[extropy-chat] The courts determine the law (was Re: Small government)

Adrian Tymes wingcat at pacbell.net
Tue Apr 19 00:03:16 UTC 2005

--- Mike Lorrey <mlorrey at yahoo.com> wrote:
> --- Joseph Bloch <jbloch at humanenhancement.com> wrote:
> > Indeed. Unfortunately for your cause, if enough people get put in
> > jail 
> > for tax evasion by following that site's advice (see 
> > http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=120803,00.html), that's
> > only 
> > going to increase the size of government (see http://www.bop.gov).
> Sorry, Joseph, but that site says nothing about anything listed on
> the
> 'dirty dozen'. The 861 argument is that the tax code as written is
> entirely legal, as written and according to the definitions of words
> *as defined* in the code, which exempts most people from the tax.

Unfortunately, it relies on a certain interpretation of the tax code
that differs from the courts'.  The law that is in effect is the law
*as the courts interpret it*, and the courts have rather clearly ruled
that most citizens with income do indeed have to pay income tax.

It doesn't matter what the law "should be".  It doesn't even matter
what you think the law is.  It matters what the courts think the law
is.  Fundamentally, all law in practice comes down to what the people
who enforce it think it is; changing government and the law consists,
first and foremost, of changing their opinions rather than of slipping
through whatever loopholes one may find lying around (even if those
loopholes do exist, and can be used on occasion to excuse certain
narrow cases).

Unless you can prove that the government does not interpret and enforce
its own laws, then you have nothing to argue for, and simply not paying
tax really does make you a common criminal - no matter your intent, or
what you think the law is or should be.

The legal code is not actually as hard and concrete as computer code.
(Yet.  People are working on it - see the computer-aided traffic court
judges in Brazil a few years back.  But that's trivial scale compared
to what you're looking for.)

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