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Posted September 1, 2013
Review by Barbara Bamberger Scott
“Constantly raising taxes has become the easiest solution for our politicians because it allows them to avoid having to deal with the real issues and problems that are affecting our nation.”
This book is clear and engaging. It is in part the story of our American tax code, why it started and how it has changed. That story is highly topical at this moment and will therefore be of intense interest to those Americans who wonder why and how the IRS has become such a hydra-headed monster. The author, Michael Sawyutakis, clarifies this process; his factual approach is logical and organized. But the book is also his own story: “The chapters and its insights are based on a young man’s actual journey to the U.S. Supreme Court confirming his American peonage after learning the truth about our federal income tax system and his desire to constitutionally comply…. After being punished for complying with the law, he has found liable for a special income tax never enacted by congress and has learned to live the life of an American Peon.”
American Tyranny takes us step by step through the history of taxation and through the author’s case, which he uses as an example of what can happen to someone trapped in the jungle of tax laws, many of which seem arbitrary in the extreme. For example, he notes that the letters sent to presumed miscreant taxpayers are “unsigned” – seeming to suggest that individual IRS workers do not stand behind their own work but can use the threat of the form letter to wield their power. Once someone starts trying to navigate the system, he or she may be negatively pigeonholed as a “tax protestor” (the author points out that while the IRS can’t say someone IS a tax protestor, they can say that someone “acts like” a tax protestor). Recording such events as being given only a short time to present one’s case in court and then being constantly interrupted by non-substantive questions that are obviously designed to curtail the presentation, the author builds a disturbing picture of why he often uses the term “peonage” to describe our tax system.
Sawyukatis, who writes with a certain amount of sardonic humor appropriate to the subject, is an advocate of the FairTax, which he analyzes and compares to the current system in the final chapters of the book. His case for the FairTax is cogent and should be considered by thoughtful, politically aware citizens. It’s important to note that the author is not a “party” advocate – he believes both parties have failed the American people and will continue to do so as long as the IRS maintains its power.