If anyone ever gets venturous and wants to see what real court is all about, head to tax court or bankruptcy court. The average person who either fudges their tax return to get that few extra hundred dollars back or declares bankruptcy and conveniently forgets to report that extra truck parked at a friend’s place, those are the people who you will see standing in front of the Judge.
The average working Joe/Jane, standing in hole torn jeans and a stained dress shirt, begging for the Judge to take sympathy on them because it was all they could do to keep from drowning further into debt. The IRS or Canadian revenue department often ask the court to allow them to take the house and transportation away, offering three square meals and a cot to replace the assets. Six months to ten years in jail. Getting out only to be homeless, poor and have a criminal record.
Then we have those who enter the courtroom in their nine hundred dollar suits who can buy their way out of jail time. Prime example is Peter Puck himself. That’s right, Peter Pocklington makes the news again, this time for fraud and concealing assets from the courts, on top of not paying his taxes.
In a plea agreement he offers to turn over some Stanley cup rings, artwork and pay the US taxes in exchange for 6 months house arrest and a criminal record as well as facing possible deportation back to Canada, where he owes over 13 million. But he has a few residences to choose from on which to hang his hat and call home if he does get deported. Let’s not forget the few millions he squirreled away that have not surfaced yet .We will not see him in a homeless shelter.
I always thought it was against the law to try to bribe an officer of the law, lawyers or those chosen to uphold the laws of the courts. Oh! Nevermind, this is a plea deal, not a bribe. Yet the 6 million average hard working tax paying citizens who make a mistake see the inside of a jail cell because they do not own anything of value, except what was seized as payment. Mr. Puck got away with the bribe, sorry PLEA deal, and now we know that not only does money talk, but also the double standard that we always suspected is now a reality.
We are already subjected to the special treatment the stars and starlets of Hollywood receive. Driving drunk and handing out drugs seems to be a perk for them when it comes to the law. Mention rehab and you can almost get away with murder. Oh wait, some have. Yet for some reason we put our heads in the sand and say, oh well that is life of a movie star. Then we seem so utterly shocked when we hear of a Wall Street thug milking millions in schemes and scams, we yell for justice. So, if we hold a double standard, then I guess we should not be shocked when the law has two sets, one for us and one for the privileged. They say it is one law for everyone, but any good lawyer will tell you it is how you interpret the law that matters, but who can afford that good lawyer?
Breaking the law is wrong in any form of tax evasion, cheating or just taking advantage of a service meant to help those who actually need the assistance. It would just be nice to see the laws apply to everyone, rich or poor. Once inside a courtroom, tax crimes or any crime, should take precedence over your social standard or money.
One thing I have never been able to figure out is why would you give jail time to anyone on a tax crime anyway. Makes no sense to sentence someone who has already robbed the honest taxpayer and then use more taxpayers’ dollars to feed and shelter them. Would it not make more sense to make them pay the debt off and equivalent jail time, by having them spend their sentence in a form of community services? The taxpayers deserve to benefit from the mistakes of those who committed tax crime.
Imagine Mr. Puck serving soup and sandwiches to the homeless in his nine hundred dollar suit and silk tie. Picking up garbage and dog crap from the dog parks, or better yet having to spend ten years handing out food stamps supplied from his own bank accounts.