This thread is for any and all who find themselves in an Internet born local debate and need reinforcements... We all know that all politics that touches us directly is primarily local... Therefore The INFOWAR Must Go Local As Well!
I have been in a running discussion on the "letters to the editor" page of my local paper with a local attorney. Well, this was all well and good we were only in the fray a little bit, after 3 letters... and I had written an answer in my second letter, debunking each of the points in his second... but, I was informed by the editor that he would not run it... So, I posted the letter in installments on the Summit Daily Website instead. It is the first 12 posts of the comments page under his last letter...
If you guys would go to this link, and click on the recommendation block at the top of the letter... Maybe the editor will pay attention then. The more the merrier... and leave a tasteful comment as well, if you like, I would appreciate it. Jeff Ryan's Last LetterDangerous myths about taxes
Jeffrey S. Ryan
Graeme Straeffer’s letter (“Paying taxes not OK,” Letters, Nov. 7) contains familiar myths about the federal income tax and the Federal Reserve System. Though they have been repeatedly debunked, people still fall for them. These myths are dangerous, and cause great suffering.
Mr. Straeffer’s claims boil down to the following: The 16th Amendment, which authorized income taxes, wasn’t properly ratified by the states, making it void; requiring taxpayers to file tax returns violates the 5th Amendment; all our taxes go to pay interest to the “privately owned” Federal Reserve System.
The actual facts: The 16th Amendment was submitted to the states for ratification in 1909. At least 36 states had to agree to it to make it a valid amendment. By 1913, 38 states had voted to ratify the amendment. It was properly ratified.
Requiring taxpayers to file tax returns does not force anyone to incriminate himself, in violation of the Fifth Amendment. The amendment does not elevate perjury to a constitutional right.
The Federal Reserve System is not a “privately owned” bank. It is a mixture of private member banks and the federal government. Private member banks do not set monetary policy. They are subject to the direction of the Fed’s Board of Governors. This Board is appointed by the president, subject to Senate approval. Nor do all our taxes go to pay interest owed by the government to the Fed. The Fed holds about 9 percent of the national debt, and even then it rebates nearly all the money that the government pays as interest back to the Treasury Department, making the Fed’s part of the national debt nearly miniscule.
The myths in Mr. Straeffer’s letter represent only a few strands of a byzantine web of anti-government tenets. They have been spread for decades. They surfaced in the “militia movement” of the early 1990s, and have been used by virulently anti-government and anti-Semitic organizations as the “Posse Comitatus” and other groups. They have also been exploited by shameless hucksters. One bunch of crooks, called “We the People,” used these myths to con a lot of folks out of their money here in Colorado. Good people, who suddenly found themselves in financially desperate straits, were only too willing to believe that income taxes were illegal, and that the government and the banks had illegally conspired to steal their money. They scared up enough cash to buy “kits” and “manuals” that were “guaranteed” to defeat the IRS and wipe out their taxes. Some of these good people wound up in jail. Others ended up owing even more, as interest and penalties accrued.
Some old saws still apply, like “If it seems to good to be true, it probably isn’t.”
Here is my response:More dangerous tax myths
Regarding the Nov. 11 letter by Jeffrey Ryan titled “Dangerous myths about taxes,” I must submit that Mr. Ryan is spreading a few dangerous myths of his own.
He intimates that anyone who looks into the possibility of impropriety on the part of the government and the international bankers at the beginning of the 20th century to produce a privately owned central bank, that uses taxation to garner and insure immense private profit, is somehow dealing in conspiracy theory is, of course, exaggeration.
Mr. Ryan states that the 16th Amendment was “properly” ratified by 38 states by 1913. The term “properly” is the problem here. In my reading of the legislative records of that period, from several of the states in question including Colorado, it seems there were at least three different “16th Amendments” ratified. This being accomplished through changes in actual wording and punctuation of the amendment by the states, something you are not allowed to do. In the case of Oklahoma, an amendment was proposed and ratified that says exactly the opposite of what the recognized 16th Amendment proposes. In any case, many of the ratifying states ratified an amendment different from the one we see attached to the Constitution today.
Even if the 16th Amendment were properly ratified, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected any claims that the 16th Amendment changed the constitutional limits on direct taxes in Brushaber v. Union Pacific R.R. Co., 240 U.S. 1, when they ruled that it “created no new power of taxation” and that it “did not change the constitutional limitations which forbid any direct taxation of individuals.” Yet the Federal Reserve Act did, betraying its unconstitutionality.
As to Mr Ryan’s assertion that the Federal Reserve Bank is not privately owned, but a marriage of private and government concerns, again he exaggerates. The federal government’s role is largely ceremonial, in dealing with the privately owned and misnamed Federal Reserve. The only “input” the federal government has is in the appointment of the seven Federal Reserve Board members to staggered, largely locked-in, 14-year terms, which are most generally mere re-appointments, as is the case with the Federal Reserve Chairman as well. They are chosen or re-chosen by their peers, then given to the president for nomination and congressional confirmation — that is it. The Fed Chairman, from time to time, will address the Senate and the House banking committees, laying out the monetary and economic health of the country, but is not bound to receive instruction from Congress, the executive, or the courts, and thus is unregulated as an independent agency.
The most dangerous fact in all of this is that the Federal Reserve Board has never been audited, and by “law” cannot be audited, not even by an act of Congress, and therefore is more powerful than Congress. Finally, we have the unscrupulous Federal Reserve Act which created it all, and confers an unlawful power to tax individuals to a private institution. It was passed by the Senate in December, 1913 by unanimous vote of the senators of three states — everyone else was home for Christmas.
The bottom line is, with regard to the power of “our” government to tax individuals, through the creation of a privately owned banking/taxing system, you will find many more myths coming from the side that supports it, than you could ever find from those who have researched and found the truth.
Here is his rebuttal...More on the 16th Amendment
Jeffrey S. Ryan
J.T. Coyote’s letter (“More dangerous myths about taxes,” Letters, 15 November 2008) attempts to refute my previous statements. Most readers are probably tired of the subject, but, because good people continue to buy into anti-tax arguments, I believe a response is warranted.
Though Coyote is correct that some states did not precisely duplicate the 16th Amendment’s language when ratifying it, minor variations of wording or punctuation do not invalidate ratification if it is clear that a state intended to ratify. Coyote’s criticism of the language approved by Oklahoma, which departed from the actual text to a remarkable and confusing degree, has some merit. But Oklahoma clearly said it meant to approve the 16th Amendment proposed by Congress. Even if Oklahoma’s vote were stricken, there were still 37 states that voted for ratification, one more than the 36 required for ratification.
Coyote’s reference to Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad, 240 U.S. 1 (1916) is odd, because the U.S. Supreme Court in Brushaber actually recognized the validity of the federal income tax.
Coyote also promotes three claims that are just plain untrue. First, the Federal Reserve does not have any “power to tax individuals,” as Coyote maintains. The IRS, part of the Treasury Department, collects income tax, not the Fed. Second, contrary to Coyote’s version of history, the Federal Reserve Act was not passed by senators from only three states while the rest of Congress was home for the holidays. To pass any act, there must be a quorum (at least half the members of the House and Senate) present to vote. The House passed the Act on a vote of 298 to 60. The Senate passed it the next day by a vote of 43 to 25. Thirdly, though Coyote states that the Fed has never been audited, and cannot be audited by even order of Congress, the truth is that the Fed has been regularly audited pursuant to Congressional order. From 1913 to 1921 the Treasury Department audited the Fed annually. From 1921 to 1933, the Congressional Government Accounting Office (“GAO”) audited the Fed. From 1933 to 1952. the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks conducted annual audits of the Board of Governors books. Congress then, in 1952, decided to have private, nationally recognized accounting firms conduct audits of the Fed. Finally, in 1978, Congress gave auditing authority back to the GAO, which has conducted over 100 audits of the Fed.
What is disheartening is that, while Coyote’s statements can be easily disproven, these myths continue to find an audience.
Then here is my rebuttal to Jeff Ryan's 11-18-08 letter, which the newspaper would not print, I wonder why.The FED/TAX Myths Just Keep On Comin'
In his response to my letter of November 15, Jeff Ryan has clearly misread part of what I said with regard to the 16th amendment in his letter of November 18 titled "More on the 16th amendment."
My assessment of the ratification process of the 16th, is correct. As I pointed out, there were verifiable alterations made by over one third of the states to the amendment they were originally given to ratify. Something that is not supposed to be done. These changes were no doubt made to garner more support for ratification. This was definitely the case with Oklahoma. Yet if their intent was to ratify the original amendment anyway as Mr. Ryan suggests, why spend the time altering the wording to virtually the opposite meaning, if it wasn't to fool the ratifiers. This wasn't just the addition or subtraction of a couple of words, or fiddling with the punctuation as was the case with some other states, Oklahoma did a virtual rewrite of the amendment to get it passed.
Be that as it may, the Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad, 240 U.S. 1 (1916) decision of the Supreme Court, which was brought to the bench because of the Underwood-Simmons Tariff bill which dropped import tariffs by 1/3, the slack to be picked up by the people as it also contained a nasty individual income tax provision; it also "put to rest" the inconsistencies in the ratification of the 16th amendment. The court affirmed that the 16th merely clarified the meaning of Article I Section 9 clause 4 of the Constitution. They stated, that the 16th "created no new power of taxation" and that it "did not change the constitutional limitations which forbid any direct taxation of individuals."
I followed up by pointing out that the bills which became the Federal Reserve Act however, DID; especially when dovetailed with the 16th amendment, and this decision of the court, specifically the meaning of the placement of the second comma in clause 4; so, Article 1 Section 9 Clause 4 of the Constitution, which reads:
"No capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken."
is now "clarified" by the 16th amendment, and the Court case cited, to read:
"The Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration."
Well, I guess this clears up what, "created no new power of taxation" and, "did not change the constitutional limitations which forbid any direct taxation of individuals," really means...(sic)
Mr. Ryan then makes an emphatic, yet puzzling statement, "Coyote also promotes three claims that are just plain untrue." Really. Okay, let's see if his view, the main stream version of the controversy is undeniably TRUE then. First, there was my contention that the Federal Reserve through the IRS has the power to tax, directly, or indirectly.
It is very easy to see how my statement is true when you understand the "not quite governmental, not quite private", cartel like structure of the fractional/fiat Federal Reserve System, and how it interacts with the federal government. Congress passes a law, for which the House appropriates the funds. The Treasury Department then prints the notes or paper for the appropriation, which the Federal Reserve purchases at the cost of printing. Then the Federal Reserve loans this money back to the government at a set interest rate.
To simplify, as the interest climbs with each appropriation, so does the national debt which requires from time to time that taxes be increased to keep up with the climbing interest on the debt . The private branch stock holding banks of the Federal Reserve thus make a profit on the value created out of thin air, which they do absolutely. Profit on this fractional reserve slight of hand, is insured by our taxes, as well a OUR real asset collateral on loans.
The Federal Reserve also can indirectly tax the people by infusing liquidity or cash into the economy, which decreases/diminishes the buying power of the dollar, making it seem as though prices have risen, which is not the case, the additional money circulating, causes the value of the dollar to drop. This is the so-called inflation tax. Which causes big problems for people with savings, or those on fixed incomes. This system is fraught with hidden taxation.
Thus in this unique Fed/government relationship, the IRS works as the taxing arm for both, but if you follow the money, it mainly services the Fed.
Mr. Ryan's second point was my assertion that in the final analysis it was three senators, who passed the Federal Reserve Act is incorrect. Here he inserts a mainstream, accepted view of the vote, saying, "The House passed the Act on a vote of 298 to 60. The Senate passed it the next day by a vote of 43 to 25." On deeper investigation however, one finds that this accepted view itself most likely is a myth, "Accepted myths" are no less dangerous, just because they are accepted. Here is another accepted, yet different view, which is found in Sean Cashman's book, "America Ascendant", I quote, pg. 44:
"After explosive debates, the Federal Reserve act passed the House on September 18, 1913 by 287 votes to 85. A similar struggle took place in the Senate. When Senator Elihu Root of New York denounced the bill as a sure cause of inflation, its proponents reviewed the measure and tightened the reserve requirement. The Senate passed the bill on December 19 by 54 votes to 34, and Wilson signed it into law on December 22, 1913."
Then, there is the account by Robert Brevig, in his book "Beyond Our Consent", on page 90, states: "On December 22, 1913, the Senate, by a vote of 43 to 25, and on December 23, 1913 in the House of Representatives, by a vote of 209 to 60, passed the Owen-Glass Bill which established the Federal Reserve..."
Then, in "The Regulated Economy" by Claudia Goldin and Gary Libecap, we find that the amended HR 7837 was voted on in December of 1913 this way:
" The bill passed the Senate with 54 yeas, 34 nays and 7 not voting. It then went to the house, where it was defeated with a vote of 295 nays, 59 yeas, 78 not voting, and 2 "present". These votes are described in detail in table 5.5."
HR 7837 is the House Banking and Currency Bill to create the Federal Reserve, and as described above, given the vote in the House, it did not pass. Yet the bill was signed into law by President Wilson.
Finally we come to the one that I quoted, from economics professor, former Congressman, and author of, "The New Economic Disorder" Larry Bates, who spent his off time while in Congress, searching and research the Congressional record and the archives, rather than sampling the Washington nightlife. He has this to say:
"On the night of December 23rd, 1913, when most members of the congress had gone home for the holidays ... the Federal Reserve Act, was having difficulty getting out of the Senate... when you [have a] recess in legislative circles ... you adjourn soni dai, without a date. The senate had not adjourned soni dai [that Christmas], so it was technically [still] in session ... three members of the senate, *according to the senate journal*, were present on that day, December 23rd, 1913 and they passed the Federal Reserve Act ... on a unanimous consent voice vote. Had there been one person there to object and to contest the absence of a quorum, it would not have passed."
All by recognized scholars on the subject, so which is the truth...
On my own attempt to access the Senate Journal, I was informed by the archivist of the Library of Congress, that there are certain volumes of the Journal that are not open to the general public. The Senate holds copyrights on the Journals and this period was not available. Maybe someone else will have better luck. My point here is that all of these references are from scholars on the subject, yet all have a different accounting of what actually happened. The only one who cites a reference, and was in a position to access the reference he cited while in Congress, was Larry Bates. Again which one is the truth, and why is information not openly available to the public?
Finally Mr. Ryan's last point, my assertion that the Federal Reserve has never been audited, at least not completely and in many critical areas not at all. In George B. Grey's book, "The Federal Reserve System", the Government Accounting Office from the beginning engaged in what amounts to token inspections. I quote page 80:
"GAO can and indeed does audit many aspects of the Fed's operations; but some of the Fed's activities are off limits to GAO inspection." He continues on page 81: "... in addition, GAO was given the authority to audit the Board of Governors and the regional Federal Reserve Banks, branches and facilities, subject to the limitation that could not examine the Fed's foreign exchange and open market/monetary policy actions."
The remainder of the auditing, is done like the "fox guarding the hen house" in style. It's done internally by branch boards, or by agencies appointed by them or by the Federal Reserve Board. This is "reported" to Congress twice a year by the FED Chairman.
There is little doubt why Andrew Jackson fought so hard to finally KILL the pilfering PRIVATE Bank in 1836! Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it. Read G.E. Griffin's "The Creature from Jekyll Island" to know how the Bankers pulled it off.
All of these points, show that there are many possibilities surrounding this thing on all sides, and because of the original secrecy and verifiable deception, and factual inaccessibility, the audience continues to grow and has been since the day Wilson signed the bill giving birth to the "creature" that Mr. Ryan so superficially defends...
JTCoyoté"Our task of creating a Socialist America can only succeed
when those who would resist us have been totally disarmed."