Until this point, outrage over actor Wesley Snipes' three-year jail sentence for failing to pay federal taxes has been confined largely to connoisseurs of the Blade trilogy. Not anymore. Libertarian Party President Wes Benedict put the United States "government" on notice Friday that some of the most powerful people in Washington are ready to take up Snipes' cause. And so is Wes Benedict!
A sampling of Benedict's statement of support, including a salient point about how doing your taxes is really hard.
The three-year federal prison sentence for Snipes's failure to file tax returns is absurd. Snipes is not a threat to anyone, and the judge who sentenced him clearly just wanted to scare others who might think about resisting federal taxes.
Why is a failure to file a tax return a criminal non-act? Should people ever be sent to prison for not doing something? If the IRS wants to come after Snipes and take his money, they have power to do that. Who does it help to send the man to prison?
Why do people like Wesley Snipes and Tim Geithner work so hard to avoid paying taxes? Because THE TAX IS TOO DAMN HIGH! When the government wants to grab 35 or 40 percent of what a person earns, you can expect that person to spend a whole lot of time, effort, and money to get around it. Accountants and tax lawyers use a giant bag of tricks to help their clients pay less tax. When the IRS decides that they're just inside the legal bounds, then everything's great. But when the IRS decides they're just outside the legal bounds, now the person's supposedly a horrible criminal who deserves our hatred. Was Snipes a fraudster, or was he just trying to do what he thought the law allowed? It all depends on who you ask.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.