The jury says Joe Banister is not guilty. Pardon the New York Times link -- it's the only "mainstream media" source I've found for this breaking story, which I heard about via email from Dick Boddie and on the Smith2004-discuss list. If you haven't registered with the Times, and don't want to, just use "rationalreview" as both login and password.
This is a body blow to the IRS, and they're already scurrying to minimize the impact.
Says the Times: "The verdict stirred concerns that it would encourage more Americans to refuse to pay taxes, which the Treasury, I.R.S. and the Justice Department have all acknowledged is a growing problem."
Ummm ... problem for whom, exactly?
The Times quotes a "tax analyst," J.J. McNab on the real rub for the tax thugs: "This is going to encourage thousands more people who were on the fence, who were paying taxes only because they were afraid they would be criminally prosecuted," she says. "If too many people do this, the tax system will collapse because it is based on people voluntarily complying ..."
I have my own, different views on taxation than those who question the language of the revenue code, but I still find this encouraging. Coming as it does on the heels of Vernie Kuglin's similar acquittal, it may signal the beginning of the end for the income tax as it has existed since WWII. Not that that will stop Uncle Sugar from attempting to play the Dane, but it's a start.
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