Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Where I came from and where we are in Tax Honestyville

In 1999, I was a truck driver and had successes with an outdoor advertising ministry I built in my 20's, along with helping top management at J. B. Hunt think through their problems at the CEO's request.  I had some college, so I felt able to address about anything.

I noticed that I was being required to keep an unending stream of receipts for the IRS, and this did not seem consistent with my upbringing in Texas.  America was supposed to be a free country, not a tracking country.  Some trucker along the way suggested I track down a man named Irwin Schiff, so I did.  

After following a few years of his ideas of nonviolently untaxing myself, consistent with the Gandhian ideas I studied, I realized that I was not going to get "due process."  I got "do it to you process."  And so the Gandhian/ Lutheran backbone of my training stood up and went to work with various fasts and walks across America.

In 2004, I met with Terry Lemmons, Communications Director for the IRS at the Main Building, 1111 Constitution Avenue.  I guess I was such an embarrassment to the IRS executives in my Gandhi outfit and fasting unto death in front of their building that I had to be addressed, but they couldn't just haul me off.  People were watching on the Internet and a few in the city.  Their conscience made them give me something.  What Mr. Lemmons gave was this:  "There is no single sentence anywhere that indicates an individual has a tax liability;  it's found in various court cases and scattered regulations."

A few months ago, I began interacting with George Washington University Law Professor John Siegel.  He doesn't impress everyone in the leadership of the movement as being intellectually honest, but he did offer a page of answers to the question:  "Where is my tax liability in the law?"  Since I don't have a law degree, I'm not in a position to argue.  And since I'm a follower of Tolstoy, Gandhiji and their Sermon on the Mount focus, I don't see that "going to law" school is in my future in any capacity.

What I do know on every moral level is that the state has no moral claim to one's labor, the intrinsic value of one's property or to number one as cattle.  Here, I can move forward, and so I do.

As I look at the Social Economy master's being pitched to me, I do not see that, apart from the library, I have much to offer the world with an upper level degree, so I'm powering up my school project (Mahatma Gandhi Global Library and Book Exchange).

Gene Chapman, Founder and CEO
Mahatma Gandhi Global Library and Book Exchange