The Ludwig von Mises Institute has put on-line a essay by tax resister Karl Hess: The Lawless State: A Libertarian View of the Status of Liberty. Here are some excerpts in which he addresses tax resistance as a tactic for the liberty-loving:
This is not to say, of course, that totalitarianism is right around the corner or that we have already passed the corner. That particular corner is one of the most difficult of all political landmarks to recognize. History strongly suggests, as a matter of fact, that the time when most persons recognize it is precisely the time when it is too late to do anything about avoiding it.
For that reason, among others, it strikes some that it would be better to stand up and appear even ridiculous and alarmist right here and now than to be calm, cool, and collected, properly docile, and politically acceptable — while it became too late to do anything else!
The Tax Rebellion
Direct resistance may be the course others will select. Taking every available legal course to harass or even halt government programs is one avenue. Forcing the government to take, in its turn, legal action to compel the individual to comply with a government rule, rather than just voluntarily going along, is another course. Along such lines, of course, for those able to afford it, may lie many useful tests of the legality of government actions, particularly in the high-handed area of executive orders and regulatory law.
Ultimately, of course, every American holds in his hands the most explosive weapon that possibly could be turned against such a government as that of the United States as it has developed. That weapon is the sword of tax refusal.
It is clearly illegal, of course, to defy the government in regard to the payment of taxes. But prior to the clearly illegal areas of tax refusal there are many steps close to the borderline.
In this area, the unbounded imagination of Americans already has given the revenuers a massive migraine headache. Tax resistance is a fact. It is a growing reality. It worries the government. Their concern shows most evidently, as they take harsher and hastier action to dampen the flames of this honest, grassroots revolt.
Many will be frightened off by the toughness and the ruthlessness of the revenuers. Understandably. Yet, there is ample evidence to show that the spirit of resistance overall is rising, despite the repressive and retaliatory lashings of the revenuers.
Part of that spirit may feed on the earthy American feeling that “they can’t put everybody in jail!” Or, in short, there is safety in numbers when it comes to fighting City Hall, or the White House itself.