Jon E. Dougherty is a Missouri-based political science major, author, writer and columnist. Follow him on Twitter.
A host of witnesses who offered testimony under oath during congressional-style hearings at a “Truth-in-Taxation” forum in Washington, D.C., say the event went off without a hitch and was generally a success.
Bob Schulz, head of the We The People Foundation, which helped sponsor the event, said the forum – held Wednesday and Thursday at the Washington Marriott Hotel – “brought to public attention” allegations that the government has “intentionally and systematically conspired to deprive the American People of our Constitutional rights. …”
“The hearing was but another step in the people’s determination to get to the truth regarding the fraudulent origin and operation of the Federal Reserve system, the unconstitutional creation of the Internal Revenue Service and the illegal operations of our nation’s income tax system,” Schulz, in a statement posted on the group’s website, said yesterday.
Over the course of the forum, Schulz said that “almost 500 detailed legal assertions and supporting evidence were put forth publicly challenging the legal foundations of the tax system.” He also reported that “the legislative (taxing) jurisdiction of the U.S. within the 50 states” was challenged, and alleged “record tampering and fraudulently deceptive training practices for IRS agents” were revealed.
Tax law researchers, ex-IRS agents and officials, as well as practicing attorneys were called to answer a series of questions and assertions made by Schulz and other panel members.
“The evidence was wholly compelling and disturbing,” Schulz said in his statement.
The event was originally scheduled for Sept. 24-25, 2001, but was canceled in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Also, officials from the IRS and the Justice Department reneged on earlier pledges to participate, as did Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., who initially agreed to chair the forum.
In a letter sent to Bartlett last November, the Justice Department said neither it nor the Internal Revenue Service would participate in the forum – reversing a July 20 pledge by Assistant Attorney General Dan Bryant to participate in the congressional-style hearings.
In canceling his participation, Bartlett told Schulz in a Jan. 20 letter he was “dismayed” by a public-relations campaign sponsored by We The People Foundation that encouraged taxpayers to “wait to file” their tax returns until after the forum.
“I am quite dismayed by Operation ‘Wait to File until the Trial,’” Bartlett said, accusing Schulz and his group of advocating “non-payment” of taxes.
“The information that you are currently disseminating concerning the Feb. 27 and 28 forum is misleading. I will not be a party to advocating the non-payment of federal income taxes,” Bartlett said.
The IRS, Justice Department and various federal officials and lawmakers have all said the 16th Amendment, which authorizes an income tax, was lawfully ratified by states in 1913, though Schulz and other “tax honesty” advocates disagree.