A supreme thought
February 17, 2014
by Brian Wolf

According to Wikipedia Louis Dembitz Brandeis was an American lawyer and associate justice on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1916 to 1939. He attended Harvard Law School, graduating at the age of twenty with the highest grade average in the law school’s history.

Brandeis settled in Boston where he became a recognized lawyer through his work on progressive social causes. Starting in 1890, he helped develop the “right to privacy”. He later published a book titled Other People’s Money And How the Bankers Use It, suggesting ways of curbing the power of large banks and money trusts, which partly explains why he later fought against powerful corporations, monopolies, public corruption, and mass consumerism, all of which he felt were detrimental to American values and culture.

When his family’s finances became secure, he began devoting most of his time to public causes and was later dubbed the “People’s Lawyer.” He insisted on serving on cases without pay so that he would be free to address the wider issues involved. The Economist magazine calls him “A Robin Hood of the law.” Among his notable early cases were actions fighting railroad monopolies; defending workplace and labor laws; helping create the Federal Reserve System; and presenting ideas for the new Federal Trade Commission (FTC). He achieved recognition by submitting a case brief, later called the “Brandeis Brief,” which relied on expert testimony from people in other professions to support his case, thereby setting a new precedent in evidence presentation.

Brandeis became the first Jew to be named to the Court. His opinions were, according to legal scholars, some of the “greatest defenses” of freedom of speech and the right to privacy ever written by a member of the Supreme Court.

Sounds like Judge Brandeis had some real foresight back in the early 1900’s. Too big to fail and government bailouts come to mind.

The reason I’m talking about Judge Brandeis today is because of his wonderful perspective on taxation. Here is one of his famous quotes.

“I live in Alexandria, Virginia. Near the Supreme Court Chambers is a toll bridge across the Potomac. When in a rush, I pay the $1 toll and get home early. However, I usually drive outside the downtown section of the city and cross the Potomac on a free bridge. This bridge was placed outside the downtown Washington D.C. area to serve a useful social service, getting drivers to drive the extra mile and to help alleviate congestion during the rush hour. If I went over the toll bridge and though the barrier without paying the till, I would be committing tax evasion. If, however, I drive the extra mile outside the city to use the free bridge, I am using a legitimate, logical, suitable method of tax avoidance, performing a useful social service in doing so. For my tax evasion, I should be punished. For my tax avoidance, I should be commended. The tragedy of life today is that so few people know that the free bridge exists.”

Bingo Judge; I couldn’t agree more. Every year we see hundreds of people that hate to pay taxes, yet won’t do anything about it.

Now I’m not suggesting you go out and start picketing the IRS. I’m talking about using all the tax avoidance methods available to you. This seems like a no-brainer, yet very few people do it. First off you have to understand the problem areas, like being taxed on up to 85 percent of your social security income. Then you have to find someone who can actually understand the rules so you can take advantage of them just like Supreme Court Judge Brandeis suggests.

Tax avoidance under the law is very patriotic, and to quote Tom Hanks in the movie Jerry Maguire – “help me - help you”.

In other-words let us help you be more patriotic and pay less in taxes!

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