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Miller, who prosecuted the case. (New Orleans Times-Picayne)
If I understand this correctly, this guy lost his shirt in his business, the bank let him off the hook for repaying money he didn’t have, and then the IRS taxed him on the money he didn’t have and he flipped out. And the US attorney decided to prosecute him.
Just because I think taxes are needed (and if politicians weren’t so cowardly they’d raise them to pay for things we need and pay back the debt we are incurring with this insane war) doesn’t mean it’s OK to do things that don’t make sense. The guy lost his business. He gets nailed. The law is the law. Big companies declare bankruptcy. They get off the hook. The law is the law.
U.S. Attorney Jim Letten commented: “The verdict sends a strong message to tax protesters that such recalcitrant, illegal and disdainful resistance to the payment of federal income taxes will not be tolerated in the Eastern District of Louisiana. As done in this case, this office will aggressively prosecute tax protesters and tax protester organizations who seek to create and spread misinformation regarding the requirements of paying federal income taxes.”
Yeah, I get the message. If you have an army of lobbyists and lawyers you don’t have to pay taxes. If you are a nutty dentist driven goofy by some zealous paper pusher, you do. Even when it doesn’t make any sense.