Activist Post May 20 2013
Hidden amongst the reams of reports about the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scandal is one little gem: the outgoing IRS Commissioner Steve Miller said that America’s tax system is “voluntary” in his testimony.
Now, whatever you do, don’t take that to mean that it is actually voluntary in the way that the word voluntary is normally used.
While you might think that voluntary means something which is “done without compulsion or obligation” or “done, made, brought about, undertaken, etc., of one’s own accord or by free choice,” when it comes to America’s “voluntary” tax system, it’s quite the opposite.
If you freely choose not to voluntarily participate in the tax system, you will enjoy being raided by armed agents, prosecuted and sent to federal prison. Quite the voluntary system indeed.
Furthermore, there are some practices that are clearly in no way voluntary. When income taxes are withheld from paychecks, for example, there is nothing voluntary about it.
When Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) said during the recent House Ways and Means Committee hearing on the IRS scandal that the U.S. tax system is “a voluntary system,” Stephen Miller said, “Agreed.”
In fact, Becerra said it is “a voluntary system” twice. Becerra said those exact words at one hour, twenty nine minutes and eight seconds and again at one hour, thirty minutes and thirty five seconds, according to the C-SPAN transcript.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the same thing in an interview with Jan Helfeld in 2008.