Susan Hamill, Alabama’s
High Priestess of Tax Reform

by D.V. Bowden

Several people have been interested in hearing that as a law student, I had Susan Hamill as a professor. Hamill, of course, is the “High Priestess” of Alabama tax reformers (why does "reform" always seem to mean "increase"?). She's the one stumping the state promoting her idea that according to "biblical principles," Christians should support tax increases to help the poor. In other words, "What would Jesus do? RAISE TAXES!"

In 2002, I had the dubious pleasure of having Hamill teach my introductory course on federal income tax. Loud? You don't know the meaning of the word. She is like a megaphone with lipstick. I sat in the back of the classroom, and still sometimes felt the urge to cover my ears to protect my hearing.

...she referred to the IRS as “the cops, the good guys,” and to private businesses as “robbers.”

Prof. Hamill filled our class in on a little of her background. She had worked for a private law firm in New York, and later, for the IRS. Now the fact that someone would even consider working for the IRS is a red flag as to their character, but what really clued us in on her thinking was when she referred to the IRS as "the cops, the good guys," and to private businesses as "robbers." A more twisted view of reality can hardly be imagined.

This was before Riley's election, and before he had revealed his true colours, those of a big-government, tax-raising liar. "Constitutional reform" was the buzzword at the time (look for this issue to reappear). Hamill was then putting the finishing touches on her paper arguing for her pro-tax arguments. She then revealed to our class her true motivations. She said that she had evaluated the political and social climate in Alabama, and seen that traditional arguments for tax increases would go nowhere here. She said that in order to sell pro-tax arguments to the masses in Alabama (the actual term were more like "hicks" or "religious boobs"), she would have to cloak such arguments in Biblical rhetoric. In other words, the Bible-thumping morons in Alabama could only be gotten to swallow the bitter pill of higher taxes if it was disguised in a sweet-sounding Sunday sermon. That, she said, was the reason she had decided to get a degree from Beeson Divinity School at Samford University. Zaccheus the tax collector was called down from the tree by Jesus and forgiven his sins. Apparently Hamill has heard the call to climb back up and preach to the people to render unto Caesar.

Hamill's influence should not be underestimated. Riley is now spouting her rhetoric, and several liberal denominations like the Presbyterians and United Methodists in Alabama have endorsed her ideas. (And where is all the outraged liberal rhetoric about "separation of church and state" when religion is employed by politicians who support expanding the government? Just wondering.) She is even traveling to neighbouring states to instruct the elites there how to preach the gospel of higher taxes to their subjects. Here is the story from the Birmingham Weekly on Hamill, and for those who want to read it, her thesis can be found here. She has also turned this paper into a book, trading on the massive publicity she has gotten from the fawning pro-tax mainstream media.

Hamill argues that Christian morality dictates that taxes be collected to help the poor, but as Christopher Manion has pointed out, there is no virtue in an act that is not made pursuant to free choice. You can't force people to be moral. You can't choose to be viruous if you have no choice at all.

Combatting the statist, corrupt principles of wealth-redistributionism and the politics of envy that tax-mongers like Hamill are promoting under the guise of religion should be a foremost priority for all those fighting taxes in Alabama and surrounding states.

Susan Hamill: Moses or Mimi? You decide.

Moses, biblical prophet Susan Hamill, the High Priestess of Tax Reform Mimi, from The Drew Carey Show

Update (09-01-03):

Susan Hamill went back to Tennessee recently to propagandise for more taxes and bash Alabama. She said she was being attacked in Alabama by a "certain website" which critcised her for being a former IRS employee. Guess which site she's talking about!

Listen to the "loud-mouth law professor" here (requires RealPlayer):

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