Some bits and pieces from here and there:
- Carl Watner, proprietor of Voluntaryist.com has put out an anthology of works critical of the practice of taxation: Render Not: The Case Against Taxation. “Some goods and services are essential to human survival, but voluntaryists realize that they need not be provided by the government on a coercive basis. What we oppose is the coercion involved in collecting taxes. We oppose the means and take the position that the ends never justifies the means.”
- Austerity for the citizens and tax payers, more money for the banks and tax farmers: that’s the message the European ruling class is giving the people of Greece, and the Greeks are experimenting with ways of saying “forget it,” or in Greek: “ΔΕΝ ΠΛΗΡΩΝΩ” (I won’t pay). The Greek government intends to combat tax resistance and evasion by increasing fees, fines, and tolls, and by slapping a tax onto electric bills: so “sales of generators have shot up” and people are threatening to simply not pay the extras. The government says it will shut off power to those who resist, but as one resister put it: “when 70% of Greek households don’t pay it, what are they going to do? Cut off the whole lot?” Greek resisters are also occupying toll booths and waving cars through, sabotaging public transit ticketing machines, and unionists at the power corporation have refused to print out and send bills that contain the new tax.
- The IRS has finally taken notice of Cindy Sheehan’s tax resistance, and recently took the unusual step of issuing her a summons to bring all the details of her financial life to their office so they can decide how much of it to seize. Her response? “We will never pay, so stop harassing us.”
- A while back, the U.S. government experimented with turning some of its naughty delinquent taxpayers over to private debt collection agencies. This, they hoped, would result in increased tax revenue, a new source of corporate profit, and some nice campaign contribution kickbacks. It was a bit of a boondoggle, was naturally opposed by the union representing IRS employees, and was scrapped in . But then what happened to all those cases that had been given to the private debt collection companies and then reverted to the IRS? The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration took a look. In the sample of cases they investigated, on nearly half the IRS had taken no collection actions since the cases had been returned to them.
- “What it meant to be free, I supposed, was to be free from limits and entanglements, duties and responsibilities; freedom was self-sufficiency, and a major goal in life was to maintain and extend the range of sovereignty.… This viewpoint is utterly bizarre, something we forget because the viewpoint is so prevalent. One mark of our cultural abnormality is how strange it seems to think of freedom as marked by self-restraint, loyalty, fidelity, reverence, piety, or responsibility. We tend to think that freedom is the absence of responsibility.… I am what I am in virtue of the responsibilities I bear. Insofar as I matter as a person, I am constituted not by sovereignty, but by what I owe. And only by knowing what I owe to others do I know who I am and what I’m for; ignorance of owing is to be devoid of a self.”