Austin Plane Crash | Joe Stack’s rant against the tax man

Plane crash in Austin linked to suicide note

Austin Plane Crash, Joe Stack online note

In Joe Stack's online note, he says he lived on peanut butter and bread in college. Image from flickr.

The story of the Austin plane crash and Joe Stack is bizarre and sad. Though Joe Stack’s death is tragic, I am grateful that reports so far say all the office workers in the building he crashed into made it out alive. The Huffington Post reports Joe Stack’s house was set on fire, as well. Media have confirmed since the beginning that the attack was in no way terrorist related. They also quickly uncovered what appears to be the final online writing of Joe Stack of Austin, TX.

The Austin-American Statesman first posted the lengthy note that was linked to Joe Stack. Many are calling it a suicide note, though he never specifically outlines his plans. You can read the full text at the Austin-American Statesman or the Huffington Post. Here is a summary of the main points.

Joe Stack says the system was broken

In first paragraph of Joe Stack’s note, he says he started writing because “there isn’t enough therapy in the world that can fix what is really broken.” What’s really broken, according to Joe Stack, is the government, especially when it comes to taxes — both how they’re gathered and how they’re spent.

Joe Stack believed that as children we were brainwashed into accepting laws, trusting the government and believing in justice. He says he felt no one would ever listen to him. “There has never been a politician cast a vote on any matter with the likes of me or my interests in mind,” he wrote.

Frustrated by tax codes

Regarding taxes, Joe Stack wrote that “we have a system that is, by far, too complicated for the brightest of the master scholars to understand. Yet, it mercilessly ‘holds accountable’ its victims, claiming that they’re responsible for fully complying with laws not even the experts understand.”

Joe Stack was an engineer, and he was particularly angry about exemptions and special rules in tax codes that applied to engineers. He tried to contact his representative to share his concerns, but he was ignored, he said.

Early life

It appears Joe Stack had some pretty strong reservations against big businesses, as well. He tells a story of when he was a starving college student. His neighbor was an elderly widow who lived on social security even though her husband had worked for a steel mill for 30 years. “The incompetent mill management and corrupt union (not to mention the government) raided their pension funds and stole their retirement,” he wrote.

He tells of his years struggling to make it as an engineer, and says after 9/11, “the Government came to the aid of the airlines with billions of our tax dollars … as usual they left me to rot and die while they bailed out their rich, incompetent cronies WITH MY MONEY!”

The sad ending

Near the end of Joe Stacks online manifesto, he says he believes violence is the only answer. Then it says:

I saw it written once that the definition of insanity is repeating the same process over and over and expecting the outcome to suddenly be different. I am finally ready to stop this insanity. Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.

The note is dated today, and signed Joe Stack (1956-2010). That brings us to end of this sad, strange story where Joe Stack crashes his personal aircraft into an IRS building in Austin, TX.

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