Some bits and pieces from here and there:
- Some more tax day news is trickling in:
- Here’s a nice interview with war tax resister David Waters on Birmingham, Alabama’s local CBS news station.
- And take a gander at this photo of Juanita Nelson holding her “Haven’t Paid Taxes ” sign on tax day outside the downtown post office in Brattleboro, Vermont.
- Here’s a bit more about the tax resistance campaign that activists for
Catalan independence are engaged in:
- “Spain is robbing us,” a number of impatient Catalan municipalities are saying, and in response several have begun depositing their taxes with the regional Catalan tax agency rather than forwarding them to the federal government as the law demands. The tax resistance campaign is being organized by Catalunya Diu Prou (“Catalonia Says ‘Enough’ ”), which says that some freelancers and independent businesses, which are responsible for their own tax withholding, will follow suit.
- About twenty resisters gathered in the Plaza de Catalunya in Barcelona to launch a symbolic tax resistance action in which they will withhold a token amount (such as €50) from their tax payments in protest against government corruption. They plan to pay this money into an escrow account and not turn it over to the government until their demands are met, which demands include legal changes that they hope would bring transparency to the actions of the government and of politicians.
is reacting to budget cuts by sending its employees home without pay for
at least five days this year. This is bound to reduce the effectiveness
of the already struggling agency, and to make it difficult to retain and
to recruit talented personnel.
In addition to the furloughs, the IRS has frozen hiring, cut spending on travel, training and supplies, and directed managers to scrutinize contract and grant funding.
Before sequestration became a reality, the IRS had already been dealing with tighter budgets, a shrinking workforce, and an increasing workload.
[National Treasury Employees Union president Colleen M.] Kelley noted that because of those prior budget cuts, the IRS operated “this filing season with 5,000 fewer employees than just two years ago.”
- The “Google” brand has earned a lot of warm fuzzy associations in my
heart, with all of the generous contributions the company has made to the
project of expanding the availability of knowledge and information. But
those who find its size, ubiquitousness, and growing intrusiveness
somewhat ominous have a point, and that point got a lot more pointed to me
recently when someone pointed me to a page touting a new book, due to be
released tomorrow I think, by Google executive chairman (and former
Eric Schmidt and Google Ideas director Jared Cohen (“a former adviser to
secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton”).
The description of the book’s content isn’t what caught my attention (it was pretty vague anyway). What grabbed me was the list of people who have provided blurbs, which includes:
- Tony Blair
- Bill Clinton
- Henry Kissinger
- Michael Hayden (former CIA director)
- Madeleine Albright (former U.S. Secretary of State)
- Robert Zoellick (former World Bank president and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State)
- Michael Bloomberg (notoriously nanny-stateish New York City mayor)
- Brent Scowcroft (former U.S. National Security Advisor and Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board chairman)