Former IRS special agent Joe Banister had a couple of questions he
hoped his congressman could answer.
“If the IRS and the 16th Amendment are not legal — and I’ve
discovered they aren’t — should I file a 1040 form?” he wondered.
Banister has been wondering about that ever since he was ousted from
his high-level, well-paid job with the IRS last February. In March
WorldNetDaily broke the news nationwide of his forced resignation.
Uncertain of what he should do, Banister posed the question to Tom
Campbell, R-Calif., who was hosting a public town hall meeting in Santa
Clara, Calif., earlier this month.
Speaking with WorldNetDaily, Banister recalled that during the
question-and-answer session he told Campbell and the audience that he
had been a special agent since 1993 with the IRS Criminal Investigation
Division, one of the service’s “accountants with a gun and a badge,” as
they’re called. Two years ago he began investigating the allegations
made by so-called tax-protesters and concluded their arguments were
- The filing of federal income tax returns is voluntary, and the
filing of federal income tax returns is not required.
- That the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was never
- That income taxes are not used to pay for daily government
operations, but to pay the interest on the national debt.
“I explained to Congressman Campbell and the folks there that I faced
a real dilemma. I could either stay in my job — even though I knew it
was illegal and immoral — or I’d have to resign,” Banister said. “I
explained how I had asked the IRS if my findings were correct, because
if they were I would have to resign.”
Should his findings prove false, the question became whether the
agency would show him where he was off track. “They never answered my
inquiry, but said they had accepted my resignation.
“So what should I do about the 1040? What about my discoveries — are
they right?” he asked Campbell. “Should I still be carrying a gun and a
wearing a badge for the IRS?”
Banister said Campbell replied he could not answer the questions
since it was an area he admitted knowing little about, but he promised
to look over Banister’s material.
To date, Banister has not received an answer.
Rather than wait, the six-year IRS gun-slinger is taking his
questions to Washington as one of several speakers that are carrying the
debate to the nation’s capital itself. Rep. Campbell and, indeed, all
members of Congress will be able to find out directly what the
“anti-tax” arguments really are.
On July 1 and 2, Banister and other experts on the 16th Amendment
will be speaking at a special symposium at the National Press Club. The
one-and-a-half day event will begin at 9 a.m.
The sponsors are calling it an “IRS Showdown.”
Speaking with Banister will be William Benson, author of the
two-volume magnum opus “The Law that Never Was”; Devvy Kidd, whose
appearances on the Geoff Metcalf radio talk show inspired Banister to
begin his investigations; William Conklin, author of “Why Nobody is
Required to File Tax Returns,” another of Banister’s mentors; and
constitutional attorney Larry Becraft.
Holding a symposium of this kind — a first for the nation’s capital
– was the brainchild of Bob Schulz, a talk-show host in Albany, N.Y.,
and chairman of the We the People Foundation for Constitutional
Education, a non-profit corporation.
“The federal income tax and Social Security tax are unconstitutional
and illegal,” says Schulz. “Those are the conclusions of a substantial
body of knowledge that has been mounting for several years — but
Congress and the courts have ignored it.
“It has reached the point that we must have an organized public
debate on the whole matter. People are having assets seized and going to
jail for not complying with laws that may not exist. That’s why we’re
bringing these speakers here.”
Schulz has sent certified letters to the White House and the IRS,
including one to Commissioner Rossotti, inviting them to send their
experts on the subject.
“They’ve been asked to bring definite evidence that the 16th
Amendment was, in fact, properly ratified, that there is a law requiring
citizens to file and pay federal income taxes, and to give an
unambiguous explanation as to how one can file a federal income tax
return without surrendering one’s Fifth Amendment Rights,” says Schulz.
All members of the Senate and the House of Representatives have been
sent invitations — and some have agreed to be speakers.
“James Traficant, D-Ohio, is going to be the luncheon speaker on
Thursday,” said Schulz. And Billy Tauzin, R-La., is the dinner speaker
“I don’t know who else will be coming,” says Schulz. “Perhaps if the
members of Congress hear from their constituents, they’ll be more
Schulz points to Banister’s report — Investigating the IRS
— as being the most recent in a long
line of studies done by researchers like Benson, Kidd and Conklin.
“Their arguments are very compelling,” Schulz observes, “But Congress
and the courts have ignored them. That’s why we’re doing this. We’d
really like to settle the matter.”
Meanwhile, in lieu of any response from his congressman, Banister
said his wife contacted Campbell’s office, explained how the family
would be visiting Washington and was promised a personal guided tour of
“We had no trouble getting that,” said Banister. “I had hoped that
the aide would immediately say he had the answers to my questions — but
he didn’t. Maybe Campbell will come to hear the presentations,” he added