Some news of interest from hither and yon:
- Joe Maizlish of Southern California War Tax Resistance was on Radio Adelaide’s Breakfast with Peter Godfrey .
- Lawrence M. Ludlow has an interesting take on the “Render unto Cæsar” koan.
He thinks Jesus was just making a joke:
I believe that the statement contains both humorous ridicule and a meaningless poke at his critics. First, Jesus was clearly ridiculing his accusers when he led them to assume that the presence of Caesar’s likeness and inscription on the coin proved that Caesar held a title of ownership to that coin and that the tax should be paid. One might just as well claim that the picture of a Quaker wearing a blue hat on every box of Quaker Oats oatmeal “proves” that the Quaker owns every box of oatmeal that features his likeness on it. Likewise, the image of George Washington on a U.S. quarter dollar does not mean that George owns every such coin or that we should pay taxes because of it. It seems obvious that Jesus was making the same kind of joke with reference to the denarius. I can almost hear the laughter. Can you?
Further, the statement “Render to Caesar…” is completely circular and therefore conveys no actionable information whatsoever. If a man named Tom and a second man named Bill were both claiming ownership of the same bicycle, would it really help to resolve their dispute if a judge in a court of law declared that what was Tom’s was Tom’s and what was Bill’s was Bill’s? I don’t think so. Again, Jesus was clearly playing games with his opponents — delivering a meaningless poke that successfully confused them.
- The IRS Oversight Board released its annual report on . I skimmed it and found one factoid I thought was worth marking: According to the report, it costs the IRS an average of $317,100 to win a criminal conviction.
- J.M. Henrietta of Charlottesville, Virginia announced her tax resistance to readers of the Charlottesville Daily Progress:
I have decided that I cannot, with good conscience, continue to contribute to the greed and war-based economy of our country.
I cannot rest any longer, knowing my tax dollars are helping to contribute to the maiming and killing of innocent people around the world in wars based on lies from our leaders.
I cannot stand the thought of my hard-earned tax dollars going to line the pockets of greedy or irresponsible financial executives and ignorant U.S. automobile manufacturers who’ve for too long made gas-guzzling behemoths partly responsible for the oil addiction of this country. I cannot support outlaw politicians who are free to trample our Constitution without any consequences.
I have discussed national issues with my family, friends and acquaintances, written and called my representatives in Congress, petitioned and marched in protests. Still, I feel like I need to do more.
Therefore, I am withholding a part of my federal income tax in protest. Our 75-year-old War Tax Resister’s League estimates that about 20 percent of your taxes this year will go to the current war expense and a much larger part toward paying for previous wars.
In lieu of my payment to the IRS, I will be increasing my support to the local charities, especially our area food bank, which has been extremely overburdened recently by our poor state of the war-based economy. God help America!
- This dispatch from War Resisters League Asheville [North Carolina] discusses the group’s tax day efforts, including leafletting and joining in at the local Tea Party protest.
- Daphne Muller of Demockracy covers this year’s various tax day protests, in an article that ends with this ridiculously cowering “editor’s note”:
The author of this article and the editors of this Web site do not in any way advocate for, endorse, or condone any act of tax resisting or tax evasion. We recognize that these activities are potentially illegal and subject to strict fines and penalties, including possible jail time. For more information on specifics of tax penalties and tax law, we encourage you to consult with a tax expert, such as a tax account [sic] or tax attorney. The names of quoted individuals were changed at the request of the editor.