According to this article, Michael Mancil Brown of Franklin has been charged with six counts each of wire fraud and extortion in the very mysterious case of Bishop Willard Mitt Romney’s purloined tax returns. It seems the U.S. Justice Department’s efforts led to a Nashville federal grand jury indicting Brown for “having an anonymous letter delivered to the PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP accounting firm in Franklin last August, demanding that $1 million in digital currency be deposited to a Bitcoin account to keep some of Romney's income tax returns from being released.”
But will the so-called “Justice Department” do anything about the kingpins of international crime: the Romneys who individually avoid millions in taxes, and the Apples and Bain Capitals that collectively avoid billions, if not trillions?
If Brown is guilty, he’s a small fry. Why should he go to the slammer, while Romney laughs all the way to his Cayman Island bank and Apple sits smirking on mountains of cash? Since our nation sits teetering on the brink of insolvency, why not sic the Justice Department on someone whose taxes, fines and back interest could help pay off huge chunks of the national debt?
If Marvel was making a superhero movie about the Justice League and followed our real-world national script, Superman would allow Lex Luther to run amok while pounding homeless people to pulps for selling pencils without the proper licenses, and Batman would ignore the Joker’s diabolical plans in order to nab prepubescent bicyclists who failed to use the proper hand signals before turning. It would be like caped, over-muscled Keystone Kops on a really bad acid trip.
And unfortunately, that’s exactly how our government operates. If a young black man tokes a crack pipe, the cogs and gears of our “Justice League” prepare to suck him in him, turn him into a hardened criminal, then spit him back out. But if the real-world Penguin, Dick Cheney, conspires to invade Iraq on false pretenses in order to control trillions of dollars in oil reserves, and ends up getting multitudes of people killed, mutilated and/or left homeless, what are the odds that anyone with a badge will say boo to him?
Two of America’s wisest men — Mark Twain and Will Rogers — pointed out that some of the worst criminals are the ones seated in Congress. Once ensconced in the halls of power, in between lie-filled, ponderous pontifications, they pass “laws” that benefit themselves and their rich, powerful cronies at the expense of everyone else. (I think it was Rogers who said that the silver lining in this very dark cloud is that at least we don’t get all the government we pay for.) The new farm bill is a good case in point. As I mentioned in a recent article, Tennessee Rep. Stephen Fincher received $3.48 million in taxpayer subsidies from 1999 to 2012, while preaching sermons that the poor shouldn't be allowed to spend “other people's money” by drawing food stamps. Even the Penguin and Joker had more honor and integrity than Fincher: when they robbed people they didn’t steal from the poorest of the poor, and they didn’t preach sermons about “ethics” to their victims.
It makes no sense to send the small fry to the slammer while the Al Capones in our government not only live like kings, but lord it over us, to boot. If there was any real justice in the “land of the free and home of the brave,” those of us who are brave enough to pay our taxes would not be ruled over by politicians who have no compunctions about sending young Americans to risk their lives in foxholes, but don’t have the courage to pay their taxes honestly and stop demanding handouts for themselves and their partners in crime.
Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.