Larry Williams has never backed away from authority, especially government authority - the U.S. government or any other, including two battles all the way to the Supreme Court. Libertarian, trader, would be politician, and Indiana Jones-like adventurer, Larry has gone wherever his spirit moved him and bucked state constraints whenever he found them stifling. Throughout his life, his rebellious spirit served him well - from huge successes in trading to adventures right out of a Graham Greene novel in Saudi Arabia. He's made two boisterous runs for the U.S. Senate, he has a famous actress daughter entangled with an even more famous actor, and he has a new grandchild. It's a life well lived that would be the envy of most people.
Along the way, Larry became a tax protester in the spirit of John Cheek and Irwin Schiff. However, Larry was far too free a spirit to give up his freedom for his beliefs, and figured that he was smarter than the zealot tax protesters now making license plates, particularly after meeting a man with an actual and real document from the IRS acknowledging the legitimacy of a certain kind of trust. But things are not always what they seem. Annoying letters from the IRS called for hiring an attorney to "work things out", which he thought (based on the bills he was paying) was in the works. Enjoying a pleasant flight in first class from South Africa to Australia, Larry, at the age of 64, with a new granddaughter and five children settled in successful lives of their own, reflected that life was pretty sweet. Then his plane landed in Australia and he was summarily arrested and jailed and taken to prison.
There began a nearly four-year fight for his freedom at a huge financial cost; worse was the toll it took on his psyche. This is the story of Larry's war with the IRS and U.S. Dept. of Treasury and an inside view of the world of tax protesters. Larry explains why the tax protest movement exists, where it is dead wrong and why it will most often lead followers to prison. He also weighs in on what can be done to correct the unfairness of the tax codes and why tax rates are so astronomical, and on the "fair share" idea that should be applied to the "fair share" of your income the government is "entitled" to.
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No Longer a Protester, but Still a Radical Zealot
I was excited to listen to this book as someone of left-leaning persuasion in the hope of understanding how the other half lives. While I enjoyed portions of the book, it was ultimately unsatisfying.
There are three components to this book: the author's personal experience being prosecuted for tax evasion, some background on 'tax resister' arguments and the author's personal views regarding government and taxation.
I found the personal experience the most compelling, although I remain skeptical to its honesty. Williams expresses EXTREME paranoia about lawyers, accountants, the IRS, Judges and government. Yet, his trial defense was that he was duped by tax resisters, lawyers, accountants and fraudulent investment schemes. Williams shows his naivety regarding the court system which is particularly evident during discussion of speedy trial rights. Despite my skepticism, I couldn't help wanting to hear what happened next.
The second topic, background on tax resister arguments and schemes, is ultimately unsatisfying. Williams lays out the various arguments of tax resisters and simply urges listeners to ignore them because they have never successful in court. Williams never says WHY the arguments are wrong (which they objectively are) with the possible exception of the pure trust, which is briefly explained. Are we to infer that Williams agrees with the nonsense he used to espouse and simply discourages the use of these techniques because they have been unsuccessful?
The final topic, Williams extreme personal views on taxation and government, is downright cringe worthy. It is difficult to listen to so many lies, half-truths and my-opinion-is-fact statements in such rapid sequence. Perhaps this book is intended for an already agreeable audience but it is shockingly wrong if you have not already drank the kool-aid.
Narration is generally excellent with only a few gross mispronunciations of words. Dialect, timber and cadence are appropriate to the tone of the material and the author's background.