Ron Strom is commentary editor of WND, a post he took after serving as a news editor since 2000. Prior to coming on board with WND, Strom worked in politics in California. Married and the father of two homeschool graduates, he has served in leadership positions in his church, local nonprofit boards and in county government.More ↓Less ↑
A Michigan woman finishing her third week of a hunger strike is staying in Washington, D.C., indefinitely, waiting for a representative of the federal government to address her questions about the constitutionality of the income tax.
Rose Lear, 52, stopped eating on Ash Wednesday, March 5, and said she will not eat again, save for Holy Communion, until the government responds to a petition for redress of grievances sponsored by the “tax honesty” organization We the People, which was delivered to all 535 members of Congress last fall.
After her own congressman, Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., did not respond to Lear’s request for answers and her husband was convicted – she says unjustly – of failing to file a tax return, Lear decided to start her fast. She says she is willing to die of starvation if her plea is not heeded.
Rose Lear, in wheelchair, delivers letters on Capitol Hill (Photo: We the People Foundation).
Yesterday, Lear delivered letters to Hoekstra, as well as her U.S. senators, Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, both Democrats. She also delivered copies of the letters to the headquarters of the IRS and to Attorney General John Ashcroft.
On Thursday, Lear met with Hoekstra in the nation’s capital, but she said he did not address the concerns of those who petitioned the government. The thousands of Americans whose names are on the petition believe that the federal government lacks any legal jurisdiction to enforce the income tax, that there is no law that requires Americans to pay the tax, and that the tax is enforced in a manner that violates the U.S. Constitution.
Two years ago, at the request of We the People, IRS and Justice Department officials agreed to meet with WTP leader Bob Schulz to answer his questions after he went on a 20-day hunger strike. Government officials later reneged, and We the People held its own congressional-hearing style forum in Washington, D.C. At the event, several expert tax attorneys and former IRS officials testified that the income tax system is fraudulent and that most Americans are not legally required to pay. It was the record of that forum that accompanied the petition delivered to Congress
Lear delivers letter to legislator’s office (Photo: We the People Foundation).
According to Schulz, whose We the People is helping Lear while she is in Washington, she will be stationed in front of various congressional office buildings in D.C. at specific times every day so that representatives can contact her about responding to her concerns.
We the People hired a photographer to accompany Lear on her rounds yesterday and take pictures of her delivering the letters.
As WND reported, Lear, who started her fast at a mere 100 pounds, reports that her legs are looking like “toothpicks” and that she is feeling lethargic.
Schulz commented yesterday that the U.S. is in Iraq trying to establish democratic rule, “but here at home our system is rotting. We need domestic nation-building,” he said.
The activist decried the fact that no one has addressed the specific issues contained in the petition, calling the Lear situation “tragic.”