Monday, November 29, 2010

Daddy, why do we live in a police state? -- 2

Continued from "Daddy, why do we live in a police state?"

Many Puritans (e.g., Samuel Rutherford in Lex Rex) saw the following Scripture as a test for the legitimacy of civil power. American colonials of the 1700's inherited the concept.

For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same. (Romans 13:3, emphasis added)

My First [Adult] Personal Encounter with Police State Terror Tactics:

MacALLEN, TX, IRS OFFICE -- I am confident facing the audit, because I filled out my 1040 form accurately and honestly, and I have receipts to prove my deductions. My confidence fades as the interview proceeds.

"I see you have made substantial contributions to Roloff Evangelistic Enterprises. What makes you think you can deduct them?"

"Well, it's a charitable religious organization that helps troubled teen----" [cuts me off]

"Yes, but what makes you think you can deduct it?"

"As I said, it's a charitable, religious organization----" [cuts me off again]


At this point, I remember something I had read. "Don't you have a book that lists all tax-deductible organizations?" He looks a little surprised, leaves the office and returns with a volume the size of a large metropolitan phone directory.

After finding the right page and entry, he closes the book, and without another word about the Roloff contribution, he looks back over my tax return and then drops the bomb. "Just what do you know about Bob Jones University?"

My stomach got that sinking feeling, as it finally dawned on me. The IRS did not select me randomly for this  audit, nor did they care about alleged discrepancies in my tax return. They had a political motivation for singling me out.

I was a graduate of the school, had given a good-sized donation to the school which God had providentially supplied to my wife & me in answer to prayer. In addition, the university was locked in legal dispute* with the IRS at the time over its own tax-deductible status.

I was an insignificant player in the drama, but I was also an easy target for a vindictive bureaucracy.

The bottom line was that the auditor required me to produce records for my mileage deductions. I had to request them from my mission organization's headquarters. The same day that the records arrived in the mail, I also received notice that my mileage had been disallowed and I owed $200 in taxes and fines, late fees or some such.

The letter said that I had a right to appeal, but only if I paid them first, It was plain to me that the auditor and his superiors had violated the Sixth and Seventh Amendments of the U.S. Constitution which guarantees my right to a trial by jury whether the matter in question was criminal or civil. I shot back a letter to the IRS, informing them of their violation, and told them if they thought I owed them the money they needed to prove it to a jury of my peers.

The year was 1974. Back in those days, I may have been, perhaps, a bit of a firebrand.

Continued here

*Note on Bob Jones University (BJU): I did not then, nor do I now agree with BJU's erstwhile racial segregation policy which they themselves have since repudiated.

1 comment:

The Warrior said...

Very interesting--looking forward to your next entry!