August 1, 2006

Documentarians gone awry

Aaron Russo, who seems like a more radical version of Michael Moore, is coming out with a movie even more absurd than Fahrenheit 9/11. The documentary, titled "America: From Freedom to Fascism," claim to expose to government orchestrated frauds, the taxation of wages and the creation of the Federal Reserve. But, despite the credibility of these claims, the NYTimes reported today that many reviewers have accepted the arguments at face value. This prompts the NYTimes to debunk Russo's arguments:

Early in the film Mr. Russo, the narrator, asserts that every president since Woodrow Wilson and every member of Congress has perpetrated a hoax to tax people’s wages and issue them dubious currency. All of the federal income tax revenue, the film says, goes to these bankers to pay interest on the national debt, even though by the broadest measure the federal government’s interest payments are less than 40 percent of the individual income taxes, according to an examination of every federal budget since 1995.The film opens by calling the 16th Amendment and its subsequent income tax and the Federal Reserve the product of a “silent coup d’état” in 1913 by “international bankers.” In the style of low-budget television documentaries, photographs appear on screen of J. P. Morgan, Paul Warburg and John D. Rockefeller.The documentary includes interviews with a host of people who are presented as experts, scholars and whistle-blowers. All deny the legitimacy of the income-tax laws, including Irwin Schiff, now serving his third prison term for tax crimes.
On top of all this evidence, Russo is a tax cheat himself, owing over $2 million in back taxes. Kudos to the NYTimes for getting the facts right.