America: Freedom to Fascism
America: Freedom to Fascism is a documentary film by well-known filmmaker Aaron Russo. It is available both in DVD format for a relatively low price and for free on Google Video. The official site links directly to the Google Video, so that release appears to be both authorized and encouraged by the copyright holder (presumably Mr. Russo).
In the process of trying to determine what law requires that Americans pay income tax, Mr. Russo digs into the origins of the IRS and the current monetary system, and concludes that the present system is both unconstitutional and fascistic.
In summary, though, it looks as if the wikipedia article about the film has done a pretty thorough job of examining the various claims made in the film from a legal point of view, and there don't seem to be any substantial points left to examine.
The film does, however, raise some questions about some of the basic governmental decisions which have been made in the past century or so, and it may be worthwhile to look at these questions more closely. A partial list follows:
- What is the value of having currency not backed by a tangible commodity, such as gold?
- Who owns the Federal Reserve? How is it governed?
- Who allowed the Federal Debt to climb to the point where income tax is completely eaten up by the interest payments? (assuming this is true)
- Via what laws and systems are the American people, as individuals, bound to be held responsible for that debt?
- Where can complete accountings of the Federal budget be found online?
- Why did the security staff at the IRS building attempt to prevent Russo from filming, and not allow him to film in the building?
- official web site
- Google Video: Director's Authorized Version, 1 hr 51 min 16 sec
Opening screens of text:
- "I set out on a journey to make a film about whether or not there was a law requiring Americans to pay an income tax... or was the tax a fraud being perpetrated by the American government."
- "This process of discovery brought something much more dangerous and frightening to my attention... now I will bring it to yours."
- "In 1913 America was a free country. Then a band of powerful bankers achieved their fathers', and great grandfathers' goal.
- America has never been the same."
- "Soon the world will not be the same."
1913... Woodrow Wilson was president... coalition of bankers staged a coup d'etat by taking over the US government; income tax eventally winds up in their pockets.
16th amendment was not legally ratified, though they claimed it was
Congress & the president are completely aware of this fraud; it was even cited in a recent court case: "If you... examined [The 16th Amendment] carefully, you would find that a sufficient number of states never ratified that amendment." – U.S. District Court Judge James C. Fox, 2003
Same year, bankers committed their second (and by far most diabolocal) fraud, by bribing senators to pass the Federal Reserve Act without the required constitutional amendment. Done over xmas vacation, when many senators were home.
They understood that whoever issues the money controls the government.
American people were forced to lower their standard of living just so the government could give these bankers more profits.
The constitution originally granted the power to coin money and regulate its value to the Congress.
The constitution only allows "apportioned" tax, not "direct" tax.
Partial list of taxes Americans are forced to pay:
- Accounts Receivable Tax
- Automobile Registration Tax
- Building Permit Tax
- Capital Gains Tax
- CDL License Tax
- Cigarette Tax
- Corporate Income Tax
- Court Fines (indirect taxes)
- Dog License Tax
- Estate Tax
- Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
- Fishing License Tax
- Food License Tax
- Fuel Permit Tax
- Gasoline Tax (42 cents per gallon)
- Hunting License Tax
- Inheritance Tax interest expense (tax on the money)
- Inventory Tax
- IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
- IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
- Liquor Tax
- Local Income Tax
- Luxury Taxes
- Marriage License Tax
- Medicare Tax
- Parking Meters
- Property Tax
- Real Estate Tax
- Septic Permit Tax
- Service Charge Taxes
- Social Security Tax
- Road Usage Tax (truckers)
- Sales Taxes
- Recreational Vehicle Tax
- Road Toll Booth Taxes
- School Tax
- State Income Tax
- State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
- Telephone Federal Excise Tax
- Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
- Telephone Federal State and Local Surcharge Taxes
- Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
- Telephone Recurring and Non-Recurring Charges Tax
- Telephone State and Local Tax
- Telephone Usage Charge Tax
- Toll Bridge Taxes
- Toll Tunnel Taxes
- Traffic Fines
- Trailer Registration Tax
- Utility Tax
- Vehicle License Registration Fee
- Vehicle Sales Tax
- Watercraft Registration Tax
- Well Permit Tax
- Workers Compensation Tax
- Federal Income Tax
- John Turner, IRS Agent, could not find a law requiring individuals to file a tax return; resigned; hasn't filed a return since he left.
- Joe Banister (Joseph R. Banister, C.P.A.), IRS Criminal Investigator, had accumulated evidence that the IRS was violating the law and violating people's rights; IRS officially said they wouldn't answer those concerns, and essentially told him to resign.
- Sherry Jackson, Former IRS Agent, answered We The People Foundation's full-page ad challenging anyone to find the law requiring individuals to pay federal income tax, reward $50k; was not able to find it in 2000, and still has not been able to find it. Has not filed a return since 1999.
WTP foundation: http://givemeliberty.org
Video of press conference:
- David Cay Johnston, New York Times: "There are a group of people standing outside today who assert that no law requires them to pay taxes and that you will not answer their petition to the government as to whether they are required to pay taxes. Are they required to pay taxes?"
- Mark Everson, IRS Commissioner: "I've been paying my taxes since I had my first job, and I think it's a fundamental construct of our nation that those of us who expect and demand the services from our government that the government provides, be they the protection of our country through the military, or be they the education of our children, or be they the protection of our environment, that we must pay for those services, so yes I think there is a fundamental obligation, and that it's an understood and well-accepted one." (editing does not make it clear what the specific question was, though it implies he is responding to Johnston's question)
Jason Furman, Economic Advisor for the Clinton administration, quoted by WTP foundation guy: "We have decided that the issue of the legality of the income tax is not a high priority matter for the White House, and we will not be participating in any conference on the subject."
After a hunger strike, "a deal was made" between members of the tax honesty movement and the IRS and the Justice Department, with help from Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), to resolve these issues. They later notified Bartlett that they would not be participating; Bartlett then withdrew as well.
- David Cay Johnston: "Why won't the IRS answer the questions set forth in the petitions from the American people?"
- Terry Lemons, IRS: "The government is answering the questions, through enforcement actions in the courts."
- In other words, the federal government prefers the use of force over the use of civility and logic, and believes this to be proper.
"On August 31, 2005, federal judge Emmet Sullivan ruled the government does not have to answer the American people's questions, even though it is guaranteed in the First Amendment."
Ronald Reagan, 1985-05-28 (on video, from Oval Office): "I believe that, in both spirit and substance, our tax system has come to be un-American. Death and taxes may be inevitable, but unjust taxes are not."
The Grace Commission, appointed by Reagan and headed by Peter Grace: "100% of what is collected is absorbed solely by interest on the federal debt. All individual income tax revenues are gone before one nickel is spent on the services taxpayers expect from government."
People have been brainwashed, told they need this system to fund the government. If that's true, how did we run the government from 1776-1913?
- Education is paid for by property taxes.
- The tax on gasoline pays for highways.
- The amount spent on defense (military) "is exactly equal" to the amount collected in corporate income tax, which is legal and constitutional.
Reasons not to want the income tax include:
- It is the instrument of totalitarianism – the means by which the government can manipulate people and put them into a condition of servitude.
If you lie on the 1040, you can go to prison. You are required to give them a financial statement which is required to be completely accurate. Under the law, they are supposed to reciprocate; you comply, but they don't. In fiscal 1999, the DoD had $1.1 trillion of "undocumentable adjustments", i.e. missing money. In 2000, they had $2.3 trillion.
Russo spoke to Anthony Burke, IRS media relations. Burke explained that nobody would go on film to discuss the income tax. Russo tried to interview employees at the IRS building, but security would not allow him to film. Security could not quote a law preventing him from filming. Homeland Security showed up and checked his ID.
State Rep Phil Hart (R-Idaho): there is no law Larken Rose, Tax Honesty Irwin Schiff, author
Constitution says: A direct tax must be apportioned. (Apportion: to divide equally amongs the people.)
Stopped taking notes at 23:59 into the video; to be finished later
Quotations cited in the film
- "In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act." – George Orwell
- "Give me control of a nation's money supply, and I care not who makes its laws." – Mayer Rothschild, Private Banker
- "I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is now controlled by its system of credit. We are no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men." – Woodrow Wilson, 1919
- "The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin." – Mark Twain
- "The power to tax is the power to destroy." – Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall
- "We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans." – Bill Clinton, 1993-03-11
- "Legal opponents of President Bill Clinton were singled out for tax audits." – Paul Breslan, IRS Official, from court records
- "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." – Goethe
- America: From Freedom to Fascism
- Tax protester constitutional arguments
- The Law that Never Was (book shown in the film but not otherwise mentioned)