I think we can all sleep a little more soundly tonight knowing that criminal mastermind / action star Wesley Snipes will be going to jail! Snipes, once on verge of tough guy superstardom in movies like New Jack City, Passenger 57, White Men Can’t Jump, Blade, and a host of others, was convicted of tax evasion yesterday. Despite pleas for clemency from celebrities like Denzel Washington and Woody Harrelson, and TV judges Joe Brown and Greg Mathis, the real judge decided to throw the book at him, sentencing him to the maximum of three years in prison (perhaps he should have had former co-star Sean Connery plead his case – I don’t think Woody Harrelson garners a lot of respect in the courtroom),
Anyway, since I pay my taxes, I think everyone else should pay theirs, including guys like Wesley Snipes, so in theory I don’t have a problem with him being punished.
Also, perhaps this should be a sign of encouraging progress on the “let all celebrities go free” trend of the last few years, but somehow it still seems a little odd that Wesley goes to jail while OJ and Robert Blake go golfing.
But perhaps more disturbing is the timing of Wesley’s conviction. On the day the judge throws the book at him, the headline in USA Today was “60,000 Firms Owe 8 Billion in Taxes”. Seems many of our major American corporations – including many that are fighting the Iraq War for us – are not paying their taxes. In fact, the article sited one instance where a firm owing ten million in back taxes is still receiving checks for millions from the US Government.
Of course, reasonable and sane business people would not pay money to someone that owed them money, but I guess the current government is not controlled by reasonable and sane business people.
Perhaps we could collect a lot of that 8 billion in past due taxes if we started putting a few deadbeat Weasel CEOs in jail instead of just Wesley Snipes. Or here’s an idea – let Wesley work off his jail sentence working as a collector for the IRS. They might pay up if Blade showed up at their apartments at 3 am clad in black and carrying a bloody sword. It would seem a lot more productive use of his time than sitting in a jail cell.