The Post & E-Mail
On February 18, 2010, Joseph Stack, a 53-year-old software engineer, committed suicide by slamming his private plane into the IRS building in Austin, Texas. While the man’s actions are universally deplorable, the note he left at his website expresses the desperation of a man who resented to the core of his being what he saw as unjust taxation and unfair tax advantages.
The Post & Email reprints his final statement so that the public can be aware of just what led him to commit his act of desperation: his own psychological inability to endure excessive taxation.
I say excessive, because nowhere in the original U.S. Constitution does the Federal Government have the power to tax individuals. And even the amendment which authorized the income tax gave birth to a Tax Code which defines “income” much more severely for individuals than corporations. Corporations can subtract expenses and capital outlays from their income and declare a reduced income. Private citizens, who should have pre-eminent rights before the law as real persons, cannot.
In medieval times the nobility were, by right, tax-exempt. Taxes were paid in the form of feudal dues by serfs, not freemen. Taxes in ancient times were paid only by foreigners, not citizens, as it says in the Bible. In the name of the modern, liberal democracy which rules in the name of the people, the average citizen in the US pays taxes on a host of things. It is worse in Europe where “citizens” now pay more taxes than medieval serfs.
None of this justifies suicide or murder. But tax rebellions have been the cause of many political upheavals, not the least famous of which was the American Revolution. Those who oppose such protests show how much they have abandoned the cause of the Founders of Our Country. And any attempt they might use of Mr. Stack’s desperate crime to berate the issue is merely a way of distracting the public from their own un-American values.