Some tabs that have passed my browser in recent days:
- War Tax Resistance Can Look Like Opposition To State Tax Giveaways For Wealthy Corporations writes Lisa Savage at Went 2 the Bridge. Government military spending sometimes takes the form of “tax expenditures” — credits, deductions, and other such subsidies provided through the tax code rather than as overt budget spending. This can put principled war tax resisters in the strange position of opposing tax breaks that might reduce government revenue when those tax breaks are disguised military spending boosts. Specifically, Savage reviews the campaign to stop the state of Maine from giving $60 million in tax breaks to General Dynamics.
- U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement created a “Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement” office to help promote the bigoted fantasies of the Trump administration, and launched a hotline people could use to report crimes by immigrants. That hotline was immediately swamped by prank calls. “Prank calls fully upended the system, leaving operators unable to answer more than 98 percent of incoming calls during the protest as the media relations team attempted to contain the narrative.”
- Once in a blue moon, a tax resister receives a summons from the IRS, demanding that the resister show up at an agency office and bring along a bunch of documents that describe their finances and assets. Some resisters acquiesce, not feeling they have anything to hide, and not wanting to make this their battle. Others have successfully raised Fifth Amendment objections to being forced to testify against themselves in this way. If you’ve ever wondered what might happen if you just said “no” and left it at that, consider the case of Ronald Conner. Conner is one of those sovereign-citizen, “show me the law” types, and he just flat-out refused to cooperate. A judge then ordered him to, he continued to refuse, so the judge locked him up for contempt of court. He’s been behind bars for a year and a half now, and shows no sign of giving in.
- With some fanfare, the IRS rolled out a “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” some years back. But because there was no mechanism included for taxpayers to enforce these rights against the agency, it was widely seen as decorative rather than substantial. The Temple Law Review Symposium took a closer look, and tried to discover ways that taxpayers might wield the federal Taxpayer Bill of Rights (and its state-level cousins) against tax agencies.
- The global grassroots campaign against traffic-ticket-generating robots continues: