They hate Trump so much they’re willing to . . . give up the personal income tax?

Allow me to be the first to congratulate the citizens of the state of New York on the fact they are now one court case away from being forever free of their noxious, redistributive, initiative- and wealth-destroying state income tax.

Back in 1919 — exactly a century ago — New York state’s politicians announced they faced a “revenue shortfall.” (That’s what greedy politicians always call it when they’ve bought votes by overspending their income, as in “I bought that nice speedboat and trailer, and jewelry for my mistress, and now that it’s time to buy groceries for the family I seem to be facing a ‘revenue shortfall.’ I wonder how much I can get if I put a tax on kids’ lemonade stands?”)

The end of the First World War in November 1918 meant New York munitions factories faced a steep drop in profits, you see, reducing the revenue the state government had been bringing in with its “corporate tax.” At the same time, it was clear that alcohol would soon be banned across the country. (A double whammy!)

The latter was particularly problematic. At the time, state governments relied heavily on liquor excise taxes — it was estimated New York state and its localities would lose between $25 and $30 million each year!

So the day before the 18th Amendment was ratified in January, the state’s legislative leaders met with city mayors in Albany and made it clear that an income tax was in the works.

“The only question to be decided is the rate to be fixed and what size incomes should be exempted,” declared Republican Assembly Speaker Thaddeus Sweet of Oswego.

“The state and localities will be deprived before the expiration of the coming year of several millions of dollars of revenue heretofore derived from liquor taxes,” the State Tax Commission wrote in a February report. “We believe that the time has come to enter upon a more scientific method of raising revenues for State and locality and for the relief of real estate. In this connection, the Commission recommends the enactment of a general personal income tax at a low rate.”

Yeah, “a low rate.” And “just on millionaires,” of course. How “scientific.” And so began the systematic destruction of the economic system which for 250 years had allowed hard-working New Yorkers to start small businesses, save their profits, grow those businesses, create jobs, build something for their grandchildren.

I Know: We’ll get him for ‘Tax Evasion’!

But it was a day in June, 1931 — 12 years later — that the seeds of the self-destruction of the initiative-destroying, tyrannical “personal income tax” were planted.

Law enforcement types were positively apoplectic over their inability to bring Chicago thug Al Capone to justice. They’d actually facilitated his rise by enacting alcohol Prohibition, which worked about as well as every other government “prohibition,” of course. (No one has smoked marijuana or used a non-prescription opiate in this country since 1933, right? And there are no prostitutes anywhere but in Nevada.)

But the nerve of this Capone guy: He used some of his massive profits from offering the residents of Chicago goods and services they wanted but which the government insisted on “banning” — booze, prostitutes, money-lending without a state license, the numbers racket — to pad the salaries of cops, prosecutors, even judges. On the rare occasion when that didn’t work and a Capone associate was actually brought to trial, the jurors might receive a visit at home in the evening from a couple of guys with broken noses and no necks, complimenting the jurors on what lovely children they were raising, and noting the route the kids used when they walked to school each morning. “Be a shame is anything should ever happen to such nice kids, like being hit by a truck or something.”

So local prosecution of the Capone mob was pointless. But finally, the federal government came up with a strategy — remove Capone’s case to the federal jurisdiction: Charge him with failing to declare and pay personal income tax on the proceeds from his illicit businesses!

Of course, any first-year law student could see the problem with THAT. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees Americans that “No person . . . shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” The income tax statute cannot compel a citizen to declare what crimes he has committed by declaring income from pimping, bootlegging, et cetera, because that would amount to compelled self-incrimination!

But then the federals got really cute. “No, no,” they insisted, “declaring income from criminal activities isn’t “self-incrimination,” since IRS filings are “COMPLETELY CONFIDENTIAL!” The IRS would NEVER share information from such filings with any law enforcement entity, or any other government agency at all. It would be perfectly safe to report “$5,000 received for assassinating the governor.” You could declare the income, pay taxes on it, and no one would ever be the wiser. Because income tax filings are SECRET! See?

Frankly, with IRS agents now eagerly participating in the busting of narcotics traffickers in various “multi-jurisdictional drug task forces” like Michigan’s “Downriver Area Narcotics Organization (DRANO)” I suspect IRS “secrecy” has long been a de facto dead letter.

But for the legislative body that created the tax to openly ADMIT that?

Throwing away the myth of ‘confidentiality’ . . . with both hands

At https://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-taxes-new-york-law-1433262 , Nicole Goodkind of Newsweek reported a month back “New York Passes Law to Release President Trump’s State Tax Returns to Congress.”

New York state’s Democrat-dominated Assembly “passed a bill on Wednesday to make six years of President Donald Trump’s state tax records available to Congress.

“The TRUST Act, which passed the State Senate earlier this month and now makes its way to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk, would allow the commissioner of the New York Department of Taxation and Finance to release Trump’s state tax returns to the chair of the federal House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation for any ‘specified and legitimate legislative purpose.’”

Which we all know means “for NO legitimate legislative purpose, at all, but simply to see if their fellow Democrats can ‘get something’ on Trump to use against him in the 2020 campaign.”

“Donald Trump and his administration are doing everything they can to conceal the truth about his finances and massive conflicts of interest by illegally blocking Congress from obtaining his tax returns,” lied the progressive advocacy group Stand Up America in a prepared piece of Far-Left propaganda. (Trump has been under virtually continuous IRS audit for years. If he weren’t ‘clean as a whistle,’ we would presumably have heard about it by now. And it’s only RELEASING a citizen’s tax returns that would be “illegal.”)

“In order to circumvent this stonewalling,” the degenerate collectivist scum continue, “New York lawmakers are providing a new avenue for the House Ways and Means Committee to obtain these crucial financial documents. As soon as this bill becomes law, all Chairman [Richard] Neal will have to do is ask.”

“The president’s tax filings in New York state, where his business and campaign are headquartered, will likely reveal similar information to what is in his federal returns,” Newsweek noted. “Last month, Neal requested six years of the president’s tax returns and other business filings under a law that requires the Treasury secretary to turn over returns requested by the heads’ of the Congressional tax committees.”

Well now. Does no one remember the “Al Capone rationale”? This isn’t a case where tax-return confidentiality is about to be broached through some clerical error. No, the New York state Legislature has officially declared that NEW YORK STATE INCOME TAX FILINGS ARE NO LONGER CONFIDENTIAL. Therefore, requiring citizens to volunteer information about their businesses or income which might be turned over to other government agencies, which might be used — heck, which they obviously intend to use — to harm the reputation of, or even to prosecute, said taxpayers VIOLATES THE FIFTH AMENDMENT. With the “Capone rationale” abandoned and ostentatiously trampled in the mud, the whole damned “personal income tax” scheme is now revealed to be COMPLETELY UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

The long-suffering citizens of New York (those that haven’t already wisely fled to lower-tax domiciles, of course) now need only one smart attorney and a couple of honest judges to so rule, and a century of collectivist, resdistributive, wealth- and initiative-detroying “state income tax” tyranny will be at an end!

Yay!

But wait, it gets even better. It’s not just the New York STATE Legislature. No no.

On July 2, The New York Times reported: “House Files Lawsuit Seeking Disclosure of Trump Tax Returns.”

As in, the “United States House of Representatives.”

(See https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/02/us/politics/trump-taxes-lawsuit.html .)

Wow, they’re so anxious to “get Trump” that they’re actually willing to destroy the myth of FEDERAL “tax return confidentiality” — to have the FEDERAL income tax thrown out as “an Unconstitutional Violation of the Fifth Amendment guarantee against self-incrimination” — reducing federal revenues by about one-third.

Hallelujah for Trump Derangement Syndrome. Will miracles never cease.

4 Comments to “They hate Trump so much they’re willing to . . . give up the personal income tax?”

  1. Edwin Clements Says:

    This question has been brought before the Supreme Court before. See the following:

    https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/424/648.html

    Observe that it says that if someone thinks the some of the information might be incriminating, he/she has the right to claim the 5th amendment and refuse to give it.

    If anyone considers doing this, you would be well advised to talk to a lawyer first. There is a certain way it has to be done, or they can get you for it. Plus, if they do try to get you for it anyway, it is a valid legal defense that you relied on the advice of a lawyer.

  2. Vin Says:

    Yeah, right.

    Thanks for the citation, Edwin. Really. But then, if he had a “right not to volunteer that information,” how come Al Capone got sent away for failing to declare how much he made from bootlegging, prostitution, and the protection racket?

    It had to be because he was REQUIRED to report that income (on penalty of imprisonment), which in turn means he was required by law to violate his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination.

    Good luck putting an asterisk on your tax return and writing at the bottom “I had lots of other income last year, but I’m not reporting it to you guys, because to do so I’d have to admit to committing various crimes, and the Supreme Court in ‘Garner’ said it was OK for me to not report that.”

    As is frequently the case, in Garner vs. U.S. (1976) the Supreme Court was lying through their teeth in order to sustain a poisoned prosecution and — in the end — preserve the ongoing unconstitutional tyranny which is the current personal income tax as enforced, which tax funds the salaries of three of these black-robed political appointees and about 1/3rd of the rest of the federal circus.

    (Should this surprise us, when our own Justice John Roberts, that wriggling snake, can declare one day that the Obamacare individual mandate is not a tax, but then declare the next day that it is — both holdings having been necessary to sustain that socialist travesty, the goal being to reach the desired political result by any means necessary?)

    Note that when the court really MEANS to enforce a right, they do what they did in “Miranda.” In Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966) they didn’t just say those being arrested have a right to an attorney and to remain silent, kind of, in theory, if the officers happen to think of it, if they find it convenient at the time. No, they said that unless officers clearly explain to the accused IMMEDIATELY, OUT LOUD, that he or she has “a right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law; you have a right to an attorney, if you cannot afford an attorney,” etc., and make sure the arrested party confirms he or she has understood these statements, ANY CONFESSION OBTAINED WILL BE THROWN OUT.

    Similarly, if the simpering court had meant what they said in “Garner,” they could and would have ordered “. . . and any prosecution based on information contained in tax returns shall be thrown out unless EVERY TAX FORM AND INSTRUCTION MANUAL ISSUED BY THE IRS shall state at the top in capital letters of at least 3/8ths inches in height “ANY AND ALL INFORMATION REPORTED HERE WILL BE SHARED WITH FEDERAL PROSECUTORS, AS WELL AS WITH ANY CONGRESSMAN REQUESTING IT WITH THE GOAL OF RUINING YOUR REPUTATION THROUGH SLANDER AND INNUENDO. DUE TO YOUR FIFTH AMENDMENT PROTECTION AGAINST SELF-INCRIMINATION, YOU SHOULD NOT REPORT ANY INCOME TO US, HERE OR ANYWHERE, FROM ANY SOURCE, IF REPORTING THAT INCOME MIGHT TEND TO INCRIMINATE YOU, MAKE YOU LOOK BAD, OR SUGGEST YOU HAVE COMMITTED A CRIME. . . .”

    Or have they just not gotten around to that, yet?

    — V.S.

  3. Technomad Says:

    What, for the love of all sanity, do these lunatics expect to find in Trump’s tax returns? The man’s audited annually, as a matter of routine, like everybody else at his level. He also can and does hire the best tax people in the business to prepare his returns. Do these nitwits expect to find something incriminating, or is this just another way to harass the man who took the lollypop they thought was rightfully theirs?

    This business of opening tax returns was started, I am told, by Adlai Stevenson, and even though it has become customary, it is not required by any law. If Adlai Stevenson were not dead, I would dearly love to kick him a good one for starting this nonsense.

  4. Edwin Clements Says:

    Dear Vin,
    Thanks for your reply. Back in the 1980s, people were doing what was called “5th Amendment Tax Returns” . What they would do would be to fill one out, and for any piece of information it asked for, which they thought might be incriminating, they would put “objection – self incrimination” in that space on the form. It would not work to just put it somewhere as a blanket statement for the whole form, you had to put it for each individual item that it applied to. It was also suggested that the person write a letter accompanying it, which explained that he/she was claiming their right under the 5th amendment, and also stating that if they were given a grant of immunity under the applicable statute that allows the attorney general to give them (I used to know the code section and forgot it, it has been a long time, but it should not be hard to find) , then they would give the information once they got the grant of immunity. There was a guy named Marvin Cooley who perfected this method and published some information and booklets on it, but I expect he has passed away by now. What is important was that if you did it right, they would not come after you criminally, because they knew that no court is going to uphold prosecution of somebody who correctly asserted his/her rights under the 5th amendment.
    One thing you would have been definitely NOT advised to do would be to put at the bottom of the tax return some statement such as “I had lots of other income last year, but I’m not reporting it to you guys, because to do so I’d have to admit to committing various crimes, and the Supreme Court in ‘Garner’ said it was OK for me to not report that.”
    Now as far as Al Capone was concerned, I don’t know the details of his situation. I have heard one story that he was “given up” by his lawyer in exchange for the feds getting the lawyer’s son into the U.S. Naval Academy (and the lawyer was subsequently killed by Capone’s gang). [The lawyer’s son was named Edward O’Hare. He became a Navy fighter pilot in World War 2 and won the Medal of Honor. O’Hare Airport is named after him.] I have also heard (but not studied the details) that his whole case was some kind of legal farce that the feds cooked up because they were just so desperate to get him for something, that they didn’t care and threw legal ethics out the window to do it. I think this has been studied in detail by legal experts, but I do not know the results of it and so I can’t comment as any kind of knowledgeable expert. But it sure would not surprise me.
    I would recommend that you be willing to study this in a little more detail. I don’t know if anyone uses this 5th amendment defense now, but I think it would would have to still be valid in some manner. That is, of course, as long as we have honest judges who are willing to uphold the constitution (and that might be pretty iffy).

    Yours truly,

    Edwin Clements

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