You might be a tax protestor if it feels great the first time you tell the IRS to go pack sand.

“I am an American fighting man. I serve in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.” I told the interrogator as he probed my dislocated and separated shoulder with his ink pen. “Hold on I kept telling myself.” You do so many crazy things when you are under extreme duress. I couldn’t get that stupid Wilson Phillips song out of my mind, “hold on…things will be okay.”

Somehow the song wasn’t very comforting when my ribs crack from repeated beatings. All in all though, we had survived, so there was hope. I remember one of my civilian buddies talking trash about another POW “collaborating” with the enemy when CNN plastered the YouTube video all over the airways of him saying that “the imperial United States violated international law by attacking the freedom loving people of…”

Civilians don’t realize that interrogation isn’t about information, it’s about will. They don’t want to know our secrets! They know anything really importance has already been changed so that we can’t compromise it. Interrogation is about propaganda and will. They aren’t attacking my will to fight; they’re attacking my county’s will to fight.

My little brother was a junior in high school now and watched the news all the time. I wasn’t going to let this Communist bastard put me in some propaganda video. I might be in their prison, but I wasn’t going to be one of their prisoners. “I will never forget that I am an American fighting man, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.”

“Surely, Corporal, you must have something encouraging to tell the people back home about our cause here in the East.”

“Screw you.”

People know stuff; O. J. Simpson knows relationships, Bill Clinton knows English vocabulary, George W. Bush knows WMD’s and Bo knows taxes.

Accountants, tax attorneys, judges and IRS agents know stuff too; they know that a federal income tax on wages is a crock. It took me a lot longer to figure it out; after all I was a Marine and I need my fingers to count with. The Internal Revenue Code (IRC) is millions of words and specially defined words called “terms.”

Terms are pretty slick too, because you can use terms to make words that seem to mean one thing mean something else. The IRC is full of terms, in fact, there are so many terms that you could eat terms and die. It’s okay though, because you can always know when you are about to be fed a ration of bull terms when you read something like “For the purposes of the chapter, the term apples means footballs.” Then there will be hundreds, if not thousands of words and sentences, before they proudly announce, “If you are a living, breathing human being and have ever in your entire life eaten an apple, you must fill out Form UR-GR8 and turn over all rights to your first born children to the service.”

For the purpose of this chapter the term “pack sand” includes read, understand and the phrase “treat me with dignity and respect.”

When I retired from the Marine Corps, I took some lessons and finally learned how to pack sand. This gave me the opportunity get my own copy of the IRC and pack sand with my friends and neighbors. Finally, I could tell the IRS to pack sand.

I knew the truth, it reminded me of that line in the movie MATRIX, “Man, what a mind job.” Just what do you do now?

So, armed with my new found understanding, I logged into my company’s web site, and boldly changed my Form W-4 to reflect the truth. I was now EXEMPT because I had no tax liability last year and expected no tax liability this year. I read that statement over about five dozen times and then drew a deep breath, checked my package and purposefully pressed the “ENTER” key.

“It is finished.” I had paid my last voluntary withholding. I’m not sure that anyone actually thinks themselves courageous, but we know when we have done something that takes courage; that morning I felt great; I had the sense of elation you feel having done something special.

I think I might have been disappointed though because very little else changed. The air wasn’t fresher, the water wasn’t cleaner, and the sky wasn’t bluer; and then again, the world didn’t descend into nuclear winter either. In fact nothing changed. Most my adult life I had feared that any violation of the dreaded Internal Revenue Code would result in immediate retaliation by the IRS Police who would cast me into the utter-most darkness. After reading a little about the truth, however, that view somehow morphed into a vision of tranquility once loosed from the shackles of bondage.

None of this happened, though, things just continued. I remained content, however, in the knowledge that I had done it!

You might be a tax protestor if it feels great the first time you tell the IRS to pack sand.