Monday, January 07, 2008

Wesley and Willie

It’s that time of year again, and the scammers are poised to sell their tax nonsense to another batch of offended and angry taxpayers and non-payers.

Despite the serious risks associated with demonstrating contempt for the tax laws, and the fact that the promoters who sell the alleged “secrets” are routinely convicted and imprisoned, some people will simply refuse to accept reality. Then when confronted with it, they’ll attempt to pose themselves in the light of being a victim of a scam.

But a now-famous cite from a Federal case appellate ruling pretty much says it all:

Some people believe with great fervor preposterous things that just happen to coincide with their self-interest. ” Coleman v. CIR, 791 F2d 68, 69 (7CA 1986)

Note the date of the ruling – 1986. Over twenty years ago, Judge Easterbrook, writing for the 7th Circuit court of appeals, tossed Norman Coleman’s appeal of his frivolous tax-protest case, yet more and more disgruntled people seem to find their way to some Internet site and hang on to yet another shop-worn batch of nonsense.

The distribution of a politically-whacko propaganda movie only has served to stir interest among people who may have been nothing more than annoyed or mildly curious. Thus, the “show me the law” movement seems to have gained ground during 2007, and for some of those who want to believe in preposterous things that coincide with their self-interest, they may not look much beyond the façade of the web sites, books and the movie.

I’m guessing the Wesley Snipes case will finally attract the attention of the major media outlets to the ridiculousness of the kind of tax scam Eddie Kahn has apparently gotten him into. Unlike the widely-reported stories of Willie Nelson’s tax sheltering maneuvers that resulted in the auctioning of, among other things, his fishing camp, Snipes fell in with lunatic fringe tax protestors and apparently isn’t willing to deal with reality. Trial is set for this month.

Maybe Hollywood will get the writer’s strike over in time to spin up a plot line that Willie and Wesley can star in - one about the costs of falling for really bad advice.

The Honorable Judge Roy Bean

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