Tuesday, December 18, 2007

War Tax Protesters

Via Alternet comes this call to resist paying war taxes.

As a libertarian I suppose I'm supposed to be sympathetic to tax resistance, but I'm just not sympathetic at all. Especially when the calls for tax resistance comes from the same liberals who would happily take my money to double or triple the budgets of the freedom crushing EPA and FDA.

This isn't really about moral opposition to taxes, it's really just an ineffective form of protest that could get you into a lot of trouble. Those who really believe they should have the right to do this- withhold taxes for government activities they disagree with- are really just offering up a system in which all taxes would be voluntary. After all, if you're not paying for the war, then I'm not paying for the EPA and FDA.

Of course, no wacky liberal anti-war tax piece would be complete without the concluding comments of a wacky anti-tax Ron Paul supporter who really does believe in eliminating taxation as we know it.

I salute the War Tax Resistors.

The worst tax dollars are those that go to war and killing innocents.

Actually, all taxes are “death taxes.”

They are collected by threat of death. If you refuse to pay, eventually the State comes to seize your property at gunpoint. If you further refuse, the guns are drawn. If you further resist, you will be killed.

Most of what the State does would be considered a crime if done by ordinary people. Taxation = robbery and slavery. IRS collection methods = violation of fundamental Bill of Rights freedoms. Wars = murder on a mass scale. Government schools = kidnapping and brainwashing. The draft and compulsory national “service” are kidnapping. Military “recruiting” is based on fraud and lies. Prisons are vile cesspools that torture human beings and create more criminals. The enforcement of “victimless crime laws” against pot smokers and sex workers is neo-Prohibitionist tyranny.

The very existence of the IRS and tax forms makes all Americans fearful of their government, afraid to protest for fear that their lives will destroyed by the IRS.

The State is a gigantic criminal gang. It has bamboozled society into thinking it is necessary, and that its worst crimes are actual “services” that we should be grateful for. Surely this is the hoax of the ages.

To stop the State’s crimes, cut off its life blood, high taxes. Especially the income tax.

RON PAUL has introduced legislation to do this – to repeal the income tax outright, and replace the lost revenues by slashing government spending, beginning with the warfare state.

NO SINGLE MOVE would do more to reign in the bloody activity of the State than this.

I really hope that I'm not supposed to be the crazy one. Here's the thing. I've always admired the taxation is theft argument as a rhetorical device, but have had trouble believing it works as a practical matter. If you want to call me a statist libertarian, so be it, but anyone who accepts the state does have a role to play would be hard pressed to oppose any and all forms of forced taxation. Remember that the American Revolution was fought over taxation without representation- the point being that democratically elected officials do have the power to tax. I'd love to see the current tax code scrapped and replaced with a low percentage rate flat tax, but I think that's where notions of libertarian reform differ greatly from notions of libertarian revolution.

I don't mean to spark a tax debate, I only wanted to point out that the argument for eliminating all taxation is about as popular as the argument for eliminating all personal property. Oh, and that peace-loving feel good types can have some really stupid ideas.


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