I was surprised that the Ninth Circuit’s decision, last month, on Irwin Schiff’s appeal of his conviction and sentence did not attract more attention. Irwin Schiff could well be viewed as the grandfather of the contemporary tax protester movement. According to wikipedia:
A tax protester is someone who refuses to pay a tax on constitutional or legal grounds, typically because he or she claims to believe that the tax laws are unconstitutional or otherwise invalid.
Irwin Schiff was appealing his conviction and sentence of 151 months for conspiracy, aiding in the filing of false income tax returns and failing to pay income tax. His appeal was based on ineffective assistance of counsel at his first appeal (He represented himself at the original trial). The Ninth Circuit cut him no slack, so based on his current projected release date, the next birthday that Irwin Schiff can celebrate in freedom will be his ninetieth.
An Appeal From His Son
The light coverage of the appeal redounded to my advantage, because it motivated Peter Schiff, Irwin’s son, to contact me. As the founder of Euro Pacific Capital, Senate candidate and author, Peter Schiff is pretty well known in his own right. Peter Schiff thinks his dad is getting a really raw deal and is being treated worse than if he were an ax murderer. Peter Schiff has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees for his father. He is worried about his poor health care and the distance that he is kept from his family. Peter Schiff was very annoyed that the mental health defense that helped Irwin Schiff’s co-defendant was suppressed in his case. Irwin Schiff suffers from bi-polar disorder. Here is some video where Peter discusses his views on his father.
Peter Schiff believes that his father’s fight against the IRS is hopeless and unwise. He tried to convince his dad that there is a better way to fight the battle against, in his view, excessive government interference in our lives and the economy. Peter Schiff follows the tax law as most of us commonly understand it, even though he agrees with his father that the law is being incorrectly applied and that the income tax does not apply to most of those who pay it. He devotes some space to the argument in The Real Crash: America’s Coming Bankruptcy – How To Save Yourself And Your Country which he dedicates to his father.
Although there were many people and groups that I had considered for this dedication, I feel compelled to risk redundancy and once again credit my father, Irwin Schiff. As I re-read the material, the echo of his voice clearly resonates throughout. It would be disingenuous to avoid the fact that no single individual had a greater influence on the development of this material. Unfortunately, as a quasi political prisoner, he can’t speak for himself. I’m happy to be able to do it for him.