QUESTION: I read that the income tax violates the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination. It seems logical on the surface, but nobody has gotten away with that that I have ever heard. Would you care to comment of how they got around this issue?
ANSWER: The way to get around such issues is to be a word smith and break it down to the absolute minutest detail. That is what the Supreme Court did back in United States v. Sullivan, 274 US 259 (1927). They essentially avoided the application by saying that there was no right against self-incrimination to simply write things on a form to thus avoid filing anything. They did not decide whether you could raise the 5th Amendment as to a specific item. Let’s say you are a drug dealer and your income is all illegal. To declare that you made money as a drug dealer would raise that issue. But it does not prevent you from filing a form in general.
“If the form of return provided called for answers that the defendant was privileged from making he could have raised the objection in the return, but could not on that account refuse to make any return at all. We are not called on to decide what, if anything, he might have withheld. Most of the items warranted no complaint. It would be an extreme if not an extravagant application of the Fifth Amendment to say that it authorized a man to refuse to state the amount of his income because it had been made in crime. But if the defendant desired to test that or any other point he should have tested it in the return so that it could be passed upon. He could not draw a conjurer’s circle around the whole matter by his own declaration that to write any word upon the government blank would bring him into danger of the law”
I personally disagree with the Supreme Court which has held it does not violate the Equal Protection Clause to charge disproportionate levels of taxation. In a recent case where some people were given tax amnesty and others paid the tax, the Supreme Court used another rule to escape the logic of a constitutional violation. They wrote in Armour v. Indianapolis (2012):
“This Court has long held that ‘a classification neither involving fundamental rights nor proceeding along suspect lines … cannot run afoul of the Equal Protection Clause if there is a rational relationship between the disparity of treatment and some legitimate governmental purpose.’”
Class warfare is the essence of socialism/communism. There is no other discrimination throughout history that has resulted in the slaughter of more lives than class warfare. It has been responsible for killing tens of millions of people far more than race or religious discrimination. To ignore this is ethically dishonest by the Supreme Court and is clearly a ruling in favor of government because it seeks to extort money from people in violation of equal justice for all.