If you’re working for a paycheck, the first step in resisting the income tax
is to figure out how to stop your employer from withholding it in the first
place. To that end,
just released a flyer on how to control your federal income tax withholding by
filing a W-4 form:
While You Work… Stop Paying For War.
is out, also. It includes reports from the national conference in Vegas and
from the international conference in Germany, some stories from people who
have been trying to pay their taxes directly to particular government agencies
rather than into the
U.S. Treasury via
and a timeline of one family’s battle with the
a faulty “frivolous filing” penalty.
I held a sign and handed flyers to
workers which question the morality of working for an institution which funds
waste and torture. Respectful in tone, these leaflets list constructive steps
employees could take which would reduce the amount of harm they are causing.
They are, in the purest sense,
petitions for a
redress of grievances.
I left the office (slowly) after being ordered to. But when
an article about this demonstration
appeared in the Keene Free Press, Homeland Security
officers came looking for me and issued me a sort of Federal traffic ticket.
It charged me, essentially, with… petitioning the government for a redress of
grievances! Specifically the charge was “Distribution of Handbills.”
I think it’s better just to make the government violate the Constitution in
full view and keep your attorneys fees to yourself, even if it costs you the
case. So when I declined to accept the citation, and the authorities summoned
me to court in , I happily dropped by
with eighteen friends, two
rattlesnake flags, one
copy of the Bill of Rights and zero lawyers.
…I have no idea how to play lawyer, but I just quoted Amendment One above and
requested that the judge throw out this “constitutionally challenged” case.…
I did get him to admit that the Constitution takes precedence over laws and
regulations. But he and the prosecutor both said that the government can
institute “reasonable regulations” to maintain security in Fed buildings.… It
was like to them the Constitution was an endearing legend but not quite real.
They say it takes precedence, but apparently regulation — not even law — takes precedence instead.
After this the judge asked for closing statements, and I just said that I
appreciated everyone’s politeness but that a conviction would be indicative
that the Constitution is no longer in effect. Judge Muirhead said something
like “not on my watch is it ever going to stop being in effect.” Then, of
course, he pronounced me guilty. He said I could pay the $125 fine at the
I was more amused than angry and we had some banter after this; he suggested
I should appeal and said he was always in favor of citizens exploring
constitutional rights using the courts. I expressed reservations about
running my own little crusade at taxpayer expense; he said the guys at
Appeals Court aren’t doing anything anyway. I said then you should shut those
courts down. He laughed, and away we went.
…It is great to be able to address some of New Hampshire’s most prominent (if
polite) tormenters and do it, I hope, in a way that reminds them we are not
vindictive against them on a personal level, that we are peaceably and
respectfully trying to gain our freedom. We’ve had a chance to display for
them the whole Gandhi approach yet again, and each time this happens they get
to know us better. Assuming we have done our jobs and they have consciences,
it gets a little harder for them to inflict yet another anti-liberty evil in
New Hampshire each time this happens. By now they should have a very clear
understanding that when they hurt us, they are hurting decent people who are
peaceably risking their freedoms to protect the country from its government.
USA Today today
runs Kevin McCoy’s look at how the
out $200 million in fraudulent refunds
thanks to their software modernization trainwreck.
As the peak of tax season
approached last spring, the
discovered that a planned upgrade of the agency computer that red-flags
potentially fraudulent tax refunds had failed. The discovery came after the
shut down the older computer. The failure forced the agency to continue
processing tax returns — and issuing
refunds — without its first line of electronic defense against fraud.
review found that the
lacks a comprehensive plan to recover the $200 million, which the agency said
represents far less than 1% of all tax
refunds. That means most fraudulent filers who got federal checks in
will likely never be caught.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley,
R-Iowa, said the
agency’s failure to see beyond rosy projections on the computer project and
act on the warnings had hurt millions of Americans.
“There’s a lot of fraudulent tax returns that are filed … and for at least
, they’re all going to get off
scot-free,” says Grassley. “And it’s not just that they’re getting off
scot-free — it’s that the honest taxpayers become the suckers.”
As someone who has been working in the software field for over a decade now,
I’ve got some sympathy mixed with my schadenfreude. Big software projects are
hard. Big software projects that involve trying to make a modern database out
of a bunch of
CoBOL written over 40 years ago
for a huge government bureaucracy… break out the aspirin.
See The Picket Line
for more looks at the trainwreck.
Commissioner Mark] Everson said there’s little chance
collect the bulk of the erroneously issued checks.
“We’re not going to go back. … That’s gone,” he said. “If you look at
stopping frauds on refunds, you either stop it upfront, or it’s very hard to
get that money.”
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