Rep. Ron Paul's Statement
as Read at Schulz's 7-17-2001
D.C. Press Conference


My office has received hundreds of phone calls, faxes, emails, and

letters supporting Mr. Schulz and Mr. Croteau. I think they are sincere in

their beliefs, even though I strongly disagree with their hunger strike. I

believe we can work with the IRS, the administration, and Congress to get

answers to their questions, and I know that Congressman Bartlett and I are

willing to assist them in their efforts. However, it is imperative that

these gentleman end their fast immediately. No cause is served by their

needless suffering.

The validity of their claims about the tax laws and the 16th Amendment

is uncertain. Yet I support Mr. Schulz's right to petition his government,

to have his petition heard and taken seriously. The IRS should meet with

him, and respond formally to his questions. His First Amendment petition

should not be dismissed simply because his viewpoint is not shared by IRS

officials. Indeed, the right to a formal response is inherent in the

constitutional right to petition the government. [ed. emphsis added]

The attention generated by Mr. Schulz and his organization shows that many

Americans are fed up with the tax system. It's an outrage that most tax

professionals, much less typical taxpayers, cannot understand the incredibly

complex tax code. It's an outrage that so many have had their lives

destroyed by the IRS. One thing is clear: The Founding Fathers never

intended a nation where citizens pay nearly half of everything they earn to

government. Congress needs to address the tax mess legislatively, by

drastically simplifying and drastically reducing taxes. My own legislation

would repeal the 16th Amendment and put an end to individual income taxes.

Mr. Schulz and thousands of other Americans have very strong feelings

about our tax system, and it needs to be fixed. Their voices should not be

ignored. Mr. Schulz and his supporters can make their voices heard at the

ballot box, by electing candidates who sincerely believe in changing the tax