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A leader of the “tax honesty movement,” whose hunger strike last year convinced federal officials to agree to answer in public tough questions about the income tax’s legality – though the government later reneged on the offer – now says he will no longer file income tax returns and has pledged to tour the country to convince other taxpayers to do likewise.

Bob Schulz, chairman of the We The People Foundation for Constitutional Education, said in a June 17 letter sent to President Bush, Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles Rossotti and congressional leaders that he believes “the federal income tax to be fraudulent in its origin and illegal in its operation.” As such, he said, the agency “lacks the legal authority to force employers to withhold the income tax from the paychecks of its employees” and cannot force “most Americans, including me, to file a tax return and to pay the income tax.”

“I love my country,” insisted Schulz, 62, but based on six pages of information attached to the letter, he added: “I despise my government, which is promoting anarchy, rebellion, and lawlessness, which I oppose.”

“I do not have to submit to any unconstitutional, illegal, unjust and uncivil law, in which case I choose to be civilly disobedient, defending my natural rights and obeying my Creator rather than my civil authorities,” he wrote in a lengthy tome.

“The gloves are off,” said Schulz. “Enough is enough. I will now do everything in my power to mobilize the people in defense of our rights.”

According to a separate report, Schulz is also planning a national campaign to convince others not to withhold taxes or file returns.

“[Schulz] will hit the road late this week or early next and drive cross-country spreading the message with the help of some 600 like-minded ‘coordinators’ who have already enlisted in the cause,” said an editorial in Schenectady, N.Y.’s Daily Gazette newspaper.

Schulz first gained national prominence last year after he began a hunger strike to protest what he says is the government’s unlawful effort to levy and collect income taxes.

The tax activist and others contend that the 16th Amendment to the Constitution – which established the income tax in 1913 – was improperly ratified and, hence, is not legal. IRS and Justice Department officials have repeatedly disputed those claims.

Nevertheless, Schulz’ hunger strike – which he began July 4, 2001, and ended 20 days later – initially garnered enough attention that Justice Department officials and one U.S. congressman agreed to meet with him to discuss his concerns.

U.S. Assistant Attorney General Dan Bryant and Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., signed a written agreement that commited the government to send their top tax and legal experts to a two-day seminar planned by Schulz. The seminar was scheduled for late September but was sidelined after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The seminar, which ultimately took the form of informal hearings, were finally held Feb. 27-28 in Washington, but by then officials had backed away from earlier agreements to appear.

No government officials or lawmakers attended the meetings.

Though nothing has changed as a result of the hearings, Schulz, in an earlier interview with WorldNetDaily, was upbeat.

He said the two-day forum established a “record of truth and fact,” and was “compelling.”

“We think the people now are justified in demanding that Congress fix the problems” created by the income tax, he said.

The size and scope of the IRS has grown substantially since it was created after the government began collecting income taxes.

At present, the IRS is the federal government’s largest agency. It collects some $1.8 trillion in taxes annually and employs 98,000 people. The agency’s budget last year was about $8.2 billion.

Related stories:

Tax reform still on group’s agenda

‘Truth in Taxation’ forum ends in DC

‘Tax honesty’ forum opens in DC

Congressman cancels tax forum

Tax group urges Americans: ‘Wait to file’

Tax hearings rescheduled for next year

Tax reform hearings postponed

Activists refute IRS claims

IRS bashes ‘frivolous tax arguments’

Tax activist ends hunger strike

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