THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE A Short story.
THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE A Short story.
William G. Burmer
At the onset of researching materials for this part of my book, I was initially forced to write “a short history” because finding any history relevant to the IRS was essentially none existent. Very little information was readily available from private sources our local library, and even less from the largest bookstores in the area. I had checked bookstores from Fresno California to Sacramento.
Of one hundred and ninety six books available, from or about the IRS, none were found to deal exclusively with its history. It has proven to be a task somewhat like a very large complex puzzle putting the pieces together so that a true picture may be viewed. I have read several books, periodicals, and reference material in order to expose the shroud of secrecy behind what is the largest monopoly annexed by our government. In every truth the inner actions of the IRS over the 150 years have been clouded by hard to find transcripts. “Personal destruction of evidence by the agency, and the extraordinary ability of this agency to interpret its own statutes to its singular benefit prevail.” (See “Unbridled Power” below) Those individuals who have successfully exposed, or portrayed, the IRS in the true light of day fear for their lives and livelihood.
Shelley L. Davis tells a true story in her book entitled “Unbridled Power inside the Secret Culture of the IRS.” She dared to go “public” about those at the highest levels of the agency who encouraged violation of Federal Law by destroying government records. In her own words: “This had been the gist of my beef with the IRS: that it negligently and deliberately destroyed its paper trail, shredded its records and trashed any chance for accountability, out of some ill-founded and irrational fear of exposure to public scrutiny.”
Because of people like Mrs. Davis our suspicions and worst fears about the IRS are exposed and validated. The use of the words, Secret Culture, and the IRS has an ominous tone when you think of it. I had to go to several books on the Civil War to at last find some information about the IRS.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue, as it was originally known, was created on the first day of July 1862 as an administrative agency under the direction of the Treasury Department. President Lincoln instituted the direct tax as an emergency measure, under a state of “Martial law,” to finance the Northern Army during the Civil War.
His Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon Chase, opposed any system of direct taxation; especially where it required revenue officers for collection purposes. Note that the Congress as constitutionally required did not craft the agency. Thus, this agency of government is, in reality not officially sanctioned by the Congress. Secretary Chase had preferred to finance the war through loans. However Chase felt about the tax measure, after its passage, he was obligated to support it once signed by the President.
The Congress was composed of two political factions known then as the “Conservative Republicans and the JACOBINS or Radical Republicans. The Jacobins were determined to crush the South by any means available; such was the veniality of the North for the South over secession. The word or acronym Jacobin Republican was a term derived from the French Revolution of 1793 through 1794. The Jacobins were a political society in France who advocated Democratic ideologies and most importantly National loyalty. When the Southern Representatives Walked out of Congress in 1861 their action was not considered by the Northern Representatives an act of National loyalty, no, they considered it an act of treason.
In any event the first Internal Revenue Act in 1862 was framed upon the theory that the Taxpayers were “natural enemies of the government.” Well duh, naturally the taxpayer expected taxation by representation, not by extortion and certainly not by coercion. For the first time in American history the Constitution was suspended, statutes replaced common law, which gave the Bureau police powers of visitation and inquisition of all Citizens. In addition the leaders of the Bureau were protected against interference from any judicial authority. These Police Powers (the N.D.P. or National Detective Police) were placed under the command of Lafayette C. Baker as a quasi branch of the Army. Baker was commissioned to the rank of Colonel and recruited more than 2,000 troops under his exclusive command.
Baker easily became a “law unto him-self,” and instituted a reign of terror not seen since revolutionary times. Such powers eventually led to 4th Amendment violations of search and seizure, and 5th Amendment violations of due process. This breech of Constitutional authority, again under the guise of “Martial Law,” also led to unrestrained corruption in the form of bribe taking, smuggling, defrauding the customs, and payoffs while the honest taxpayer were pursued for the most technical breaches of the law and driven “out of business.”
At the end of the Civil War Baker escalated hostilities against the South as it was over run by the Bureau of Internal Revenue Police. In testimony Mr. T. J. Mackay, then Provost Marshal assigned to Louisiana had this to say: “After the arrival of the Officials of the Treasury Department in western Louisiana I heard of frequent complaints made of their exaction’s . . . I ascertained that it was the common practice of the agents . . . to seize cotton on the pretext it
belonged to the late Confederate States; to refuse to give the party who owned the cotton a paper designating the weights of the bales, and . . . return to the claimant the same number of bales taken from him . . . .Treasury agents . . .exacte(d) bribes before they would permit it to be shipped.” (A). Corruption by the Treasury agents was universally known and actual revenue sent to the Treasury in Washington DC was estimated to be as low as 10%. While the poor Southerners were being financially sacked by high taxes, and the brutal abuses of the Internal Revenue agents, the merchants of the Northern States became richer and richer. (Emphasis added).
It needs to be clearly understood that the Radicals in the Congress and the Money Trusts in the North, which were their benefactors, had not the least compunction to refrain from debauching the Federal Constitution, or any Southern States Sovereignty and their Constitutions, during and after the Civil War. Their own political power and individual financial futures were their primary concern.
The assassination of President Lincoln and the impeachment of Andrew Johnson thereafter assured the Radicals in Congress along with the Money Trusts absolute power in Washington DC. Without Lincoln to hold back the powerful Eastern Banking interests, the Civil War would be the blood bath the Radicals in Congress wanted it to be. To spite Lincoln’s efforts it was a horrible slaughter nonetheless. J. P. Morgan’s control of all the railroads was laid over the bodies of young men of both the North and the South.
The 14th and the 15th Amendments were passed off on the American public through the efforts of the Radicals in congress along with military occupation of the Southern Legislatures. Properly elected Representatives from the South were denied seats within the Congress unless they were Black or avowedly Unionist voters. Reconstruction in the South was a means for the Radical Republicans in the North to remove the basic structure of government in the United States, circumventing Article V, particularly Section 3 regarding States rights.
The Tenth Amendment and Article V. formed what was to be an impenetrable boundary of federal power. The link of taxation and House representation is significant because all appropriation measures must start in the House; see U.S. Constitution, Article I. Section 7. To do otherwise is to deny the Citizen the ability to hold their elected officials accountable at the voting booth. However, the Radicals in Congress set out to do just that by the first reconstruction act, which aided the coercion of the ratification of the 14th Amendment over the resistance of the Southern States. To spite the Veto of President Andrew Johnson, the first reconstruction act was passed March 2, 1867.
See Unbridled Power inside the Secret culture of the IRS. By, Shelley L. Davis c1998. Harper Collins Publishers, Inc. New NY.
See Documentary history of Reconstruction, edited by Walter L. Fleming (McGraw-Hill, Inc., New York, 1966), page 4.
Benson, B and Beckman M.(1985) The Law That Never Was. Vol. I, Vol. II Published by Constitutional Research Assoc. South Holland, IL
Treasury Department on Tax Reform Volume 1. p 75
For Good and Evil. The impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization p 290-91Adams, Charles.
Encyclopedia Americana, The. (1991). International Edition Vol. 1-30. By Grolier Incorporated. Vol. 13 p 819-20.
Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. p 1423 Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. Vol. 2. Levy, Karst, Mahoney. Macmillan Publishing Company. New York, Collier Macmillan Publishers London.
Seligman, Edwin R. A. The Income Tax. A Study of the History, Theory, and Practice of, The Macmillan Company New York. Boston. Chicago. San Francisco.
Next: THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE A Short story. Continued.
“WE THE PEOPLE” and the American Constitution
By: William Grant Burmer ISBN 978-1-4363-2186-0
Available at Barnes and Noble and other fine book stores