Two Mutually Contradictory Reasons to Oppose Tax Resistance

The Central Shenandoah Valley News Leader editorial board got together, wrinkled their collective brow, and penned this editorial tsk-tsking war tax resisters. They harumph and put on their best “after due consideration” voices give two reasons why they advise against tax resistance. See if they seem as remarkable to you as to me:

  • Federal taxes pay for a myriad of programs besides defense. Social programs should not suffer because of a well-intentioned but misguided desire to make a statement about war. We expect that if the federal revenue streams were to suffer enough from widespread tax protests that the first programs to be cut in case of a shortfall would not involve defense or war funding.
  • It’s highly unlikely that most modern-day tax protesters will suffer the fate of Thoreau and wind up behind bars for their convictions — even as briefly as did Thoreau. Instead of that outcome, it’s more likely that the Internal Revenue Service will get its pound of flesh one way or another, sooner or later. Having one’s wages garnished is not a pleasant experience, and the less one earns the more painful it is. Having a bank account or property seized proves nothing either. It may take years, but the IRS will eventually find you and get the taxes owed, plus interest and penalties. Add to that a new law that increases the fine from $500 to $5,000 for filing a “frivolous” tax return — the IRS’s catch-all term for anything other than a straight-ahead tax return — and all that is accomplished is to provide extra funding to the government to spend as they see fit.

Or, in summary: “Don’t resist taxes, because you’ll take money away from valuable government programs and you’ll end up giving more money to the government.”

Ah… newspaper editorial boards: self-important judas goats, putting a bullhorn before the semi-articulate bleating of Babbitt’s collective subconscious, as challenging as a beauty pageant speech. Where would America be without their bold, ahead-of-the-curve ideas?

It’s not just the troops that are surging.

War costs are up for American operations in Iraq and Afghanistan — way up, more than a third higher than last year. In the first half of this fiscal year, the Defense Department’s “average monthly obligations for contracts and pay is running about $12 billion per month, well above the $8.7 billion in ,” says a new report, obtained by Danger Room, from the non-partisan Congressional Research Service.

If the IRS is trying to collect from you by seizing your funds or property, make sure to ask for a receipt.

The collection of unpaid tax by the IRS generally begins with letters to the taxpayer followed by telephone calls and personal contacts by an IRS employee. The employees who make personal contact are referred to as revenue officers. They consider the taxpayer’s ability to pay the tax and discuss alternatives, such as an installment payment agreement or offer in compromise. If these actions have been taken and the taxpayer has not fully paid the tax due, the revenue officer has the authority to take the taxpayer’s funds or property for the payment of tax. Taking a taxpayer’s property for unpaid tax is commonly referred to as a “seizure.”

The IRS followed these guidelines in the vast majority of instances. Our review of a random sample of 50 seizures selected from 508 seizures conducted , identified 15 seizures involving 17 instances in which the IRS did not fully comply with a particular Internal Revenue Code requirement. While TIGTA did not identify any instances in which the taxpayers were adversely affected, not following legal and internal guidelines could result in abuses of taxpayers’ rights. The 17 instances included 7 in which expenses and proceeds resulting from seizures were not properly applied to the taxpayer’s account; 6 in which sales proceeds were applied to the taxpayer’s liability, but the required balance-due letter sent to the taxpayer did not show the correct new balance; and 4 in which the name of the purchaser of the seized property was disclosed to the taxpayer.

JollyRoger at Reconstitution 2.0 gets it:

I never would have consented to giving Chimpy money that he could turn around and let his cronies steal. I don’t like wealth transfers to the rich. I vote my displeasure all the time, but we’ve already seen how much good that’ll do us. Maybe the idea these tax resisters have is the only way to stop funding Chimpy’s War on Iraq, since Pelosi and Reid refuse to stand firm and demand that it be ended. As a matter of fact, if someone would set up an organization to fund the rehabilitation of those GIs that Chimpy is so gleefully busting up, I’d be happy to divert my tax payments to it — and then some. I owe them that, and you do too. I don’t feel like I owe Halliburton and its subcontractors the chance to siphon off a quarter or more of every tax dollar I send in, however. I certainly don’t want to pay for any more of the moronic monkey’s “surges.” I’d like to see my money staying here, helping out those that need the help. Or rebuilding the underpinnings of the country, which are falling apart at a dramatic rate.

Thanks to Qlewkr for plugging The Picket Line.