Lauryn Hill responds to tax evasion charges
"I did this in order to build a community of people, like-minded in their desire for freedom and the right to pursue their goals and lives without being manipulated and controlled by a media protected military industrial complex with a completely different agenda."
This is what people face when they choose to stop paying taxes and go underground to protect themselves and their families. This proves that taxation is a tyranny, and anybody supporting the governments decision to charge her is a tyrant supporter and freedom lovers will label you as such until you have searched inside your heart and have come to the moral decision. We should not be forced to give up our money for agendas that we do not support. Anybody who advocates taxation is in affect holding guns to the heads of the entire population.
My question to those who believe Lauryn Hill is a criminal: what individual has she aggressed upon? Who has been harmed? What else could she do when the only political candidates that do not support the American Empire agenda have no chance in hell of being elected? How is this right?
Even she says she wanted to pay the taxes eventually, tax law exists for a reason, you don't agree with taxation that's fine but it's the law nonetheless god knows I think most of us disagree with one law or another. When she stopped paying taxes she harmed all the people that relied on those taxes, be they the firemen who will respond to your house catching fire (if you lived there) or the kids in government orphanages that have nothing as it is. From an ethical standpoint it sounds like she continued to use the services and aids provided by society through taxation without doing her part to pay for them, she is guilty end of story.
"It's the law" is the most unconvincing argument I can think of. It basically dodges the moral issue of the law in question and states that the law is inherently correct. If we disagree with a law, on what moral basis can you say that we should be forced to adhere to it? Martin Luther King Jr. was an advocate of not adhering to laws that we disagree with - a person I'm sure you admire.
And the fact that some of the money stolen from her might be put to some good use doesn't say anything about the morality of the tax itself. 99% is used to propagate an empire, so I have no qualms with Hill putting her money that she earned by herself to better use with her charities and music, which has benefitted the world much greater than any of her tax money has. It is also not immoral to ask for something back for the money she has had stolen from her before she decided to stop paying.
And you point out quite well the inherent ridiculousness of taxes: if you want to stop your contribution the murder of millions of people across the world and at home you have to give up your right to use the roads etc. This is the furthest thing from a voluntary, FREE action and the furthest thing from morality.
We don't allow citizens to pick and choose what laws to obey, it causes chaos, I am sure you can understand the consequences if someone decided rape was OK. You do have the democratic right to try and change the law but not to break it.
Tax money is spent as dictated by the elected representatives of the people, if you don't like how it's spent that's again something you are free to try and change. I grew up in a government orphanage, I can tell you with no hesitation that taxation saved my life, it's probably something that a young a privileged person would struggle to understand but you have no idea how hard the world is for some people and the taxation is the only thing that keeps many alive.
The issue here is simple, you believe taxation is wrong, I do not, I believe it is necessary and good. None of that changes that she committed a crime and now she will face punishment and make restitution, end of story.
The land she is on is sovereign territory of the United States a democratic republic, it's democracy has dictated taxation as acceptable, if she does not accept that she can move to a place that does not.
The country you grew up in voted in a government that stole money from people to fund your orphanage. Assuming that the democratic process reflects the will of the people as a whole (I don't, incidentally), there is nothing to say that those people would not voluntarily contribute to the orphanage (if they support them through taxes, they must support them in their private life). If not, then you are essentially admitting that the democratic process does not reflect the will of the people, and that the government is an elite that dictates to the people.
I just can not accept that 'democracy' makes up for lack of liberty. In America there are two candidates that are essentially clones of each other, both representing Wall Street and the military-industrial-complex, and that my choice for either one of them is a right above exercising my liberty. What is one supposed to do when the same elite has control of both parties? Just suck it up and deal with it? I tried getting people to vote for Ron Paul, the only candidate with any understanding of liberty and the economy, and the only candidate that represents my views but it was fruitless against an incredibly well-funded political elite. I'm just supposed to deal with that? I have to take my tyranny and love it because it's democratic. It's quite simply a disgrace, and the fact that you, a clearly intelligent and reasonable individual, would put a gun to my head for refusing to contribute to the murder of millions of children across the world is a frightening reflection of the dire situation we are in. A world where violence is moral, and liberty is immoral.
What happens if government enforced segregation comes back? Are you going to sit there and take it or are you going to refuse to participate in it because you believe in rights for all individuals of any skin colour? At what point is it moral to break the law in the name of justice.
I say that there are no lines. If you don't like a law, by all means break it. It is our responsibility as free human beings to physically stand up for what we believe in. Our 'right to vote' is insignificant compared to that.
Where I grew up we had almost nothing, we had tea each morning and a meal at night, a bed in a room with a hundred other beds, I am not willing to take the chance that it might have received any less or we would simply have been tossed out onto the street, the orphanage got as much as it could from charity but do i believe that charity alone would have been enough to set up the place and keep it running?
In all probability not which means I would have grown up on the street as a child, I spent two years there anyway when the place was damaged in a storm, it took that long to get the funds together to fix it, few of the kids who did grow up on the street lived to be adults, at the time (and to this day still in South America) local businessmen paid armed me to kill street kids because they stole and drove tourists away, others were killed and their organs sold, as fr as i am concerned the good result of taxation far outweighs the negatives as long as it's taxation with representation and it does not cause undue hardship, I pay my taxes with pleasure.
Of course there are times when we must oppose the law, I grew up under a dictatorship in Argentina, that dictatorship murdered my friends and family and I was an active armed resistance member for many years, but I had no illusions about what would happen to me if I was captured, torture and execution, that is part of civil disobedience and or resistance, it entails a sacrifice, I respect people who break the law on a matter of conscience, I respect it more if I agree with the cause, I applauded Mohammed Ali when he refused to go to Vietnam and was jailed for it, someone who refuses to pay their taxes does not get my sympathy because I consider it to be immoral to not do so (it's my opinion) taxation helps those who need it most so when you do not pay your dues to it as a successful entertainer I have nothing but scorn for the idea, if you want to avoid taxation leave the country and stop receiving the benefits of the taxes paid by others.
Say I disagree with the law prohibiting murder so I break it on conscience? many believe it should be legal to sexually abuse children, do they all get a round of applause? As far as I am concerned taxation is a good thing, I doubt you would much like the world without it but you probably have no experience of what that is like, there are plenty of places you can go and see how well societies do without any governance, I have never seen it work. There are many places without any government, why don't you visit one for a while, see if it changes your mind.
Oh my goodness you have seen and been through so much. I was not being serious on my last comment. I pay taxes each year; but now because of you I have more respect about doing it. You have seen and live through so much, thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Well thanks, it's not an uncommon story in many places to this day, Americans are privileged to be spared that sort of experience which we owe (to come back to the topic) to the democratic process and the governments we have elected over the years.
Can you tell me what time period this was in? I'd like to do some research in to the country's circumstances at the time so I can respond to this properly.
You read too much Ayn Rand. Libertarianism is a fine philosophy as long as it doesn't involve real live human beings.
No taxes means no government services, no protections, no pensions and not even a minimal safety net and that equals user-pays everything from cradle to grave in a system driven by unrestrained, profit-based laissez faire capitalism. No choices there for the poor and the disabled must rely on *charity*. Wait on, didn't we try that in the 19th century? Let's bring back the work-houses.
No thanks, you can shove it.
You barely scratch the surface. No taxes = no government = no drinking water, no sewage, no garbage collection or dumps. No electricity (no government enforced rights-of-way for power lines), no roads, no natural gas.
The list of good and necessary things govt. provides is exceeded only by the list of bad and unnecessary things govt. provides.
This is not really an argument, it's a list of cliches. Statist rhetoric basically. You haven't addressed the points raised.
There was a lady who worked for the IRS. Her name was Sherry Peel Jackson. She was an IRS Agent. Ms. Jackson indicated that there is no law which required one to pay taxes so she elected not to pay any taxes for years. She is now in federal prison. One must pay taxes or face years in jail, no more no less!
I am in full understanding of the law. I ask whether the law is moral.
She was right there isn't any laws. All of us are doing it because we are told too. We support over government; but my goodness they do not support us. I don't believe Lauryn Hill should go to jail for tax evasion. If all of us chose not to pay there would not be an IRS. For those who get tax returns sadly they would not be paid.
Again there isn't any laws and all of us have been dumb enough to comply with a law that was never passed.
Seriously you actually believe there is no law that states you have to pay tax... That's tragic.
26 U.S.C. § 6011 (duty to file returns in general); 26 U.S.C. § 6012 (duty to file income tax returns in particular); and 26 U.S.C. § 6151 (duty to pay tax at time return is required to be filed) and 26 U.S.C. § 61 (definition of gross income) and 26 U.S.C. § 6072 (timing of duty to file).
Lololo! I knew someone would respond, I was been naughty. Of all people you responded.
It says " our duty" meaning " morally responsible" notice the fine line? In any case I pay my taxes and Lauryn did not intentionally evade hers. She just didn't take the time to file.
Transferring money to an organization that provides services to you is not tyranny, it is simply a utilitarian process of accomplishing a task. Morality has nothing to do with it. The government didn't suddenly just spring from the Earth. We created it, gave it its powers, and elected its leaders. For any given democratic construct there will always be some who like it and some who don't. Regardless of which we only ever really have two choices. We can use the democratic system to try and affect change by putting up our vote free and equal to everyone else's or we can go outside of the system and directly try to attack the construct.
Not paying taxes is a form of stepping outside of the system and while it is a mild form of it, it still is essentially a position which treats everyone else's vote as inconsequential. Personally, I just don't think that is right.
I am sympathetic to your position. I don't even have a smallish camp like the libertarians to call home, so I disagree with things as much as anyone, yet there is something dangerous about being a solo act trying to bend the world in one's own image, and in reality I think that very few people accomplish much when they do so. I suspect people do it because it is easier. It is easy to not pay taxes. It's easy to live in a shack and send bombs in the mail. It's much harder to sit down with somebody you completely disagree with and have a conversation with them, and then at the end of the day accept that their vote counts as much as yours, but that I think, is what we have to try and do.
The government really is (or should be) merely the way in which we all agree to live with each other. What matters than, isn't our relationship to the government, but our relationship to each other and having respect for the process that creates and modifies that arrangement. Lauryn hill's position essentially foregoes her contract with her fellow citizens and that is the part of her actions that is immoral.
The law is why we have schools and courts and unpoisoned water and safe food and an army defending the nation and roads and firefighters.
So yes, the law is moral. She was earning monies because we have the system we have--it's not like she was living of the land on a bare subsistence.
If she wants to live with no government and no civil amenities, I believe some lovely properties are available in Somalia.
Well no, you're saying private schools would disappear as soon as public schools would? Nobody would offer a clean water service? Nobody would be inclined to protect themselves and their roads and from fires? Human nature does not just stop as soon as the government disappears. Hill earned her money from her fans voluntarily paying for the services she provides - no government required to change that.
American empire? What empire? The only land we've gained through war (other than our Revolutionary War) was the land we've bought to bury our people who died fighting overseas.
Those who break our laws are criminals. Check the dictionary.
There I agree with him, the US has a terrible track record in that sense. Hawaii, , The Philippines, Guam, Panama and Puerto Rico are just some that come to mind. Not to mention the number of places the US has installed a puppet government by force like say Cuba before the revolution.
The United States military has bases in nearly 200 countries and is basically the shadow government for some of them as well, the latest being Libya. Even the mainstream news covers some of that.
Wow. So all you people who don't want to pay taxes don't want to have law, roads, firefighters, help in emergencies, unpolluted lands or any of that jazz. Or do you think the pixies would stop gangs and warlords from taking everything and killing your family for fun.
Yes, it's a Libertarian paradise!
Tax evasion is a crime.
The reasons for not paying taxes may vary from evader to evader.
Lauryn Hill's may be more noble and altruistic than "I simply want to keep all my money for myself because I made it and it's mine."
But the fact remains she is breaking the law.
I consider myself libertarian, but I don't disagree with taxes. I actually wrote a hub that explains why a while back. Don't know the protocol for posting links to your own hubs in forums, but here is the link: http://bobzermop.hubpages.com/hub/Why-c … ism-doesnt .
Since governments are independent entities, meaning we, the people, don't consciously and independently, decide which policy to apply for our well-being, it is fair that as a medium of protestation, we don't pay the taxes.
Since we have no say in where to direct our money in the state budget, why would we constantly finance the beast that is out to get us! The restriction of our freedom is the first step to our enslavement.
Since governments are independent entities, they should privatize and find another source of financing other than the cow that we represent.
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