Tax Runner Wesley Snipes Sentenced To Three Years In The Slammer

Gather round, tax kooks, and listen to the tale of Wesley Snipes. He’s the guy who didn’t pay his taxes while raking in millions, and then tried to collect $7.4 million in tax refunds. Now he’s going to jail for three years thanks to a federal District Judge who doesn’t care much for tax protesters and their zany theories.

His celebrity could raise attention about tax defiance and deter protesters, said Assistant Atty. Gen. Nathan J. Hochman of the Justice Department’s tax division.

“The three-year sentence Mr. Snipes received today sends a loud and crystal-clear message to the tax defier community that if they engage in this illegal conduct, they can and will go to jail,” Hochman said.

Despite Snipes’ claims that he was taken advantage of, Hochman said the actor was a “disciple” of the tax defiance movement who understood that his actions were illegal.

“It’s more than just an accident. It occurred on numerous occasions over many different years,” Hochman said. “This wasn’t an innocent victim of ‘jackals.’ This is someone who willfully and knowingly participated.”

Before his sentencing, Snipes told the judge that his wealth and celebrity attracted “wolves and jackals like flies are attracted to meat,” and he called himself “well-intentioned but miseducated.”

The cunning greed-monger defended his morally bankrupt plot to defraud taxpayers, saying: “I am an idealistic, naive, passionate, truth-seeking, spiritually motivated artist, unschooled in the science of law and finance.”

Snipes was convicted on three misdemeanor counts of failing to file tax returns for 1999-2001. His former “tax advisers,” Douglas Rosile and Eddie Ray Kahn were respectively sentenced to 54 months and 10 years in jail.

The decision is a tragic setback for Tax Dog, and a reminder to always pay your taxes.

Wesley Snipes sentenced to 3 years in prison [L.A. Times]
(AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)

Comments

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  1. snoop-blog says:

    what an idiot. what a buffoon. what a gull a bull.

    seriously protesting by not paying taxes? why don’t you just leave the damn country if you don’t like it.

  2. snoop-blog says:

    oh wait i looks like he tried that in canada, and they don’t want his ass either.

  3. cac67 says:

    Does anyone really believe that this millionaire celebrity is going to spend 3 years in prison?

  4. snoop-blog says:

    @cac67: no it will probably be more like 10 months in a country club.

  5. unravel says:

    @snoop-blog: inotrite!?! I hate people who are all like “WAAAAAA, I have a problem with our government, and $action’s soooo unjust. I’m going to protest!”. It’s like they think they’re in America, or something!@#!

    Oh…. damn :(

  6. humphrmi says:

    @snoop-blog: At least he’ll have a criminal record. And I believe he’s required to pay back all the money, so at least you and I (the taxpayers that have to make up the difference when others don’t pay) don’t have to cover his share while he “protests”.

  7. KD17 says:

    What a dumbass

  8. Trai_Dep says:

    For using “artist” and “creative” in a sentence referencing himself, Snipes should get life.

  9. wdnobile says:

    “The cunning greed-monger defended his morally bankrupt plot to defraud taxpayers” – wow – slanted much?

    I think Mr Snipes did something wrong, and in so doing is being justifyably punished. But he wasnt defrauding taxpayers – he was defrauding the government. And how cunning could he be? He got caught ! LOL

  10. BugMeNot2 says:

    Even though he reached his Boiling Point and tried to cut through the tax system like a fine Blade, I guess Liberty Stands Still, and this Passenger 57 ‘s Money Train was only a One Night Stand after all.

    Ohh, and To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar.

  11. whatdoyoucare says:

    @unravel: There are smarter ways to protest that won’t end up getting your ass thrown in slammer for three years. He is a complete asshat.

  12. hatrack says:

    If he doesn’t believe in paying taxes he sure as hell doesn’t want to be moving to Canada.

  13. attackgypsy says:

    @cac67:

    Nope. Federal crime. No such thing as parole in the federal pen. Only time off for good behavior. He has to do 85% of the sentence. About 930 days in jail, give or take a few days.

    No country club for federal offenders anymore.

  14. whatdoyoucare says:

    @wdnobile: “A government of the people, by the people, for the people…”
    IMHO, WE are the government, therefore he defruaded all of us.

  15. lemur says:

    @cac67: Before we all get onto the indignation train would it be possible to compare how he is going to be treated with the actual way non-celebrities are treated?

    When the Hilton flap occurred a lot of people started spewing nonsense that had little to do with how the system works.

    In this case, from what I’ve been able to gather, I predict that he won’t do the full 3 year term. Why? Because people who commit financial crimes are often released early. That’s not unusual.

    If something shady happens (like in the Hilton case), I’ll be among those who denounce it but until that happens, I’ll chill and let the judges do their thing.

  16. ClayS says:

    I don’t think he should be sent to prison. In fact, I don’t think any white collar criminals should be. They ought to nail him with a few million dollars in fines and probation. Snipes is not a danger to society.

    We have a ridiculous number of people in prison in this country and it’s out of control. Low level offenders are learning to be even worse criminals in prison. The most dangerous prisoners prey upon the least violent. Our criminal justice system is broken. We should be rehabilitating as many people as we can and ridding ourselves of the ones we can’t.

    Why does the US have the highest per capita imprisonment rate in the world?

  17. lemur says:

    @attackgypsy: Thanks for that informative comment. “Good behavior” is precisely what I had in mind when I said “released early”. I did not know there was a 85% limit though.

  18. consumersaur says:

    Hilton didn’t go to federal prison.

  19. consumersaur says:

    @ClayS: Drug laws.

  20. BlackFlag55 says:

    Well, well, well. An intersting topic that requires a fair amount of research to begin to unravel. But here’s the short of it … their money, their rules.

    Taxation doesn’t pay for anything other than the vig on money Congress borrows. The Grace Commission proved that once and for all.

    As a citizen of the United States of America, you granted yourself the right to print your own currency without cost of interest. That currency is described in the Constitution and the Coinage Act and other Treasury legislation. That is your currency.

    But we don’t use that currency. We use currency provided by the Federal Reserve bank system. The Fed is no more federal than Fedeal Reserve.

    “Examining the organization and function of the Federal Reserve Banks and applying the relevant factors, we conclude that the Federal Reserve Banks are not Federal instrumentalities…but are independent and privately owned and controlled corporations…Federal Reserve Banks are listed neither as ‘wholly owned’ government corporations [under 31 U.S.C. Section 846] nor as ‘mixed ownership’ corporations [under 31 U.S.C. Section 856]…It is evident from the legislative history of the Federal Reserve Act that Congress did not intend to give the Federal government direction over the daily operation of the Reserve Banks…The fact that the Federal Reserve Board regulates the Reserve Banks does not make them Federal agencies under the Act…Unlike typical Federal agencies, each bank is empowered to hire and fire employees at will. Bank employees do not participate in the Civil Service Retirement System. They are covered by worker’s compensation insurance, purchased by the Bank, rather than the Federal Employees Compensation Act. Employees traveling on Bank business are not subject to Federal travel regulations and do not receive government employee discounts on lodging and services…”
    – Lewis vs. U.S., case #80-5905, 9th Circuit, June 24, 1982

    In order to freely circulate a private scrip replacing the legitimate currency of the Unitred States, those who own and control the Fed required a method of inviolate repayment of the interest owed on this borrowed money to make their enterprise completey risk free. That’s why Title 26 of the US Code exists and the agency that operates accordingly is the Internal Revenue Service. They collect the vig. The interest paid on borrowed money is what your taxes pay for. Consider that … you’re borrowing money and paying the interest for borrowing a private scrip through your Witholding and Income taxes when you already possess the Constitutional right to print your own currency without cost of interest.

    This is the essential crux. It is “their” money” To use it you must abide by “their” rules. Use your own currency and their rules do not apply. But I dare you you to (a) find any legitimate, Constitutional currency you can use, because no part of the banking system will circulate it. And (b) I dare you to try and abrogate the system welded into our financial, mercantile and economic base.

    Wesley made the claasic error of believing BS. I admire the effort, but it was as an ant stalking a rhino.

    “Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation and I care not who makes the laws.” Mayer Amschel Rothschild, founder of the Rothschild international banking dynasty, 1790

    Turns out, money does talk and BS does in fact have to take the perp walk.

    Their money, their rules. It’s that simple.

    Now, if you’df like to rid yourself of the onerous and frankly anti-American practice of taxation – a founding principle, remember – we have to dislodge the central banking system that grew out of the charred remains of the Civil War, empowered during a fake economic crisis, and then cemented into place by the Bretton Woods Accords.

    Good luck. Until then, you kid yourself about being free.

  21. lemur says:

    @consumersaur: Who said she did?

  22. pigeonpenelope says:

    @snoop-blog: he is an absolute idiot.

    i had a professor tell me i shouldn’t pay taxes in protest of the war.

    this is also the same professor who encouraged our class to fast on thanksgiving day.

  23. pigeonpenelope says:

    @ClayS: fines are nothing but a slap. he needs a real punishment. do i think he needs to be in prison with murderers and child rapists? no. but i do think he needs to have his privileges taken away.

    and don’t forget, he ran away. he fled out of hte country to avoid the law. if this was a man who was simply good-intended and naive, he would have owned up to it.

  24. whatdoyoucare says:

    @BlackFlag55:
    Now, if you’df like to rid yourself of the onerous and frankly anti-American practice of taxation – a founding principle, remember -

    I thought that the cry during the Revolutionary War was,”no taxation without representation,” NOT “no taxation.” Two very different things.

  25. Bladefist says:

    well god dang it, there goes Blade 4 out the window.

  26. pigeonpenelope says:

    @Bladefist: ahh yes, the world must now suffer because there will be no blade 4. damn wesley.

  27. snoop-blog says:

    i’m all for protesting, but i agree with black flag that not paying taxes is thee most anti-american thing you can do.

    and as far as people saying they should just fine him, instead of jailing him, uhm, how do you get money from someone who is already not paying you…. you put them in jail that’s how. otherwise, he’d just keep his money hidden (like he only had 9 g’s in his bank yeah, right).

  28. unravel says:

    @whatdoyoucare: I agree that he’s an asshat, and yea, there are better ways to protest but the whole “if you think the country sucks, leave!” thing never fails to get my nipples in a knot :o

  29. snoop-blog says:

    @unravel: no if the country sucks, protest, but if you don’t pay taxes leave with all the rest of the illegals.

  30. snoop-blog says:

    @snoop-blog: *don’t want to pay taxes, than leave.

  31. pigeonpenelope says:

    @snoop-blog:i agree. i think he’s still attempting to outsmart the system. i can see him hiding cash in various places. and i think that he wouldn’t learn his lesson should he simply be fined. perhaps he should be forced to do Disney movies.

  32. snoop-blog says:

    “Further, Snipes has been a ceaseless nuisance to several tax-collecting entities – not just the IRS, but the states of California and Florida and country of Canada, according to the sentencing motion. And investigators are still convinced he’s hiding money – Snipes reported having only $8,824 in a checking account and $500 cash, the memo alleges, despite disclosed assets in excess of $25 million.” -ASSOCIATED PRESS

    so if the war was his excuse here, i wonder what he was protesting in canada

  33. nequam says:

    @BlackFlag55: That’s what she said!

  34. forgottenpassword says:

    aww mannnnn! NOW who is going to play the Drizzt Do’Urden character in the D&D film? (it was rumored that he would be the one)

    Actually, I hope he doesnt do it. I am a firm believer that dark elves should not be portrayed by black people. Not racist or anything,IMO they just dont look like elves in any way . But I agree that his swordfighting & acrobatic moves he had in the Blade series of films would fit the drizzt charactor very well (but he doesnt have elven facial features).

  35. Dustbunny says:

    Tax Cat disapproves of tax cheaters. Do not want!

  36. wdnobile says:

    @whatdoyoucare:

    Thats more than a little weak given the reference. He tried to get out of paying his taxes not scam you and me.

  37. modenastradale says:

    We can haz three years in prison?

  38. modenastradale says:

    (BTW, where did this Tax Cat “can haz” stuff originate?)

  39. Imhotep says:

    “Hey! Look everyone! This is what we’ll do to you if you defy our rule!”
    What a despicable, fear-mongering parade of greed and brutality thinly veiled in sham-patriotism. THAT, my friends, IS the american way.
    The timing couldn’t be more politically convenient, eh?

  40. HOP says:

    i kinda thought this guy was more sensible than a lotta of those jerks…..oh well

  41. hypnotik_jello says:
  42. rbb says:

    @pigeonpenelope:

    Call the IRS and turn in your prof. The IRS pays the tipster a percentage of the taxes recovered ;)

  43. VikingP77 says:

    @BlackFlag55: Nice post! and to @whatdoyoucare: Regarding the Revolution cry…Americans weren’t paying INCOME taxes to the U.S. government until well after. Read some books asshat! LOL thats my new favorite word by the way thank you!

  44. Rusted says:

    @whatdoyoucare: Defrauded.

    @VikingP77: Cops and firemen don’t work for free.

  45. VikingP77 says:

    @Rusted: No they don’t…did I say they didn’t? Asshat!

  46. D-Bo says:

    Always bet on black:

  47. nequam says:

    @VikingP77: Okay. So you congratulate BlackFlag and then you immediately proceed to undermine his “taxation is un-American” statement.

    Given your “read some books asshat” comment, I probably have to explain this to you in simple terms:

    (1) BlackFlag said anti-taxation was a founding principle (i.e., he tied it to the Revolution);
    (2) Whatdoyoucare clarified (correctly) that taxation, in and of itself, was not the evil in the context of the Revolution, but rather it was taxation without representation
    (3) You chime in to say that the Revolution had nothing to do with income tax, THEREFORE,
    (4) According to your comment, BlackFlag’s reference to the Revolution is irrelevant to this post, which is about the income tax.

    Dipshit.

  48. Islandkiwi says:
  49. seamer says:

    Look, finally an artist who really was in jail. Now he can make some awesome art about it.

  50. Lucky225 says:

    [truthattack.org]

    I’m going to have to disagree. Wesley Snipes did not have a good defense, and relied on con-artists. This however does not preclude the fact that most Americans are not liable for the “income tax.”

    If you have access to pacer search for Cryer, Tommy where 12 jurors dismissed charges of income tax evasion and failure to file.

  51. trk182 says:

    @ClayS:

    Because we don’t chop peoples hands off for stealing, or drag them outside the court house and shoot them on the spot.

  52. BlackFlag55 says:

    Wesley Snipes effed up big time. Strike One. And he got belligerent about being an ass-hat. Strike Two. And … he let Other People handle his philosophy, his payments to the IRS, his books and his requirement under the Law. Strike Three. That’s so dumb its evolution in action.

    However …

    We can pay off his [Hamilton's] debt in fifteen years, but we can never get rid of his financial system.
    – Thomas Jefferson, to Dupont, 1802

    He who has the gold, rules. Do not forget that, people.

    In context to the current inevitable aftermath of an orgy of borrowing, which the taxes you pay, pay for the vig for Congress to borrow …

    “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, (i.e., the “business cycle”) the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”
    – Thomas Jefferson

    Now, the folks who took advantage of sub-prime mortgages are so flamingly dimwitted that I again have to use the phrase Evolution In Action. That said, are you aware that every two years the State Of National Emergency must be voted on (House of Reps and always in the dead of night), and continued in order to maintain the charade of a private scrip as contrasted to legitimate Constitutional currency? And, though I am a profound believer in the strongest most bad ass military we can muster – at all times – that Article One, Section 8 of the Constitution calls for a Navy in perpetuity, but only avers a two year period for an armed land force, the army unless we are at war?

    How does Congress get around this, since the Founding Fathers considered an armed standing military to be a far greater threat to our liberties than anything else?

    Answer: two year terms of National Emergency. Then, they borrow currency from the Federal Reserve to pay for that military. Which your witholding pays for.

    Notwitshstanding all that, again … I am all for a stunningly bad ass military that can whip the entire world in time for tea.

    But … if the way they’re giong about it was Constitutional and legitimate, why are we not amending the Constitution and continuing with this charade of two year re-ups of National Emergency?

    Because .. the power to tax is the power to destroy. And the power to tax is the power to control your behavior and the behavior of the marketplace. The military is a bonus. Money and arms and economy tied together. Or, the business of America, is business.

    And you pay for it, despite what our Founding Fathers sought to create.

    Flame me some more. I’ve got lots of ammo.

  53. mikelotus says:

    @BlackFlag55: Thomas Jefferson pretty much lived in a fantasy world, died in debt, was incapable of making a living, and to top it off, had slaves and had sex with his slaves. He also hid on his mountain instead of fighting for his country.

    Alexander Hamilton fought for his country, made money, but was generous, understood the idea of capital and liquidity, hated slaverly for both morale and economic reasons, understood that this country’s future was in industry and finance and helped establish the foundation that has made this country an economic powerhouse. Meanwhile, Jefferson was a failure at growing grapes for wine too.

  54. mikelotus says:

    @VikingP77: Don’t call someone an asshat that you don’t know asswipe. Was there any country that had an income tax in 1787? Is there any modern country that does not have an income tax or VAT tax today? Do you like throwing grenades around like a troll, or are you trying to say something sensible?

  55. rg says:

    You better polish up those “To Wong Foo” pumps girl! You gettin ready to find out why Johnny Cash wrote “Ring of Fire”!

  56. BlackFlag55 says:

    Gee, not a single substantive point.

    :-)

  57. Keat says:

    Pay up, now. We’ve got to fund illegal wiretapping and a war of choice. Not to mention a couple of “bridges to nowhere.” Those things ain’t cheap!

  58. Landru says:

    @wdnobile:
    Um, this a blog, not the nytimes.

  59. kyle4 says:

    Finally some justice served, and I hope they don’t let him out in 6 months due to “good behavior”. So many celebrities think they can get away with not paying taxes or writing them off and it’s about time someone of his stature got put in his place.

  60. mpjones says:

    @BlackFlag55: You’re still liable for taxes on imputed wages, which would include any income paid in a private currency. Not that they’d let you use one anyway–just ask the Liberty Dollar folks.

    Incidentally, the Liberty Dollar was really just an MLM scam preying on ignorant libertarians. The “tax protester” lot are all scammers too. As a pretty hardcore libertarian myself, I run into this kind of BS all the time.

  61. Conan the Electrician says:

    You pay taxes because you are a US citizen or resident and are supposed to obey the law of the United States. This talk about Federal Reserve currency is ridiculous. If your employer tried to pay you with a car or gold, instead of cash, you would still have to pay income taxes on it. You can pay with private currency (like company scrip, etc).

    And the tax protesters (where do these people come from?) like to bring up Tom Cryer, who was acquitted of criminal charges of tax evasion. Completely irrelevant example. Tommy Cryer still had to pay back the taxes with penalties, and his tax theories were soundly rejected by the courts. The reason he was acquitted of the criminal charges was the Cheek defense, so basically Tommy was too dumb to realize that he was breaking a law and he had no idea he was doing something illegal. Without intent, there is no criminal act (but there still is civil liability). For obvious reasons most juries don’t accept this defense.

  62. zyodei says:

    If you pay federal taxes, you are complicit in murder. It’s simple. It is black and white.

    Your tax dollars buy bombs that kill innocent people and children, along with all sorts of secretive black opps shenanigans that cause all sorts of misery around the world.

    By willingly paying your taxes, and not committing a moral act of civil disobedience to try to force the government to return to the rule of law and the Constitution, you are knowingly guilty of being an accomplice to mass murder. Remember: they can’t arrest everybody.

    The highest law of the land is the Constituion. If the leaders do not follow this law, why should we continue to obey the laws saying we have to give them money?

    You are morally responsible for your actions. The only moral way to continue to live in America and pay taxes is if you are using your income to try to fundamentally change things somehow, to create something better, to rein in the economic and military empire, to return America to it’s original vision.

    If you are staying in America and paying taxes just to continue to enjoy a high level of consumer satisfaction, knowing the great evil those dollars are being funnelled to, you are morally on the level of an unprosecuted serial killer.

    And for those who might tell me to leave the country if I feel that way – I did. I am far away. It kills me to leave the country I love, but it seems like it is beyond saving at this point…these twin cancers called Government and Corporations have reached a terminal stage.

  63. BlackFlag55 says:

    Dera MPJones – of course you have to pay taxes on any income from whatever source derived. That’s what it says at the Sixteenth Amendment – The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration. You misrepresent the point.

    If you’re a Libertarian then you should know the many and varied arguments pertaining to these points.

    It’s easy to get confused about these matters because much of what is written about taxation is a honey trap. Written and distributed by those working to keep the confusion going.

    But it is undeniable that when our money was worth something, and not fiat, we had a different nation. Once the capacity to inflate and deflate an artificial currency was brought into being the amount of malfesance, skullduggery, dishonesty and violence done to maintain that false currency is nothing short of frightening.

    But then entire books are devoted to this subject.

    I will end with this …

    Upon the occasion of this upstart and brash United States of America printing its own currency without cost of interest and further, backed at par with gold and silver, the following opinion letter appeared in the London Times by the Exchequer of the Bank of England -

    “….if that mischievous financial policy, which had its origin in the North American Republic, should become indurated down to a fixture, then that Government will furnish its own money without cost. It will pay off debts and be without a debt. It will have all the money necessary to carry on its commerce. It will become prosperous beyond precedent in the history of the civilized governments of the world. The brains and the wealth of all countries will go to North America. That government must be destroyed, or it will destroy every monarchy on the globe.”

  64. Micromegas says:

    @zyodei:

    “Your tax dollars buy bombs that kill innocent people and children, along with all sorts of secretive black opps shenanigans that cause all sorts of misery around the world.”

    That’s unbelievably stupid logic.

    The people have pretty much zero control over what the government does. If they take my money and then use it for some nefarious purpose, I am in no way at fault. By your logic, I’m guilty of murder if a thief steals my wallet and then uses the money in it to buy a gun, then kills someone with that gun.

  65. zyodei says:

    @Micromegas

    Well, when the thief is pointing a gun at you, demanding your wallet, and you know for a fact he will use your money to finance further mayhem…do you willingly hand it over, to avoid trouble, or do you put up some resistance?

  66. zyodei says:

    @micromegas

    A better analogy than a thief would be..is a small business owner who regularly pays the local mafia protection money to keep their shop from being smashed up morally responsible for the guns that money buys? I would argue they are, if there is any way to avoid it.

    I guess my real point was taking issue with the tone of the article…bashing him for refusing to take part in this whole corrupt system. He might be guilty under the law; under natural morality, it’s ambiguous.

    A rule to live by, that has many implications: “I will not be held by any contract I did not agree to.”

  67. CharlieInSeattle says:

    snoop-blog: Wow, you must be smoking something. Not paying taxes is un-american, I suggest you go look at history, it’s as american as apples pie, think boston tea party.

  68. Rode2008 says:

    Has Al “Rent-a-Riot” Sharpton weighed in on this yet?

  69. wdnobile says:

    @Landru: You are not of the body! (sorry couldnt resist)

  70. snoop-blog says:

    ok i’m going to protest by not paying my taxes, and to top it off, i think i’ll burn a couple american flags while i’m at it. after all it is a free country. maybe later we can all go crash the funeral of an iraqi victim and bash the family as part of our freedom of speech.

  71. snoop-blog says:

    @CharlieInSeattle: boston tea party? are you serious? that has nothing to do with this. that was colonies against great britian. not americans, against america. it wasn’t the american governments taxes we were prostesting.

  72. snoop-blog says:

    and had more to do with starting our own nation than tea taxes. it was a message that we weren’t part of their government anymore.

  73. snoop-blog says:

    what some of you talk of is way more anarchy than protest. of course the system is corrupt. but it’s not because we pay taxes. taxes are a necessary part of society. if you want libraries, hospitals, schools, jails, etc, than you need to find a way for everybody to split the cost. the biggest flaw in our system, is that not everyone gets off their lazy butts to vote. it’s a proven fact, that the lower class makes up the majority of non-voters, yet complain about rich getting richer. VOTE!! maybe if everyone voted, it might break this 2-party system and open it up to more serious options.

  74. Elvisisdead says:

    @ClayS: because of the severe shortage of labor farms. Joe Arpaio’s working on it, though.

  75. Elvisisdead says:

    @forgottenpassword: So, what exactly does an elf look like? I’ve never seen a real one – only artist’s renderings of fictional creatures.

  76. Elvisisdead says:

    @zyodei: As a former Federal employee, I ran into jokers like you all the time. The “I pay your salary” sentiment never got old. The simple fact of the matter is that your money (if you think of a physical dollar bill) may not go to paying for things that you perceive as immoral. They may go to something that someone else thinks is immoral.

    That’s the beauty of this country. It’s not a totalitarian regime where everyone must think and act the same. It’s a place where we can all live together, and express our ideas freely. That is, as long as we keep putting into the kitty for the “common good”.

  77. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @zyodei: I guess my real point was taking issue with the tone of the article…bashing him for refusing to take part in this whole corrupt system. He might be guilty under the law; under natural morality, it’s ambiguous.

    If he really was standing up for some moral principle, why did he eventually agree to pay all those back taxes when faced with a real threat of jail time? Do you really believe that Snipes was “refusing to take part in the whole corrupt system”? Because everything I’ve seen and read points to him simply being greedy and trying to avoid paying his fair share.

    A rule to live by, that has many implications: “I will not be held by any contract I did not agree to.”

    Indeed. And anyone who does not agree with the social contract under discussion here (i.e., that you have an obligation to pay your taxes) is free to do exactly as you have – go live somewhere else.

    But people like Snipes who want to take advantage of all the great things in this country while doing everything in their power to avoid fulfilling their end of the bargain are nothing more than selfish children. Selfish, whiny children when they get caught and punished.

  78. baristabrawl says:

    @humphrmi: Yes, this criminal record will look bad and he’ll be unable to get a job because of the criminal background check…

  79. zyodei says:

    @snoop-blog: if you want libraries, hospitals, schools, jails, etc, than you need to find a way for everybody to split the cost.

    It is important to note that our FEDERAL tax dollars don’t provide any of those services. All of those are provided by state and local services, which are generally useful. The federal govt. might give your local police M-16s, but they don’t pay their salary.

    VOTE!!

    And what good does voting do if you are given the choice between two stooges, which is usually the case? And how many lives must be destroyed while we wait for an honest third party to rise up?

    If you really think the biggest flaw in our system is that not enough people vote, you’re not paying attention.

    @TinyBug

    Granted, Snipes may well not be a hero, I haven’t been following the case. But, well, I can think of many more deserving criminals still wearing striped suits who should be bashed first.

    But the great things in this country are not created by the government, but by the people. The Federal government does more to destroy the truly great things than to protect them.

    And anyhow, where is it included in any idea of “social contract” that the responsibilities of the government include mass murder overseas?

    Finally…

    What if you want to enjoy the natural beauty of America and not support murder? What is the solution then? Should everyone with a conscience just leave?

  80. ROMANY1 says:

    I have no problem with Snipes going to jail but justice for one should be justice for all. How much did Leona Hemsley owe the IRS, how much days she did in jail. What about those ENRON thieves, did they do one day in jail.