Earth Tax Strike

The following short promo video announces the launch of Extinction Rebellion U.K.’s “Earth Tax Strike:”

In other news:

  • Attorney Peter Goldberger recently gave an on-line talk about “Conscientious Tax Objection as a Matter of Religious Freedom” that discusses the evolving legal landscape from the perspective of people who hope to assert a legal right of conscientious objection to military taxation in U.S. courts. This is a follow-up to a similar talk Goldberger gave at a NWTRCC gathering in 2014 in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling.
  • The human war on traffic ticket robots continues, with the robot hordes suffering losses in Germany, France, and Spain in recent weeks.
  • Someone directed my attention to Robert W. Wood’s write-up about an interesting hack of California’s tax process:

    You may donate to that SBE [State Board of Equalization] member who will vote against you. This may sound counterintuitive, but the idea is that both you and the SBE member must then disclose that contribution. Any contribution of $250 or more must be disclosed. Your contribution will disqualify that SBE member from considering your case. The only exception is if the SBE member returns the contribution within 30 days from the time he or she knows, or has reason to know, of the contribution. Often, though, a contribution will not be returned.

    With a five-member board, if you identify two members who will vote against your client and make contributions to them, they will likely be disqualified. Your board is now three members. If you can garner two positive votes out of the three remaining, you have won. Non-Californians may find this kind of playing field strange or even untoward. It is certainly different, and not for the untutored, but until they change the rules, that is our system.

  • Bitor Abarzuza Fontellas shared his letter to the Basque Treasury Department in which he makes his declaration of conscientious objection to military taxation.
  • The Niskanen Center is a U.S. “state capacity libertarian” think-tank. They are of the opinion that a strong, capable, competent, central government can be the bedrock foundation of a libertarianish political order. Strikes me as far-fetched, but let a thousand flowers bloom and all that. Anyway, as part of their investigation of where the current central government falls short, they’ve published a useful overview of how the IRS got into its current sorry state.
  • The Biden Administration has released what it calls The American Families Plan Tax Compliance Agenda. They hope to boost IRS enforcement funding, increase the amount of financial information that gets reported to the government, finally update the IRS’s comically-archaic computer systems, and crack down on professional tax preparers who help people evade taxes. Senator Elizabeth Warren has decided to carry the ball for some of this, in a bill she has proposed to boost IRS funding and force banks to report how much money comes into and goes out of their customers’ bank accounts. Republicans hope to capitalize on public suspicion about a bigger and more-empowered tax agency with ads targeting vulnerable Democratic representatives that tie them to these plans.