One American Conservative Who Wasn’t Content to Complain About Taxes

Conservatives love to complain about the federal government wasting taxpayer money on this boondoggle or that one, but it’s pretty rare for them to take the next step and refuse to pay their taxes because of it. Here is one of those rare examples, from the Reading Eagle on :

Tax Revolt

Julius W. Butler, 77, a millionaire land developer who has refused to pay state and federal income taxes , was arrested in Chicago and charged with failing to file a state tax return for . “Each year I send a protest letter to the state and the federal government saying I refuse to pay taxes,” he said. “I don’t want my money used for supporting illegitimate children and government subsidies on… German cockroaches. I once read the government wasted $20,000 on a study of German cockroaches.”

Butler was apparently a John Bircher and Posse Comitatus sort of right-winger. He took as his lawyer the Libertarian Karl J. Bray, who was of the opinion that the income tax was itself illegal. Bray suffered the unhappy legal fate of most everyone who goes to court with such opinions. In the Butler case, when the government seized Butler’s financial records Bray put forward a 5th Amendment defense — saying that the protection against forced self-incrimination made the records off-limits.

I haven’t been able to tell, from free, on-line sources, what became of Butler.

When Obama’s big medical industry bill passed, one of the footnotes that was supposed to help pay for it was more intrusive government demands for 1099s — those forms that report when money changes hands.

Under the new law, businesses would have had to file a 1099 to and for any business they’d favored with $600 or more in business. That means if your mom-and-pop store spent more than $600 at Smart & Final or Best Buy over the course of the year, they’d have to send a 1099 to them and a copy to the IRS.

This was unpopular, and there have been a handful of attempts to rescind this part of the law. Now it looks like it’s finally on the way out.