Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Joe Stack, American Loser

A lot has been written over the last several days about Joe Stack, the amateur pilot and unsuccessful tax evader who deliberately flew a small plane into an IRS office building in Austin, Texas. Some have even gone so far as to call him a hero for his stand against the IRS.

Joe Stack was a loser for most of his adult life. Yes, he tragically lost his parents as a young child. Numerous Americans have overcome similar adversity to lead productive lives. Stack had the benefit of a good education. He worked as a software engineer. Like most American losers, Stack always blamed others for his problems, even those that were self-inflicted.

He tried to use the tax code to his advantage, taking advantage of breaks given to "self-employed" consultants. When that loophole was closed, he seethed. When the dot-com bubble burst and he was out of work, he cashed in his IRA and neglected to pay the taxes due. He claimed that he didn't think he owed anything, since he had no income. When one sets up an IRA, one is informed by the financial institution of the allowable uses for the balance, and the penalties for early withdrawal for other purposes. But Stack didn't like the rules, so the rules must be wrong.

In reality, Stack is little different from William Ballerio, the Baraboo loser who shot his roommate in the head before killing himself on the same day that Stack set fire to his own house and crashed his plane, or Amy Bishop, the loser neurology professor in Alabama who opened fire on a roomful of colleagues after she was denied tenure, or Terry Hoskins, the Ohio loser who defaulted on his mortgage, then bulldozed his home when the bank began foreclosure proceedings (although at least Hoskins didn't try to kill anybody).

None of these people were heroes making a brave stand. They were all pathetic losers who lashed out like spoiled children when they didn't get what they believed they were entitled to.

Anyone who believes Joe Stack is a hero is an even bigger loser.


Deekaman said...

Glad to see you and I agree. He was a pathetic POS.

Tim Morrissey said...

Excellent post, and I happen to agree with your premise. Your writing lately has been waaay too good - kudos! It's always been far above the norm, but the last few posts show a great deal of prep and a great flair for narrative. You should do this for a living!

Montana said...

Andrew Joseph Stack was nothing but a coward, to his family, to god, to our country. Boo, hoo, hoo, I have money problems and its not my fault, it the big bad government. This domestic (white trailer trash) terrorist who first burned his house and crashed his plane into a building during business hours and killed Vernon Hunter a 27 year Federal employee and 20 year veteran of the US Army with two tours in the Vietnam War.

Ordinary Jill said...

Thanks, Tim. Considering your professional background, that is high praise indeed. I've had less time in front of my personal computer lately (I can't blog from work), so I've had a lot of time to think about my posts before typing them up.

Jake formerly of the LP said...

Well said. There are far too many people in this country that can't take the fact that life doesn't work out the way we want it to. They buy all that Walter Mitty crap that says "anyone will succeed in America if they just hope, dream and work hard." They forget that Walter Mitty exists in fiction and not reality.

And by the way, Mr. Stack's parents were found for comment "living in a gated community." You wonder why he might have come up with an inflated view of self that's so disconnected from reality?