My name is Phil Hart and I’m running for re-election to the Idaho Legislature to once again to represent you in Boise. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you for the past eight years. I take it very seriously that I am entrusted to represent you and to protect your God-given, constitutional rights. I believe in smaller government, lower taxes, and less spending. There is a strong tendency for government to grow programs and to expand its jurisdiction. It is natural for all organizations to want to grow, government included. Therefore, we must be on guard that we don’t get more government than we need. I feel passionate about protecting these rights and history proves we must work hard to preserve them.
In previous sessions, I have worked to protect the people and businesses of Idaho by sponsoring legislation that will protect your driver license from federal intrusion for a national ID scheme; protect ranchers and rural families from wolves by upholding their right to defend themselves and their cattle; and I have worked against efforts to expand the reach of sales taxes to out of state sales on the Internet. I have worked extensively on Urban Renewal bills that will benefit local communities while preserving transparency. In fact, I have worked to make transparency in government the norm, where I have been able. Let me explain a few other measures I have been working on and why they are important to you and your family:
One hundred years ago the American people were told we needed a central bank to help manage the economy and eliminate the ups and downs of the business cycle. Congress authorized the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank, a bank that masquerades as a government agency, but is in fact a private for-profit corporation – and their profits are huge, but we don’t know how large because they have never been thoroughly audited. Furthermore, we do not know how much money they manufacture, nor where it goes. Despite all their secrecy, experts believe the Federal Reserve has created nearly $29 trillion in the last three years. This is enough to buy over half of all the assets of the United States. This is highly inflationary – and in a highly inflationary environment, capital dries up, factories close, crops are not planted and the economy shuts down. Unless we get control of this, there will be a terrible price to pay and the American family will bear this burden. This is why I sponsored the Idaho Constitutional Money Act of 2012.
A Farm Freedom Bill (HB 431) will facilitate and protect local agricultural commerce between an informed consumer and a local farmer or rancher. Sixty percent of every dollar spent locally on agricultural products stays in the local economy versus only 15% when that dollar is spent at a supermarket. Have you ever compared the size of a $20 bag of produce versus a $20 bag of groceries of processed food? The difference in size is tremendous. If the day ever comes when we must buy our food locally, I think we will be in a better position if we have developed our local agricultural economies. HB 431 is meant to do just that.
In 2010, I was the first legislator in the nation to pursue legislation (HB573) that would put side boards on the activities of the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA). I am concerned what TSA does is both unhealthy for airplane travelers and unreasonable in the scope of the searches that take place. Now, the federal plan is to take these TSA practices to bus and train stations and to our highways and other public meeting places. We should be weighing in on that process.
Lastly, I have been working on a bill (HB620) to set a protocol for the storage of DNA evidence. My legislation has to do with the storage and access to existing DNA evidence. DNA testing is a fast changing field, and there are over a thousand different DNA based tests. With so many new tests available, we have the opportunity to double check the accuracy of past criminal convictions. The upside is we can set free someone who may have been convicted of a crime they did not commit, while at the same time getting a conviction on the actual perpetrator of the crime.
The media has told you of a controversy related to logs I took from state land. I lost this case to the Department of Lands even after the prosecutor said “I think Hart is right, and I am not touching this case with a ten foot pole.” The short story about the logs was there were no procedures in place at the time I collected the logs for personal use. In fact, federal law was specific and state law implied the removal of logs from government grounds was free of charge for personal use. Furthermore, this was the accepted practice and understanding among logging professionals prior to my court case. As I mentioned above, I lost the case. Whether this means I was right or wrong is a mute point as the matter was settled between the state and myself many years ago.
The media has distorted my battles with the IRS – and framed me as a tax-cheat. The entire sage is quite complicated, but the short story is this: As a result of the education I gained from researching and studying the income tax issue, I wrote a book about my findings back in 2000. It is 450 pages in length. I just released a DVD based on this book. The book and the DVD are titled “Constitutional Income.” As the author, I function only as a historian who brings forward the history of the income tax. Our nation is based on the rule of law and legislative intent means everything but there are people who do not want this history known because it challenges the scope and the methods of what is now being done.
The IRS audited me – no surprise there. But what was a surprise was their demand that I turn over all the names, addresses, phone numbers and credit card numbers of everyone who bought the book. I’m told this was the first time in American history that this ever happened. I was defended pro bono by the Center for Individual Rights; a Freedom of Speech law firm which helped me win the case. As a result of this case, the IRS had to publish a white paper setting new nationwide policy protecting this First Amendment right.
However, the IRS auditors struck back and denied all of my business deductions for 8 years. I was not allowed to write off a single postage stamp or paperclip for 8 years. Impossible and illegal, as Congress provided for these deductions in statute – these are not discretionary. I have paid over $150,000 in state and federal income taxes covering those years on taxable income of $449,000. However, the government claims I owe $740,000 – this makes my tax rate 165%, which is mathematically impossible to pay.
This was my punishment for not turning the names and their private information over to the IRS, for those who purchased my book. Had I rolled over, you never would have heard of it but I would have put my readers in harms way. The whole experience gives me a pretty skeptical bias against bureaucrats when it comes to my work as a legislator. The famous French philosopher Voltaire said, “It is dangerous to be right, when the government is wrong.” If there is no pushback when the government is wrong, where does that road lead us? I plan on continuing to push back, and I hope you will support me in that effort.
If you want to read more about these issues and my work on your behalf, please visit my website at hart4legislature.com.
Sincerely, Phil Hart