View Poll Results: Is it ethical that illegal money-making be legally taxed?

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  • Yes, perfectly ethical ('Splain yerself, Lucy)

    5 71.43%
  • Interesting question, I don't know.

    0 0%
  • No, not ethical. Just more hypocritical government crap.

    1 14.29%
  • Other.

    1 14.29%
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Thread: Is it ethical that illegal money-making be legally taxed?

  1. #1
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    Is it ethical that illegal money-making be legally taxed?

    Is it ethical that illegal money-making be legally taxed?

    Today's example is Al Capone. They couldn't get him on his criminal activity, so they convicted him on tax evasion. Capone's income was based largely, if not wholly, from illegal activity.

    The question, simply put, is: Doesn't the expectation of legal taxes give legitimacy to the actions that produced the income?

    I would almost consider the expectation of taxes on illegal money to be a violation of the 5th Amendment's prohibition of forcing a person to bear witness against oneself. If the person did file and pay taxes on illegally gained money, that's essentially what they'd be doing. The tax form would not be unlike a person committing a crime and posting a picture of it on Facebook, the difference being that the Facebook photo was completely voluntary whereas the tax form was coerced/mandated.

    How can the government... ethically... play both sides of the fence?

    (The fact that they can and do get away with it is indisputable.)
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  2. #2
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    Re: Is it ethical that illegal money-making be legally taxed?

    Because he was convicted by a damn jury of his peers. It's not as if the big bad government made some sort of arbitrary decision.
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    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

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  3. #3
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    Re: Is it ethical that illegal money-making be legally taxed?

    If the government could prove the earnings were illegal, they could take it all. They couldn't do that, but he did evade taxes.

  4. #4
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    Re: Is it ethical that illegal money-making be legally taxed?

    There's no spot on the tax form to indicate that your income is illegal.

    Remember that ACORN "scandal" in which a "pimp" was supposedly being given advice on how to evade taxes and purchase a home for underage prostitutes to work out of?

    Well, the real story was that the ACORN employee told the "hooker" to always report all income, even if its illegal. Which is the opposite of tax evasion. They told the girl to put herself down as a "performance artist" or whatever. That's not a confession of guilt, therefore no constitutional issue.

    (also, the home was pitched as an escape from prostitution, not a haven for it, but that's a different thread)


    The IRS does not care what your source of income is. Cracking down on prostitutes or drug dealers isn't their job. Even if you wrote "DRUG DEALER" on the tax return, they wouldn't be arresting you. They just want a cut of the money so we can pay for civilization.
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    Re: Is it ethical that illegal money-making be legally taxed?

    This is very easy to explain.....

    Let's look at Mr. Capone. The Treasury Dept. looks at his bank accounts and realizes his income for let's say 1926 is considerably more than his legitimate business interests could have provided. They pick him up for Tax Evasion and give him the option.... He can either stand trial for Tax Evasion or he can....

    A. Provide legitimate validation for where the additional funds came from that appeared in his accounts
    OR
    B. Plead guilty to whatever criminal activity the money is the profits from, rat out some of his fellows, and the Treasury Dept. will see what it can do on the Tax Evasion charges.

  6. #6
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    Re: Is it ethical that illegal money-making be legally taxed?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    Is it ethical that illegal money-making be legally taxed?

    Today's example is Al Capone. They couldn't get him on his criminal activity, so they convicted him on tax evasion. Capone's income was based largely, if not wholly, from illegal activity.

    The question, simply put, is: Doesn't the expectation of legal taxes give legitimacy to the actions that produced the income?

    I would almost consider the expectation of taxes on illegal money to be a violation of the 5th Amendment's prohibition of forcing a person to bear witness against oneself. If the person did file and pay taxes on illegally gained money, that's essentially what they'd be doing. The tax form would not be unlike a person committing a crime and posting a picture of it on Facebook, the difference being that the Facebook photo was completely voluntary whereas the tax form was coerced/mandated.

    How can the government... ethically... play both sides of the fence?

    (The fact that they can and do get away with it is indisputable.)
    Ask yourself the same question abut government and sin taxes. is it ethical to tax the **** out of tobacco, then turn around and sue tobacco companies, knowing they will in turn jack up the price of their product and as a result, government makes MORE in tex revenue?

    And yet...

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