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Michael Steele says taxes are voluntary.

Michael Steele of MSNBC thinks taxes are voluntary. He claims people are not forced to pay taxes. His position is hopelessly contradictory. Ultimately he admits that force is used and that a forced action is quite different from an unforced action.

Where does the confusion come from? It comes from confusing two concepts that sound alike but are quite different. The first is free will, which is a characteristic that everybody has by nature. It is a characteristic of humans to be able to think or not think, to decide to do something or not do it. We are born this way. The second concept is a free action or voluntary action which means that you take the action free of coercion or threat of coercion. This second concept is important because it differentiates between two very different kinds of actions, those that you are forced to take and those you are not forced to take and thus, take freely. To the extent that you confuse these two concepts(free will and actions you take freely) your thinking will not make sense and you'll end up contradicting yourself. This I think, is what happened to Mr. Steel.

As I have mentioned previously, Mr. Steel should be commended for being willing to have his views examined. I appreciate his openness and willingness to reason. Ultimately, a willingness to reason is the best chance all of us have to rid ourselves of mistaken thinking. Part 3


Jan Helfeld is a unique TV interviewer who uses the Socratic interviewing technique to reveal contradictions in our politicians' thinking. Watch Jan Helfeld nail the politician or journalist of your choice. Enjoy watching politicians and journalists go crazy as the result of rational, legitimate questions and thus, with no excuse to be upset.

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Cyril's picture

I forgot to mention

I forgot to mention before:

I'd suggest Mr. Steele to just do a fast forward to minute 5:30 of this:


And rethink about it.


"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

You do have a choice

Pay, or lose your wealth and your liberty.

Yes, this is basically it.

Yes, this is basically it. Its only voluntary in that they dont automatically take it from you, beyond that, not really.

To climb the mountain, you must believe you can.

HIS taxes

probably ARE voluntary! LOL! He is not one of the peasants. He is ruling class.

Recall the ex- IRS Commissioner's response after.....

Aaron Russo asked him to show him exactly in the United States code- Title 26 where the law stating that every American citizen is liable to pay a Federal Income tax. The Commissioner's response was "It's in the book". Aaron Russo's response was, Yeah, but exactly where? Please show me where. The Ex- IRS Commissioner's response was as follows: He got up without warning and exited the premises because of the simple fact, he could not answer the question. And that is because there is no such law in Title 26 of the United States Laws. These are the very laws the I.R.S. are lawfully bound by. They historically ignore these laws and certainly do not lawfully abide by them. And that's what makes them extremely dangerous. Where does one go who is having major issues with the IRS? You are essentially by yourself forced to have to research unconventional tactics to defend yourself against a rogue and lawless quasi-governmental agency.

What if he had cited

6011(a) and 6012(a)?
(Note: it doesn't say "every American citizen"; 6012(a) spells out the exceptions.)

If you make that argument to avoid paying taxes, those are (among other things) the sections of Title 26 that the IRS would cite as they charge you an extra $5000 for filing a frivolous return ($10,000 if a joint return).

Unfortunately it doesn't

Unfortunately it doesn't matter what any law says or doesn't say because we no longer have rule of law in this nation. We have submit and obey or pay the price. So you can stand up if you want, but you will be whack-a-moled right into submission.

I'm convinced nothing short of starting over is going to fix things. We have all allowed ourselves to become the frog in frog soup. This nation revolted over 2% in taxes. Today, government from local to federal now consumes 40% of GDP! That's insane! It's a giant parasite, a vampire bleeding it's victim dry and like a vampire, unable to stop.

"In reality, the Constitution itself is incapable of achieving what we would like in limiting government power, no matter how well written."

~ Ron Paul, End the Fed

Touchy feely abstract thoughts

I might would say to Michael Steele re: "free will and God" -

a) If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then break the law. ~ Henry David Thoreau

b) Then Peter and the [other] apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. Acts 5:29


c) I believe non-co-operation with evil is a duty ~
Gandhi before Judge Broomfield

Nothing coherent but my first thoughts.

Freedom is not: doing everything you want to.
Freedom is: not having to do what you don't want to do.
~ Joyce Meyer

Mr. Steele, since you work for Mockingbird-SNBCIA

I have something to say to you neocon...TAXATION=THEFT!!!!




For The Power of The Republic!

Cyril's picture

Sure. Mr Steele is right (*)

Taxes are as voluntary as the fleas the dog has to cope with.

I'd argue I've never crossed a dog seemingly less happy to be without the legions of fleas that once were sucking on him...

So, to me, Mr. Steele holds on an even stranger definition for the adjective, voluntary, even more so than for the noun, taxes.


"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Steele is a flea. Or

Steele is a flea. Or worse...

Resist the temptation to feed the trolls.

Voluntary taxation

Is called donations.

Income Tax Must Be Voluntary

Taking without permission is a crime. Taking at gun point is a serious crime called armed robbery. There is no law or amendment to the Constitution that can make criminal acts non criminal no matter who is doing the crime. Income taxes must be voluntary or we are all criminals because we are the government. The only way income taxes can not be voluntary is if someone has entered into a contract “voluntary” and in the contract agreed to be put under the jurisdiction of the federal courts and any penalty they decide to hand out and of course be subject to there collection procedures. When anyone files a tax return they are entering into an agreement with the U.S. government and agree with all the terms of that agreement. Just like the agreement here everyone enters into when they login. The complexity of the federal regulations make it immoral to know all the terms of the contract. I have never meet anyone who was obligated to file a return for collection of taxes on federally regulated enterprises and return those taxes to the government. I have known and know thousands who erroneously file taxes returns thinking that they had an obligation to do so. Once filed the full force of the contract is in place. There should be a way out of the contract.

I have a tax liability approaching $30,000 from the tax year....

2000. I never once filled out a W-2 or signed it and never filled out a tax return form in Jan.-April 15th of 2001, and obviously never signed it. In 12 years, I have not spoken with nor written to nor signed anything related to the IRS or any IRS agent. So please explain to me where at any point the IRS has any jurisdiction over me. And to be lawfully explicit, the IRS has exactly 10 years (and no more) to collect on a tax liability according to Title 26 in the U.S. Federal Code. My supposed tax liability from the tax year 2000 lawfully expired in April of 2011. Yet, they still send me bills and will for the remainder of my life. I am going to go through the Redemption Process by filling out a Financial statement and the associated paperwork and have it recorded and notarized and send a copy to my state Secretary of State and a copy to the United States Secretary of State(unfortunately Hilary Rodham-Clinton).

of course they continue to

of course they continue to send you bills. they're trying to get you to respond somehow and once you do they've got you. have they seized any of your assets?


Well, I guess it's time to stop hearing all these African American demands for reparations. They didn't have to be slaves. They could have run away. Sure, they would have been killed... weigh the consequences, Steele. Weigh the consequences.

You sure don't have to pay Federal Income Tax

During the 2008 campaign, I was having some work done to my house and gave a copy of "Freedom to Facism" to a tradesman while remarking that the first half of the video was about not paying taxes and for him to make sure he watched the second half of the video because that's where the good stuff was. Well shame on me--he told me that he hasn't paid income tax for years and that the government knows it. Every year the government sends him a letter excusing him from tax for a particular year. (I don't remember exactly how many years. But it was something like in 2012 he will get a letter excusing him from any tax he would have owed in 2009.) Apparently, there is a "right" way to do this. He was advised by a guy who had written a book on the subject (sorry I don't have a name)

The tradesman is a very successful and prosperous fellow with a great family.

LOL! Maybe that is why Ron Paul refuses to show his income tax.

He basically told the media it is none of their business and he has no intention of showing his income taxes. They stopped asking him about it. He showed his portfolio and the media was stunned that he practices what he preaches--a little bit of real estate and the rest in gold and silver.

Jan should have asked

if a woman facing rape from a rapist that says he will cut her throat if she doesnt let him rape her is making a choice to voluntarily be raped.

I'd rather have a bottle in front o' me than a frontal lobotomy

I just had to do this once more

Yes, there were a few people.....a very few, those who wrote books and taught about this Federal Income Tax FRAUD so as to educate others such as Pete Hendrickson and he was railroaded!
Irwin Schiff also another...railroaded
Freedom loving, truth speaking men who dared to speak out against the evils of this government. They are true American heros and I pray to God that when Ron gets elected, he will have these innocent men and others who have been falsely charged, freed from their hell holes.

The site losthorizons.com will educate anyone who will take the time to read it. It's an easy read and sometimes actually humorous when you see the FRAUD exposed.
The corrupt government as you know will do whatever it will to chop the head(s) off so as to intimidate the rest of the body. It's not working because just like Ron's message, the people are finding out the truth.

Didn't you ever see the movie "America, Freedom To Facism"?
Watch it here:

In that movie, the Commissioner of the IRS is questioned by Aaron Russo about the truth of the Income Tax and he squirmed and wiggled in his chair as he tried to talk around the issue ( just like Romney does ) and finally ended the interview really angry because he couldn't wiggle out of the truth.

Lying SOBs the whole damned bunch of them!

" In Thee O Lord do I put my trust " ~ Psalm 31:1~


quite a skill


voluntary |ˈvälənˌterē|

done, given, or acting of one's own free will : we are funded by voluntary contributions.

• working, done, or maintained without payment : a voluntary helper.
• supported by contributions rather than taxes or fees : voluntary hospitals.
• Physiology under the conscious control of the brain.
• Law (of a conveyance or disposition) made without return in money or other consideration.

...Gotta love Jan. Holding morally ambiguous feet to the fire for years.

America: Freedom to Fascism

Google it.

An imperfect messenger of a perfect message. — Ron Paul


i love this guy , he is obviously showing that the LSM is marginalizing Dr. Paul


watch and spread to people EVERYWHERE

"He's this eccentric Ghandi-Like figure that you cant touch with the normal bribes that people respond to."
the man Doug Wead on DR. RON PAUL

With this man's logic,

I am willing to bet that he would say salvery was voluntary. That they had a choice. I wish Jan would have asked him "Was slavery voluntary?" Excusse me for being politically incorrect, but it would have been a reasonable question and I would have loved to hear the dunce's answer. We all know salvery was involuntary and immoral but does this man? idts.

“When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.” – Dresden James

This man is mind-numbingly

This man is mind-numbingly stupid. Ignorant, ignorant man.

When I donate to a

Charity THAT is voluntary. When we pay taxes that is under duress.

"We can see with our eyes, hear with our ears and feel with our touch, but we understand with our hearts."

So Nazi Germany was a

So Nazi Germany was a voluntary society, Michael? I guess according to Michael, the Jews have nothing to complain about.

Going to a museum for extra

Going to a museum for extra credit for school would be an example of a voluntary act. If you go you'll receive extra credit, but if you don't go you will not gain the extra credit but you will not be penalized either. Hence, the extra credit is voluntary. The Republican overlords are a disgrace.

The Law That Never Was - How Some States Never Legally Ratifiy

the 16th Amendment. Fraud was committed in 1913..


I guess Slavery was "voluntary" according to Steele


Yes, please BUY this wonderful libertarian BOOK! We all must know the History of Freedom! Buy it today!

"The System of Liberty: Themes in the History of Classical Liberalism" ...by author George Smith --
Buy it Here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/05211820

He is "technically" right.

He is "technically" right. The government calls them voluntary taxes because you have the "option" of filling them out or not; they are not taken automatically from you if you dont wish.
We all know this is a load bull though.
I think this is just another way to try and make people feel like they are free. Everyone knows that they are only actually voluntary if you want dont to keep most of your money or live in a small room for most of your life.

To climb the mountain, you must believe you can.

Yes, they are taken automatically

If you were to have made enough money, you too can have 10,000$ pulled from your account with a letter stating "we're sorry if we inconvenienced you."

He is actually wrong...

The definition of voluntary includes:

Law .
a. acting or done without compulsion or obligation.

And if obligation doesn't get you in that definition, here is the def. of compulsion:

com·pul·sion   [kuhm-puhl-shuhn] Show IPA
1. the act of compelling; constraint; coercion.
2. the state or condition of being compelled.
3. Psychology . a strong, usually irresistible impulse to perform an act, especially one that is irrational or contrary to one's will.

The fact that the government says they are voluntary taxes means that you don't have to pay them without being coerced, compelled, against your will, or under force or threat of force. If the consequence of not paying a tax is jail or fine or anything but "nothing", then it isn't voluntary and Michelle Steele is flat out wrong and stupid. There is a difference between having the choice to do something and making a choice voluntarily.

Just because

the Govt makes a law, that doesn't make it right and very often the constitutionality isn't even considered!

When Fascism goes to sleep, it checks under the bed for Ron Paul!

Great interview

Great interview. Shows Steele for the boob he really is.

Maybe instead of asking 'are taxes voluntary', perhaps ask 'are taxes required'. Obviously, weak minds will start to get all 7th grade on you and start being smart-asses about what 'voluntary' means. Not a road you want to go down with an immature opponent.

Steel here reminds me of a kid sitting in the back seat of a car next to his sister while hovering his finger 1 cm from her eye. The girl stays 'stop poking me!' and the kid says 'I'm not poking you! See mom! I'm not touching her!'

Steele knows what he's saying doesn't really make practical sense, but he'd rather split hairs than have an adult conversation. It must be something he's learned in politics since we wee this kind of bizarre and answer with other politicians. I think it is some kid of fear of giving an answer he thinks he might have to defend. He's pathetic.

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Voluntary huh? Tell that to

Voluntary huh? Tell that to the IRS.

Here's another approach to Mr. Steele that might work

Mr. Steele, you say a person is still "free" not to pay taxes, but are not allowed to ignore the consequences of force by the government if they do not.

Let me ask this. If a robber threaten to shoot you if you did not give him your money, would you feel resentment or anger over being forced to choose, even though you have the voluntary choice not to and suffer death with a bullet in your head?

Can you see, Mr. Steele, that regardless of so-called voluntary choice you claim we may have, that the anger and resentment resulting from making a choice under the pressure of force would be valid?

Or do you feel that taxpayers have no right to be angry paying taxes to a government that gives their money away as bail-outs to fat cat corporations, aid to foreign countries, spent on unnecessary wars, provides expensive vacations for the president and his family, and provide for non-working citizens who do not contribute?

Conscience does not exist if not exercised

"No matter how cynical you get, it's impossible to keep up!
---Lily Tomlin

Missed Opportunity

I like your interviews Jan, but I think that it is easy to fall into a trap using the Socratic method. Just as easily as you can box someone else in if they are trying to avoid the crux of the question, you can also box yourself in and miss opportunities that arise during the interview.

For example, when you mention the "robber" taking by force, Mr. Steele goes on to say that the robber had a choice, and must now accept the consequence of going to jail. Now, in taxation the government is the robber, but in contrast to the individual the government can steal free from any threat of direct consequence. At worst there is an indirect consequence that some representatives are voted out of office next time around, but the government is not subject to the same rules as the individual robber. The interview might have been even more interesting if you had raised this notion to Mr. Steel.

One final point, I think that your characterization of voluntary meaning "without penalty" or fear of penalty may not be the best choice of wording. A person may voluntarily decide to smoke, but this is not without penalty since smoking is likely to lead to a variety of health issues in the long term. Had this occurred to Mr. Steel, he could have raise this point and turned the tables of the interview somewhat with you having to clarify or backtrack on what you mean by "voluntary".

I do love your interviews. Keep up the good work!

He did not say it precisely right,

but there is a legal definition that is close to his point:

4. Law . a. acting or done without compulsion or obligation.

So when he said that a voluntary decision is one done while not under duress, he was correct.


in the sense that word choice is critical.

For example I would argue that 'Voluntary' implies personal freedom in deference to ethical law

(ex. volunteering to join a charity organization)


'Volitional' implies public freedom, particularly in that which validates individual rights

(ex. freedom from any form of mandated coercion).

In sum this is one reason why I argue for a volitional apparatus of governance above biased mandates (ex. imposed tax quotas etc)

So all Slaves were really volunteers.

So by liberal definitions, the civil war was fought over volunteers!

Who knew!

I watched it. It was

I watched it. It was painful. Very painful.

So, Reid's argument is that taxes are 'voluntary' since you need to submit the paperwork on your own as opposed to having the government do it. These people are either lying to themselves, lying to us, or stupid. Maybe all three.

I don't see why he can't just say that taxes are not voluntary. Why can't he just say that. We all know it. It's not like it would be blowing the lid off a big secret. It must have something to do with the way politicians think. Since we pay their salaries, they'd like to think that we WANT to do that. I dunno...

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I can't

I simply can't. It's painful to watch.

Soo... Slavery was voluntary?

Now that would've been u-tube hall of fame gold right there.

If men are good, you don't need government; if men are evil or ambivalent, you don't dare have one.

Thinking the same thing!

Slaves could have voluntarily chosen to leave slavery. They would have been killed for it. But that was their choice to deal with the consequences of choosing to leave slavery.

I'm not sure if Steele really believe that crap logic, or if he just trying to be over the top as to not be trapped by Jan.

yes it absolutely was, how

yes it absolutely was, how else could they have resisted?


Webster's says voluntary is:

vol•un•tar•y: acting or done of one's own free will without valuable consideration or legal obligation.

Also, the legal definition of voluntary is "without LEGAL obligation".

Maybe Jan should carry a dictionary for these interviews.

there is no legal obligation

there is no legal obligation