Some of the premises of the film include:
- The Federal Reserve System is unconstitutional and has maxed out the national debt and bankrupted the United States government.
- Federal income taxes were imposed in response to, or as part of, the plan implementing the Federal Reserve System.
- Federal income taxes are unconstitutional or otherwise legally invalid.
- The use of the Federal income tax to counter the economic effects of the Federal Reserve System is futile.
It’s an activist movie. As it sometimes happens with this kind of movies, some claims are exacerbated, resulting in criticism and consequent loss of credibility. That’s why I defend that in politics (and other places…) one should strive for honesty and integrity, not only as they are commonly understood, but also and mainly as they are understood in scientific conduct.
I give one example: in the movie, Russo clearly states that income tax is only applicable to gains arising from corporate activity (i.e. profit), thus automatically excluding salaries and wages. However, the New York times, for example, refutes this claim. But what’s really interesting, is this (emphasis added):
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.
So on one end, all the tax money goes to pay interest, on the other one, «only» 40% of the tax money goes to that end. The truth probably lies somewhere in between…
Now with this state of affairs regarding this particular subject, one can’t help but wonder: what about all the rest that’s covered in the movie? And we are talking about important issues, like privacy, the value of the Constitution, and the behaviour of government regarding its citizens. If the tax information was biased, then what assurances do we have that the rest of the movie is not also biased? I fear that what might happen is akin to what happens in some court disputes regarding some technological issue: experts are brought in, usually by both parties, and if experts can’t agree, the court is likely to decide based on other grounds entirely. If “experts” can’t agree on the important matters I mentioned earlier, then the vast population is likely to keep ignoring the issues, effectively granting de facto authority to governments to do as they please. The only thing worse than a dictatorship is a dictatorship disguised as a democracy.
Despite having my own opinions, I can’t accurately judge all the claims made in the film; but I hope it will at least stir up the debate (but I’m sceptical, it’s a 2006 movie…)