originally launched into cyberspace on 05/18/2007)
I just had to insert a few comments at this point, ahead of the
next message I was going to send. In response to an e-mail from
someone saying he found my position more convincing that Professor
Siegel's rebuttal, Mr. Siegel wrote this:
> > If you have read those pages [from Siegel's site]
> > and you still find Mr. Rose's arguments convincing,
> > then I'm afraid I have little more to add, other
> > than to ask this: do you really believe that every
> > judge who has looked into this issue is mistaken?
> > Do you really believe that all the law professors
> > and lawyers that have looked into this issue is
> > mistaken? Why do you believe that this one,
> > untrained guy and disbelieve everyone who is
> > so much better equipped to find the answer?
First of all, a lot of lawyers HAVE come to the same conclusions I
have. But I'm sure Mr. Siegel would dismiss them as "fringe kooks"
(because remember, the issue is not up for "reasonable debate") so
they don't count. But notice how he again resorts to the POPULARITY
of a position as the supposed proof of its validity. And this from
a LAW professor. If he is so well "equipped" to find the truth in
the law, why does he so often run AWAY from the law and resort to
logical fallacies? Incidentally, very few judges and lawyers HAVE
looked into the position. Instead, they've heard the punch line,
assumed it had to be wrong, and then tried to support their
In fact, Mr. Siegel gives an excellent example of this. After
arguing that 861 is only for international matters--that most of us
should NOT look there--he eventually conceded that, according to 26
CFR 1.861-1 and 1.861-8, "you, or anyone else, whether a U.S.
citizen or not, CAN USE SECTION 861 and following of the code to
figure your gross income from sources within the United States, and
then your taxable income from sources within the United States." He
followed that with the (incorrect) claim that if you do, your
income will show up as taxable. (I'll address that claim shortly.)
He is not the first (or the second, or third) supposed "expert" who
has CHANGED his position in order to maintain his foregone
conclusion. I've gotten two obviously contradictory positions from
different credentialed tax professionals and/or lawyers. They go
something like this:
a) Yes, you should look to 861 and its regs.
b) Yes, they show your income to be taxable.
a) No, you should not look to 861 and its regs.
b) No, they don't show your income to be taxable.
The only thing these claims have in common is the conclusion:
"everyone owes!" But wait a second: if "Yes, you SHOULD look
there," and "No, it does NOT show your income to be taxable," are
both things that educated tax professionals (and government
officials) can believe, why is it so impossible to believe both at
once? Because the CONCLUSION they lead to is heresy: that most of
us DON'T OWE federal income taxes. So the supposed "experts" will
CHANGE the reasoning they use, as long as it still leads to the
acceptable foregone conclusion.
I spent a year in prison for believing I "can use section 861 and
following of the code to figure [my] gross income from sources
within the United States, and then [my] taxable income from sources
within the United States," as Mr. Siegel put it. At trial the
government never argued that 861 shows my income to be taxable;
their entire case was that their clueless paper-pushers "TOLD" me I
was NOT supposed to look there, so how could I possibly believe
otherwise? I wonder what would happen if IRS bureaucrats "told"
Professor Siegel that. Would he believe them?
(Incidentally, my appeal will probably be heard in September.
Apparently the Third Circuit court of Appeals is horrendously
There are tell-tale signs when someone is using backwards logic:
starting with a desired conclusion and then trying to justify it,
instead of using the scientific method of letting evidence and
logic lead us to the truth. Peoples' brains work very differently
depending upon which they are doing: following the evidence or
trying to bolster a foregone conclusion.
For example, Mr. Siegel obviously does NOT know what the regs meant
when they say that some income is EXEMPT from the federal income
tax, not because of any statute, but because of the Constitution
itself. He made one guess, which I proved wrong (stock dividends a
la the Eisner case). After that, he showed no curiosity, and made
no further guess, but instead changed the subject. Is it really so
difficult for a supposed "expert" to say "I don't know"? Well, if
his agenda is sustaining a position, yes, it is. (Incidentally,
this is how lawyers are TRAINED to think. As paid advocates, their
JOB is to start with the desired result, and work backwards trying
to justify it, which is the OPPOSITE of what a truth-seeker does.)
As I've often said, when watching the discussion of the 861
evidence, be mindful of human psychology as much as you are of the
law. In the next few days I will be asking Mr. Siegel TWO simple
questions. Watch carefully how he responds, and then decide if he
is to be "trusted" (which is a term he likes to bring up).