REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES BEFORE TAXES
Especially When The Taxes Are Used
(No Answers, No Taxes)
Robert L. Schulz
Chairman, We The People Congress
Freedom Drive 2002
The National Mall, Washington DC
November 14, 2002
Bob Schulz wishes to acknowledge and thank Anthony Hargis for his fine research paper, "The Lost Right, Redress of Grievances." (undated). Bob’s speech draws heavily on that research and the underlying documents.
The founding fathers, in an act of the Continental Congress in 1774,
said, "If money is wanted by Rulers who have in any manner oppressed the
People, [the People] may retain [their money] until their grievances are
redressed, and thus peaceably procure relief, without trusting to despised
petitions or disturbing the public tranquility."
This very American Right of Redress of Grievances Before Taxes is deeply embedded in our law.
The founding fathers could hardly have used words more clear when they declared, "the people … may retain [their money] until their grievances are [remedied]."
By these words, the founding fathers fully recognized and clearly stated: that the Right of Redress of Grievances includes the right of Redress Before payment of Taxes, that this Right of Redress Before Taxes lies in the hands of the People, that this Right is the People’s non-violent, peaceful means to procuring a remedy to their grievances without having depend on – or place their trust in -- the government’s willingness to respond to the People’s petitions and without having to resort to violence.
Before going further, I’d like to clarify two points: first, the question we are dealing with here is not whether the government has the power to tax, but whether the government is abusing its constitutionally limited power to tax; and second, there is the question of whether the government is using the tax revenue to effect other abuses of its authority.
The founding fathers were well acquainted with the fact that government is the enemy of Freedom, that those wielding governmental power despise petitions from the People; the representatives of the People, in a popular assembly, seem sometimes to fancy that they are the People themselves and exhibit strong symptoms of impatience and disgust at the least sign of opposition from any quarter.
The founding fathers knew that it was possible for the institutions of the Congress, the Executive and the Courts to someday begin to fail in their duty to protect the people from tyranny. They knew that unless the People had the right to withhold their money from the government their grievances might fall on deaf ears and Liberty would give way to tyranny, despotism and involuntary servitude.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states clearly and unambiguously, "Congress shall make NO law …abridging …the right of the people … to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
While some Rights are reserved with qualifications in the Bill of Rights, there are none whatsoever pertaining to the Right of Redress. There are no limits on the Right of Redress. Any constitutional offense is legitimately petitionable.
We have established that the Founding Fathers clearly declared that the Right of Redress of Grievances includes the Right to withhold payment of taxes while the grievance remains. By the 1st Amendment, the founding fathers secured for posterity the Right of Redress of Grievances Before payment of Taxes and they made the Right of Redress Before Taxes operate against "the government," that is, against all branches of "the government," -- the legislative, the executive and the judicial branches. Redress reaches all.
Notice that the founding fathers, sitting as the Continental Congress in 1774, held that this Right of Redress Before Taxes was the means by which "the public tranquility" was to be maintained. Then, sitting as the Constitutional Convention, the founding fathers declared that one of the major purposes of the (federal) government was to "insure domestic tranquility." Therefore, whenever this Right of Redress is violated, the People have a double grievance: a denial of justice by the government and, an incitement by the government to general unrest.
Today, our concern is the grievance that falls under the heading of a design to subvert the Constitution and laws of the country by those wielding governmental power.
Under this heading, all officers of the government are liable, if they strayed from their oath of office.
If we are to secure our Rights, we must rely on the laws of nature and a reasoned sense of innovation. To rely on precedent is to oppress posterity with the ignorance or chains of their fathers. Being forced by the government to rely on precedent is, itself, a grievance.
The sequence of Redress Before Taxes was well established in English law at a time when great numbers of Englishmen traveled to America. They brought with them English history and English law: they brought with them the principle of "taxes with consent"; the unlawfulness of "troops quartered in private homes," of "cruel and unusual punishments," and a whole collection of Rights, such as Redress, Speech, Assembly and Trial by Jury.
Any notion, spurious act of Congress or opinion by a Court that taxes must by paid before Redress is a perversion of Natural Law, of modern English law, of the American Constitution and of Truth and Justice.
The reverse principle of "Taxes Before Redress" is based on the essence of monarchy and kingly power: the king owns everything under his domain. People possess property under a monarch by his grace alone. Since a king owns everything under his domain, he merely has to speak to lawfully dispose of his property. Thus, if a king imposed a tax on land he imposed it on his own land and whoever occupied the land was obligated to pay the tax to the king’s treasury. A tax, then, being a part of the king’s property, was legally presumed to be in the possession of the king before and after its assessment.
Since the landholder, or landless subject, enjoyed the privilege of tenancy on the land only by the will of the king, he could be required to pay over the tax before he could contest the assessment—or redress a grievance.
Thus, the theory that a tax must be paid before redress rests on the presumption that society is organized as a monarchy; that all people living therein exist by grace of an autocrat – whether one man or an assembly of men. This proposition was soundly rejected by the Founders in designing our unique system of governance.
In America, such presumptions constitute grievances. The first duty of any officer is to uphold the Constitution – the entire Constitution, without reservation and without bribery or blackmail.
Petitioning the government for a Redress of Grievance naturally includes the ability to compel admissions – the production of information and answers to questions.
Jefferson wrote, "The right of freely examining public characters and measures, and of free communication among the people thereon,…has ever been justly deemed the only effectual guardian of every other right."
According to the Right of Redress, as the Founders described it, we have a right to withhold taxes if government violates our rights. But, as American courts describe the Right, we must suffer the injury, pay the taxes, and only then, sue for Redress against an adversary with unlimited resources.
The idea that taxes are to be paid before redress is asserted by Congress in the Internal Revenue Code at Section 7241, which states, "no suit for the purpose of restraining the assessment or collection of any tax shall be maintained in any court by any person …."
How repugnant! American government is supposed to be organized to protect American citizens; but section 7241 authorizes the IRS to destroy them with impunity and the judiciary is cooperating with the executive and legislative branches in a collective decision to deny the People their constitutional Rights. Such acts of government are unconstitutional and must be stopped.
In America, the right to petition our government for redress of grievances is the basis of our liberty. Our founders explicitly recognized this right in the first amendment to our constitution -- for they understood that without it, we could not have a servant government whose power is defined and limited by the consent of the people.
In America, the right to petition our government for a Redress of Grievances is an unalienable right. It derives from our faith in a supreme being - an ultimate moral authority from whom we gain our understanding of equality, justice and the rule of law. Implicit in our first amendment constitutional right to petition our government for a redress of grievances, is the government's absolute moral and legal obligation to respond honestly and completely to the people's petition.
This is the essential cornerstone of Popular Sovereignty -- a government of the People, by the People and for the People.
In 1791, the right to petition became primary among the Rights of the People of the United States of America, as expressed in, and guaranteed by, the First Amendment.
Some would now have us believe that our First Amendment right of petition is nothing more than a guarantee of free speech; that this vital constitutional protection - the very basis of our liberty - is simply a right to voice our grievances to the government. Some would try to convince us that We The People do not have the absolute right to an honest and complete response to our petitions -- or the authority to demand that our government correct the abuses and violations of our liberties that result in our petitions. Some would even go so far as to say it is merely a Right to complain, with no expectation of response.
This is nonsense! This is dangerous talk to a free people. We will not listen to those who would denigrate our Constitution, and undermine the principles of liberty and justice that gave birth to our nation. At best they are imbeciles, and at worst they are tyrants -- or "sharing bedrooms" with tyrants.
We must guard against this nonsense. We must harden our hearts to these false notions that government is God. We must recognize that even in the long run government can never be rational, without a principled Constitution firmly rooted in Liberty. Government has but one legitimate purpose -- to serve and protect all of the people equally. Government is not God. It is our servant. It is accountable to the People.
The right to Petition for Redress of Grievances is the final protection -- the final, peaceful check and balance in our system of Constitutional government in which the government derives its limited powers from the consent of the sovereign people. This is the right which publicly reveals and reiterates for all, who is Master and who is Servant.
The way the system is now working is in sharp contrast to the way it was designed to work. The servant is taking over the House: the government has brought us to the brink; the Constitution is hanging by a thread.
Not only is the government neglecting its duties, it is operating outside the boundaries the People have drawn around its powers.
These are some of our grievances:
First: In violation of the War Powers Clauses of the Constitution, the President has colluded with the Congress to pass legislation that authorizes the President to apply the armed forces of the United States of America in hostilities in Iraq without a congressional Declaration of War.
Second: In a hasty response to widespread fear and panic following 9/11, our elected representatives voted on the "U.S.A. Patriot Act" (with many having not read it), which by the plain language of the Act, violates and seizes a number of the unalienable rights of the People.
Third: Our government has relinquished direct control of the monetary system of this nation to a privately owned central bank and has transformed our money into nothing but limitless debt. And, a significant portion of the Federal Reserve stock is held by foreign entities.
And Fourth, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service reneged on their July 2001 agreement to appear at a public forum to answer the People’s Remonstrance and well-documented legal charges directly asserting the lack of statutory or Constitutional authority for the federal income tax and the systemic abuses of our unalienable rights in the daily operations of the IRS.
These are tyrannical and despotic acts. Are they to be tolerated by the People?
Let us thank our forefathers for their vision, foresight and innate understanding of the nature of man, political power, and government corruption in recognizing the explicit right of the People to petition their government for redress.
On October 7, 2002, four Petitions for Redress of these grievances were posted on the internet. The four Petitions, signed by thousands of American citizens who reside in all 435 Congressional Districts, were hand delivered to the offices of each member of the House of Representatives and each member of the Senate (in Washington DC) on November 8, 2002 (last Friday). Then, the Petitions were each formally served on the President on the twelfth.
The Petitions address specific constitutional grievances relating to: 1) the War Powers Clauses of the Constitution and the Iraq Resolution; 2) the privacy, due process and free speech clauses of the Constitution and the USA Patriot Act; 3) the money clauses of the Constitution and the Federal Reserve System; and 4) the tax-related clauses of the Constitution and the federal Income Tax system.
With the exception of the Income Tax Petition, the Petitions for Redress include specific questions, which We the People expected to be answered. The Petitions respectfully requested each congressperson and the President to send a representative to meet with the People at 2 P.M. today, right here on the National Mall, to either answer the questions OR tell the People when the questions will be answered.
With respect to the Income Tax Petition, we are further along. Those questions have already gone unanswered by the government following its receipt of an earlier Petition for Redress. The current, second, Petition on the Income Tax Grievances moved the petitioning process to the next level with its list of demands. There is more to the petitioning process than the mere submittal of the "despised" petitions.
With today’s failure to respond, we can see a clear pattern. Our elected representatives do not feel compelled to respond to the People.
We must take the appropriate next step. As of two o’clock today, the government has left us no choice but to engage in civil action – a pro-active, non-violent mass movement, with the explicit goal of restoring the Republic by bringing the government back under the control of the People and our Rule Book – the Constitution of the United States of America.
This meeting here on the National Mall is the culmination of Freedom Drive 2002. On November 8, citizens from across the nation began driving in caravans toward Washington DC, to peaceably assemble here to await the government’s response to their Petitions.
We appear to have reached the point where the institutions of the Court and the Congress and the Executive have failed in their Constitutional duty to protect the people from tyranny, The government is refusing to answer the People’s allegations of governmental wrongdoing. Unless the People withhold their money from the government their grievances will fall on deaf ears and Liberty will give way to tyranny, despotism and involuntary, economic servitude.
Every adult in this nation has a personal duty and a moral responsibility, that stem directly from our heritage, to repel the tyrannical acts of those to whom the People have granted well defined and limited powers.
The right to Petition is the foundation of Popular Sovereignty and is the direct vehicle for the peaceful, non-violent resolution of matters involving errant government. This right is the procedural mechanism that enables the People to call any branch of their servant government before them.
In America, there are only two things that stand between the people and government tyranny -- our Constitution, and our will as a free people to protect and defend it.
These petitions are about us -- We the People. They are proof of our resolve to correct our government’s abusive and unlawful behavior.
As a People, who are we? And who do we want to be? What kind of country do we want to leave to our children and future generations of Americans?
Will we tolerate tyranny merely to be comfortable?
Again, we ask: What does a free People do when confronted with a government that refuses to honor, and systemically schemes to evade, the boundaries and limitations established for it by We the People?
We stand at the brink of a Constitutionally unauthorized war and the meltdown of a monetary system based on the endless conjuring of debt. Under the guise of "protecting" us from terrorists, our government is attempting to seize our most fundamental rights and deprive us of their protections. To finance it all, the IRS and the Department of Justice use intimidation by, and the power of, the police state to enforce and prosecute offenses of tax "laws" --- yet they continue to refuse to cite the specific legal authority that purportedly allows them to enforce those laws.
If the People fail to act, we will end forever the chapter in human history when a People reigned sovereign, and the chains of a written constitution limited and bound their government to their service.
We have a choice. YOU have a choice.
We came for answers, but we did not get them. Now we demand that our government obey the Constitution, which, after all is a strongly worded set of principles to govern the government, not the people.
By the terms and provisions of the Constitution the People have not only formed their government and enabled the government to act in certain ways, they have purposely and markedly restricted and prohibited the government from acting in certain other ways.
The nature of our resistance is clear. It is not an act of anarchy or rebellion; rather it is an act of resistance to a government that is violating the purposes for which the Creator -- through the People and the Constitution -- has ordained civil government.
We are not "anti-war." We are not "anti-tax." We are "pro-constitution" and "anti-fraud."
Thus far we have pursued peaceful reconciliation and petition. It is the President and the Congress who have refused to respond to our Petitions for Redress of Grievances, in violation of the 1st Amendment.
We did not initiate this conflict. We have been fully committed to peaceful reconciliation and have pursued that course for decades.
We have no desire for resistance or violence of any kind. However, in the People's peaceful reconciliation attempts, the People's petitions and appeals have been met with force, and in some instances with near- military force.
The defense of our homes, families, properties and possessions is a most important point to us. It is our heritage. It is our Right.
There is not the most distant thought of subverting the government or of hurting the interest of the people of America, but of defending our personal Rights, Freedoms and Liberties from unjust encroachment.
There was not the least desire of withdrawing our allegiance from the leaders of the branches until it became absolutely necessary -- and, indeed, it has been their own choice.
Our political leaders know that our cause is just.
They know that we, the People, struggle for that freedom to which all men are entitled -- that we struggle against oppression, seizure, plunder, extortion and more than savage barbarity.
We are not moved by any light or hasty suggestion of anger or revenge. Through every possible change of fortune we adhere peaceably to this determination.
Our property and happiness have been attacked. Our self-defense against an aggressor government is righteous.
Our civil action is for the cause of civil justice -- a righteous struggle, undertaken in defense of our property, our happiness and our families. It is to oppose the invasions of usurped power. We will bravely suffer present hardships and face future dangers, to secure the rights of humanity and the blessings of freedom for generations yet unborn.
It is our obligation, as responsible citizens of this country, to set a proper value upon, and to defend to the utmost, our just rights and the blessings of Life and Liberty. Without this personal commitment, a few unprincipled individuals would tyrannize the People, and make the passive multitude the slaves of their power. Thus it is that civil action is not only justifiable, but an indispensable duty to correct these wrongs.
It is upon these principles that we are resisting the government and will oppose force with force.
Any wage earner who gives money to the federal government and any employer who withholds money from the paychecks of working Americans is undermining the People’s Rights, Freedoms and Liberties. Under the present circumstances, their behavior must be considered to be un-American.
As our Founders said so clearly: "If money is wanted by Rulers who have in any manner oppressed the People, [the People] may retain [their money] until their grievances are redressed, and thus peaceably procure relief, without trusting to despised petitions or disturbing the public tranquility."
We the People must get Redress of Grievances before payment of taxes.
No Answers. No Taxes!