A friend sent me a link to Bureaucrash which seems to be the more edgy, activist face of a too-frequently suit-and-tie American classical libertarian movement.
One of their campaigns is called Tax Slavery Sucks. It tries to get a new hearing for the standard good arguments against taxation and big government, while keeping a running tab of outrageous things the government is using our money to pay for.
Of course, they have their blind spots too, for instance as they organize what they call counterprotests to advocate for free trade wherever WTO, IMF, FTAA, NAFTA, etc. critics gather. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: they can call them “free trade agreements,” but if you get a bunch of the world’s politicians and tyrants together in a room to talk about setting up a set of rules and bureaucracies to govern world trade, I guarandamntee you “free trade” isn’t going to result.
Also, in ’s SF Gate is the story of a San Francisco tax evader. The article starts out with a nice slur against radicals of my ilk:
In my mind, the Tax Evader has a scraggly beard, eats a lot of salt pork and beans, and owns either a copy of Thoreau or some antigovernment tract self-published in Montana. Just as the Tax Evader doesn’t believe in taxes, he also doesn’t go for showers. He is suspicious, owns at least one gun and tends to believe the IRS is always sneaking up on him. His body is gnarled and contorted by the lumps of cash he stores in his mattress. Because I don’t want to be the Tax Evader, I pay my taxes.
Can it really be that there are people who pay their taxes because they’re afraid that if they don’t they’ll turn into Ted Kaczynski by some sort of bizarre alchemy? But anyway, the article concerns an interior decorator in San Francisco who seems to make a bundle of money without paying any taxes. He does this not out of any activist impulse, but merely because he got overwhelmed one year at the complexity of the tax filing process for someone who is self-employed, and procrastinated a little too long and then got intimidated by the increasing size of what he owed and the penalties the IRS was adding to the total.
Interesting to me is that this guy had already been caught by the IRS, but then just decided to blow them off — hiding his assets or keeping them in the form of cash. It sounds like a high-maintenance technique, at least as difficult to do well as the initial tax forms he blew off, but he’s learned it over the years and he’s sticking to it.
Francisco last visited the IRS . An agent said to him, “We’d just like to get you back in the system.” They haven’t contacted him since…