The Delicious Irony of Irwin Schiff (1928-2015), R.I.P.

by Richard Kostelanetz (November 2015)

In libertarian circles, Irwin Schiff will always be remembered as a Great American Tax Protestor who regarded federal income taxes as “unconstitutional,” sometimes declaring zero income, other times refusing to file any return. Additionally, he published and then self-published books exposing federal government waste and advocating tax avoidance, all in a great American tradition dating back into the 19th Century. The feds took their revenge by putting him in their slammers more than once.  more>>>


3 Responses

  1. You are a complete idiot. Have you ever been to a federal prison? My father was kept incarcerated far from friends and family, so he rarely received visitors. The food was horrible. He received no medicare or dental care. He died without teeth and legally blind, due to untreated cataracts. His official cause of death was lung cancer, but the lung cancer started as a simple skin cancer, that was undiagnosed and untreated in prison. Had my father been released I would have happily paid for all of his food, shelter and medical care, and he would still be alive and healthy. And he would have spent quality time with this children and grandchildren, not random prisoners and prison guards.

  2. Thanks to Peter Schiff for considering my interpretation of his father’s experience.

    But I wonder: didn’t Irwin Schiff know what fates awaited him in his seventies (and into his eighties) if he challenged again the federal government that would RETURN him to a federal prison, especially since, as he says, his children would have taken care of him? Do you think he was so naive? Deluded? Courted martyrdom?

    Whereas I portray his father as a smart guy, doesn’t his son imply he was a fool? We disagree?

  3. Apparently Irwin Schiff had his principles and was willing to go to jail rather than betray them. We may not draw the line where Mr. Schiff does, but I hope we all draw the line somewhere.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New English Review Press is a priceless cultural institution.
                              — Bruce Bawer

The perfect gift for the history lover in your life. Order on Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Order on Amazon, Amazon UK, or wherever books are sold.

Order on Amazon, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Order on Amazon or Amazon UK or wherever books are sold

Order at Amazon, Amazon UK, or wherever books are sold. 

Order at Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Available at Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Send this to a friend