Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series on the validity of the income tax.
WASHINGTON — Evidence strongly suggests that the 16th Amendment,
which establishes the income tax, was not approved properly as required
by the Constitution and was fraudulently ratified.
“If this evidence is true, the income tax is the greatest hoax ever
perpetrated on the American people,” says Robert L. Schulz.
Schulz is head of We the People Foundation for Constitutional
Education, Inc., a New York state-based organization that hosted a
symposium in Washington last week on
the topic, “Are the Income and Social Security Taxes Legal?” The
foundation twice sent registered letters to President Clinton, Senate
President Pro Tempore Trent Lott, and House Speaker Dennis Hastert, as
well as the Internal Revenue Service, asking them to send
representatives to the symposium who could explain the government’s case
for the legality of the income tax. They received no response, much
less a speaker, but part of the conference was covered by C-SPAN and
that resulted in hundreds of friendly responses from viewers.
A key speaker at the symposium was William J. Benson, author of a
two-volume investigative report on the ratification of the 16th
Amendment entitled “The Law That Never Was.”
Benson was a special agent with the Illinois Department of Revenue
for 10 years. He was fired after uncovering evidence of corruption in
the agency. It took more than six years to get his case into a federal
court, but the jury awarded him “a large amount,” he says, for
violations of his First Amendment rights.
What followed his victory is an even more amazing story. Benson
delved into the history of the federal income tax — the granddaddy of
the state income taxes — and became suspicious. He noted
irregularities in the ratification of the 16th Amendment and pressed on
in his research.
That research took him to the archives in the state capitals of each
of the 48 states that were part of the United States in 1913, when the
16th Amendment was passed by the Congress. The Constitution requires
ratification of amendments by three-fourths of the states, and Benson’s
meticulous research says this was never properly done. Secretary of
State Philander Knox declared the amendment ratified on the basis of a
report from his solicitor, but that report was “fraudulent,” says
In each state archive, Benson uncovered the records of that state’s
consideration of the proposed amendment. To present a legally
acceptable case “you must have documents that are notarized and
certified,” he explains. “Otherwise they’re considered hearsay in
All total, Benson collected 17,000 documents, all properly notarized
and certified by officials of the states. And what they reveal is
The ratification required by at least 36 states — three-fourths of
the 48 states then in existence — has to be identical to the amendment
passed by Congress. Benson cites federal documents affirming that for
state approval to be acceptable, neither words nor punctuation can be
changed. And the states may not violate their own state constitutions
in ratifying the amendment.
Of the 48 states, here’s the story:
- Eight states (Rhode Island, Utah, Connecticut, New Hampshire,
Kentucky, Florida, Virginia and Pennsylvania) did not approve or ratify
- Texas and Louisiana were forbidden by their own state constitutions
to empower the federal government to tax.
- Vermont and Massachusetts rejected the amendment with a recorded vote
count, and only later declared it passed without a recorded vote after
the amendment was declared ratified by Knox.
- Tennessee, Ohio, Mississippi, California and Washington violated
their state constitutions in their ratification procedures.
- Minnesota did not send any copy of its resolution to Knox, let
alone a signed and sealed one, as required.
- And Oklahoma, Georgia and Illinois made unacceptable changes in
wording. (Some of the above states also made such changes, in addition
to their other unacceptable procedures.)
Take 48 states, deduct these 21, and you have proper ratification by
only 27 states — far less than the required 36.
Benson’s story doesn’t end with the compilation and publication of
his research. As expected, his evidence that our present system of
government is based on a fraud did not get a friendly reception in
Washington. Benson says a senatorial aide attempted to bribe him.
Suppress all copies of your books, he was told, and “you will live in
comfort for the rest of your life.”
Benson didn’t cooperate, and he landed in prison on income tax
“Going to prison was not easy,” he told the symposium, “but because I
had written volume one and was speaking about it, the government was
determined to put me in prison.”
And that wasn’t all. Benson was on prescribed medication for
encephalitis. That medication was confiscated, and “four guards and
three nurses entered my cell and forcibly injected me with different
medication.” As a result, he spent nearly two years in prison in a
“I now have to use a cane and walker, and often a wheelchair,” Benson
said, “all because of the federal government.”
An appellate court reversed Benson’s conviction, and he was free
after 15 months and five days. But, ignoring prohibitions of double
jeopardy, the Feds clamped him in prison again. And took away his
This time he was in jail only 22 days. His wife had appealed to
Congress, and after a congressional inquiry the prison authorities
stopped his overmedication and returned him to his original prescribed
medication. The judge who had jailed him was furious when presented
with evidence that the government’s actions were unlawful, and ordered
The latest chapter in Benson’s saga is the counterattack.
“As soon as I get back to Illinois I’m suing them — every one of
them,” Benson told WorldNetDaily — and he started listing them: four
U.S. attorneys, a first assistant U.S. attorney, and assistant U.S.
attorney. All except the judge, that is. “I could sue the judge — no
question — but I’m not going to do that,” Benson added.
“Fear is the worst thing you face,” said Benson of his prison
experiences. And now it’s time for the prosecutors who were his
persecutors to be afraid.
Monday: Part 2 on the symposium regarding the legality of the income