income tax scam

Taxation Is Extortion and the Co-opting of Protest

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by Marcel Votlucka

I sometimes wonder which is worse: the government or the Mafia. Oh wait; they may as well be the same thing.

If you’re wondering how the logic of this admittedly brash remark works itself out, try the following. It’s simple; just publicly refuse to pay your taxes. The government will come for you and the police will try to throw you in jail. If you resist, you will be shot. Pay up, or get a bullet in your head. It’s essentially the same tactic employed by Mafia thugs.

After a long week’s labor, you get the dubious pleasure of having warmongering politicians get 30 to 40 percent of your money out of your paycheck. And it is indeed your money, not theirs. They didn’t earn it. They didn’t slave away for it. They don’t own it. They have no right to demand it from you. And they certainly have no right to take it from you by force. Taxation is essentially extortion.

There’s a reason why everybody hates the IRS. There’s a reason why Republicans manage to win elections by pledging to lower taxes—even though they never do it once elected. There’s a reason why, in olden times, tax collectors took their place among the most hated and reviled professions. If some thief burglarized your home, you’d be outraged over the loss of your property. You’d likely be even more outraged if the thief had accomplices holding you at gunpoint while stealing your stuff.

So why is it okay for the government to garnish your wages under the unseen yet implicit threat of punishment if you fail to comply? Why does the IRS get to keep extensive records on your personal financial matters, with little to no accountability on their part? Why is it acceptable for some people to force you and me—under pain of death—to subsidize their fat salaries and their generous handouts to corporate welfare queens and their bloody wars abroad?

Actually, my opening suggestion may not be relevant to the present time, because nowadays we don’t make direct payments of tax to the Treasury, which is what used to be done. Before World War II, people paid their taxes to the government in one lump sum every March. But between the war expenses and the New Deal programs, the government was racking up quite a huge bill. Knowing full well that most people wouldn’t be happy having to pay higher taxes, they came up with the ingenious solution of having employers withhold the appropriate amount of money from their employees’ paychecks and sending it off to the Treasury. This was called the “withholding tax,” but a more fitting term would be garnishing the workers’ wages. This is the system that exists to this day.

Because taxes are withheld from our paychecks and paid by someone else (our employer) to the government, we don’t really see the impact of taxation in a visceral way. Instead of paying out one lump sum of thousands each year, we come home with a paycheck with “Gross pay” and “Net pay,” and gripe over the difference. You send out a tax return form and maybe, just maybe, get a refund. Someone withholds your money from you but all you ever really see is that numerical difference. You don’t see the actual money as you shell it out to the warmongers and fat cats. The end result of this is that you never really feel the full impact of taxation. Out of sight, out of mind.

Surely if you had to mail a check for four thousand bucks to the treasury every year instead of having your employer withhold it and take care of the rest, you would be pretty PO’ed. You’d shed a tear or two as you wrote out that check and stuffed it in the mailbox and watched all that cash go down the drain. And that contributes to us believing in the legitimacy of taxation. Out of sight, out of mind . . . and therefore acceptable.

How is this any different from the Mafia demanding “protection money” from storeowners at gunpoint, then using it to finance their lavish lifestyles and criminal activities? How is it okay for greedy, power-hungry politicians to take what is rightfully yours and use it to finance their own lavish lifestyles, corruption, and the murder of poor people all over the world? If for no other reason, taxation (or rather, extortion) is wrong because it forces hardworking people like you and me to pay for the mass murder of poor people abroad, so some parasite—be he or she Republican or Democrat—can go on TV and proclaim the salvation of the Republic.

Clearly, if anybody else tried to do the same thing the government does with impunity, they’d be thrown in jail in a heartbeat.

Of course, there’s little the government does with our extorted money that society couldn’t do otherwise (and better), aside from national defense—and it doesn’t even do that too well. Suppose there were no taxes and you got to keep 100 percent of the wages you work so hard for. You could donate to charity. You could save it up and start a business and provide jobs to people who need them in this ailing economy. You could afford better health care than the government could ever provide. You could afford to go to a better school. You and the greater community could have the economic means to help more people in need, if you so desired. More importantly, you would have complete control of the fruits of your labor, which should be yours by right.

Yet because of what is essentially a massive extortion racket for the purpose of financing mass murder, corruption, and waste, this is just a pipe dream. Some people would argue that this extortion racket is somehow okay because we vote for the politicians who use our money, you know, to dole it out for what they call the “greater social good.” Of course, it wouldn’t matter if you got to vote for the Mafia dons because their extortion rackets would still be wrong regardless.

Here’s my big question: Why not apply the same principle to greedy, amoral politicians?
__________
Marcel Votlucka is a writer and freelance journalist from Queens, NY. He is a graduate of Stony Brook University, and is a frequent contributor to the Stony Brook Press and the Stony Brook Independent. He is currently finishing work a novella, Neverland: Voices From the Muslim Holocaust.

Source: informationliberation

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Speaking out, protesting and taking to the streets in opposition to the tax and spend warmonger criminals in Washington and on Wall Street is a good idea but when the right leaning main stream media is promoting it, well…you know someone is pulling their strings. Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, Boortz, O’Reilly, etc. are no friends of the people.

Glen Beck even goes so far as to invoke 9/11 in his fake caring for our country.

“Are you ready to become that person you were (quiver, choke), that day (choke) after 9-11? On 9-12. I told ya, (voice shaking) for weeks, you’re not alone… You are the secret. You are the answer. (Choke, long pause) I’m sorry. I just love my country and I fear for it. (Long pause, wipe away tear).” {more}

The left leaners are just as bad. MSNBC is also no friend. Rachel Maddow spins…

The media is good at dividing and separating the people. It’s their job to marginalize dissent and maintain their own positions. We know who they work for.

By all means protest. Just don’t turn on the TV to get your talking points.

Biggest Bang for the CD Buck

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by Jim Davies

Exclusive to STR

April 15, 2008

Civil Disobedience, or CD, is spectacular and scary and costly and courageous and inspiring, all of the above, but as I suggested in the case of Gandhi, not necessarily effective. Still, there are some occasions when it may be useful.

CD means the deliberate flouting of a government law, usually in plain view. Some refused to register for the draft, when it was operating; they burned their draft cards while cameras rolled, and although quite a number felt obliged to flee to Canada or Sweden to escape the consequences, in the end only about a dozen were actually prosecuted, in that Vietnam Era, while over 55,000 who obeyed the call were killed. So that CD was brave, for sure–but not too dangerous, relatively speaking.

Currently a considerable number–several thousand, at least–refuse to obey what government says are its income tax laws, and so cause it a good deal of well-deserved trouble. Ed and Elaine Brown, for example, in 2007 pinned down relays of police in Plainfield, NH, for several months 24/7 by refusing to surrender after being convicted in a government kangaroo trial. Is this CD? The question is relevant, because none of these refuseniks say they are disobeying actual laws–they all believe there aren’t any, and have good evidence for the belief–but all willingly pay other taxes, which are unquestionably required by law.

Some individuals practice CD against laws that happen to have impacted them in some especially aggravating way; laws requiring vehicles to be registered, drivers to be licensed, etc. Last year Russell Kanning of New Hampshire offered handouts to employees of his local IRS office, which recommended they resign their jobs on moral grounds; the fuzz ordered him to quit, but he returned for a second round and they threw him in jail; a clear case of CD. So too was Lauren Canario’s brave stand in New London, CT, against the city’s theft of a row of houses under its “eminent domain” laws that were eventually upheld by the US Supreme Court. More recently David Krouse of NH declined to register his vehicle and refused to pay the fine, and it was suspended; that is, he won the day. Risky, courageous, and in that case successful; but what can we say of the effectiveness of CD in general?

Not much; or at least, not yet.

Let’s first suppose that some brave act of CD were copied widely. In fact, the Vietnam draft-card-burning example will serve; a large number of young men did it. Was it effective? Yes, to a degree, because it inspired others to protest the Vietnam War ever more vigorously, even when not themselves drafted, and that protest did without doubt bring the war to an eventual end. Had there been no protest, probably extra resources would have been poured in, the bombing intensified, and a victory won. Instead of a unified and surprisingly mild form of Communism governing the country today, there would have been some sort of US puppet in charge but with little, if any, more freedom.

But was that CD effective in a wider sense, of ending or even reducing government back home? Not at all. A third of a century later, it is more monstrous than ever. Okay, those protests did not even try or aim to abolish government, merely to end a war–but that’s part of the problem. Why didn’t they? If you want to end all wars, you have to end government. It’s the only way.

So let’s suppose that vast numbers of people follow the fine example of David Krouse and stop registering their cars. The roads become full of vehicles without valid plates, and State and local car tax receipts drop off a cliff. Marvelous. Then what?

The first result will be some kind of horrible police crackdown. David was lucky–he seemed to draw a sensible judge, which must be like winning a State Lottery–but that won’t happen often. Next time, the CDer will pay the fine or go to jail, and if he persists and drives without current plates, he’ll be left there to rot until he does, and so will all who follow his example, until the jails are full to overflowing, at which time the government will construct “temporary” concentration camps to house them. They will not allow such protest to undermine their authority, and they have enough guns and cops to enforce their will. Further: even if, incredibly, such CD did terminate the requirement to register vehicles, what then exactly? We would have a society in which roads were maintained with money stolen by taxation in some other form, such as a hike in the sales tax percentage. Unless and until we go for the jugular and terminate government altogether, they are going to continue “winning,” which is to say subjecting us to their authority; and I argue that this or any other kind of CD does nothing to cause that termination. It’s a classic case of trimming the branches instead of pulling out the roots.

I can see that a widespread tax strike might pull up some roots. In fact, if even a few income tax payers–say, 1%–were rather openly to refuse to file returns or pay what was demanded, that would immediately glue up the government collection machinery, so that prosecutions became non-feasible; then, others would be emboldened to follow suit and pretty soon it would all snowball and so deprive the Colossus of its financial support. Very good–but let’s check the details. First, how exactly will that first 1% be persuaded to run the gauntlet? One percent is 1,500,000 people, or about 100 times the current numbers. I know of no answer to that. Second, how would even a wholly successful income tax strike prevent the Feds from stealing the same amount of money with a national sales tax? Third, even if that were somehow done (and I can visualize that it’s possible), what about the rest of government–the half of Federal and some State revenue not stolen with the income tax, and the whole apparatus of local government financed by property taxes? Such CD simply won’t suffice.

For all that, there are some circumstances in which CD will help in the one purpose that counts–the outright termination of all government, i.e., to achieve a free society, one in which every person is ruled only by himself. I’m currently working on a sequel to “A Vision of Liberty“, which reports on the first three years following government evaporation. The new book will “chronicle” events in the five years preceding that happy day, and I hope to get it published this Summer.

The main premise of each is that during the next two decades, Americans get re-educated one at a time using TOLFA or a freedom school like it, then bring one of their friends per year to join it and resign any government job they hold. The result will be an exponential growth and an evacuation of government employees, leaving it incapable of existing. During its final five years, however, as the inevitability of its eventual demise becomes clear, government will cause all manner of mayhem in a vain attempt to prolong its existence, and that is the theme on which I’m working. It’s during that period that CD would help.

CD would be feasible on a large scale at that time (but not before) because as increasing numbers of government workers quit, it will become increasingly less able to enforce its own laws. CD will therefore be “safer” to practice, and therefore more and more people will practice it. The millions who resent having to pay tax will actually stop paying it when it’s clear they can do so with impunity; the millions highly dissatisfied with the quality of government schooling will pull out their children when it’s clear the attendance laws are unenforceable; the millions who resent paying the serf’s tribute on their own real estate will stop paying it when it’s clear the local government’s ability to seize their homes is melting away before their eyes, and so on. Those laws will never be repealed, so such large-scale actions will certainly be acts of civil disobedience–but they will help move along the avalanche of government disintegration when, and only when, the risk becomes slight. That is when CD will help; it won’t even then be indispensable, (unless government writes some outrageous law to forbid employees resigning!) but it will bring about the collapse of government a little sooner than would otherwise take place, and so yield the biggest bang for the buck.

This is not intended to discourage–and certainly not to disrespect!–the brave few who engage in CD today, it’s just an appeal to get the brain as firmly in gear as the guts, so that CD takes its proper and effective place within a rational, overall strategy to end the Age of Government altogether. Without it, even a “successful” campaign would fail, just as Gandhi’s failed. He did not fail to get the British out of India (they were going, anyway) but he certainly failed to get government out of India–and that was not a failure of courage or dedication or even perhaps of tactics, but a failure of intellect: he was not bright enough to perceive what the real, root cause of poverty and discord in his country–any more than America’s founders were in ours.

Hopefully, we are.

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Assume The Position

by Retta Fontana

Exclusive to STR

December 28, 2007

“Hang down your head, Tom Dooley
Hang down your head and cry
Hang down your head, Tom Dooley
Poor boy, you’re bound to die”

– The Kingston Trio

There is a lot to be sad about these days. Millions of American children are shuffled mindlessly through day prisons (public school) for mind control. Millions of Iraqi children are not so lucky. Millions of non-violent Americans (poor people, people of color, sick people) have been and will be killed or imprisoned in the government’s War on Drugs and Alcohol.

The economic policies of the federal government are creating financial Armageddon. Income taxes are around 40%. There are thousands and thousands of other taxes and regulations to contend with on a daily basis. There is nothing we do which is too insignificant to go unsurveilled. Everywhere I go, I’m bombarded with churches, those dominions of tyranny in miniature compared to the state. I cannot so much as drive to the corner store without being faced with a veritable sea of “Support Our (baby killers) Troops” bumper magnets. I wish those colors would just run. Sigh. Some days I just hang my head. There’s nothing else to do.

April 15th is one of the saddest days of the year. It’s not as if good citizens everywhere aren’t taking it up the tailpipe the other 364 days a year, but this bad boy really shouldn’t pass without somebody doing something. April 15th is the day your taxes are due, my fellow Americans, and taxes are the grease in the wheels of the state, keeping it in perpetual, forward motion, growing like a snowball, ensuring the death, incarceration and subjugation of millions more.

Sometimes on April 15th we hear about courageous libertarians who protest outside post offices. God bless them, they’re not sitting at home glued to the tube. Sometimes when taxpayers are confronted by such courage, along with the horror of the reality that they are waiting in line, about to hand over their hard earned funds, they take a stand. Some of them will honk their car horns in collusion with the protestors. It reminds me of an old saying, “Are you a man or a mouse? Squeak up!” I suppose they are risking a citation for “disturbing the peace.”

A taxpayer, licensed driver, licensed food handler, licensed dog walker, yea, anyone who calls himself an American, must, at any time, in his own home or out of it, offer up an utterly impeccable response when faced with the demand of an armed bully of the state. This reminds me of a line from “Mrs. Doubtfire” in which Robin Williams describes foreplay as, “Brace yourself, Effie!” Someone in the taxpayer/tyrant relationship is always going to get what they want and there is no evidence to suggest it might be “Effie.” Squeak.

At least a urologist will tell you right up front to bend over and spread your cheeks. You, at least, are there somewhat willingly for what you perceive to be a benefit to you. All you’re really going to get from the state is the privilege of living another day, owing another dollar, the assurance of more of this type of “Muskrat Love” in the future and a fat pack of lies about how they can and will do it to you more to your liking next time, and that’s a promise.

Unabashed humility and deference on your part is required when confronted by a government thug. Disrespect, contempt, wanton disregard and hubris in the manner and actions of the armed tyrant who represents the state is what we have all come to expect in return. No one is even surprised by this, much less dares to mention this elephant in the living room. Squeak.

I heard an old story that pretty much sums up April 15th. I’d gladly give credit to its author if only I knew her. It goes like this.

Once upon a time, there was a bird in a barnyard. He liked his home. He didn’t like the idea of flying south for the winter as all the other birds did and he decided to stay put. As the mercury began to drop, the bird became more and more convinced that he had made a good decision, until one day when he awoke to find his little wings frozen solid.

He struggled and struggled, but could not move them. His struggle eventually knocked him out of his nest, onto the ground. Just when he was sure death was approaching in the form an enormous cow, a large, brown load descended upon him. It was very warm and melted the frost from his wings. He felt so happy that he began to sing. His singing soon drew the attentions of the farm cat, which dug the little bird out of the cow pie, cleaned him off and promptly ate him.

The moral of the story: those who crap on you are not necessarily your enemy; those who get you out of the crap are not necessarily your friends. And lastly, if you are warm and happy in a pile of crap, keep your mouth shut. Squeak.

Hang down your head, Tom, hang it down and cry, but whatever you do, get that check in the mail by midnight . Squeak.

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The Income Tax: Root of all Evil

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by Frank Chodorov

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Online edition © 2002 The Ludwig von Mises Institute. Copyright 1954 by Frank Chodorov and the Devin-Adair Company. See full text in a PDF edition.

Foreword by J Bracken Lee
Chapter 1 Solomon’s Yoke
Chapter 2 Politically Speaking, What is “Evil”
Chapter 3 Yours Is Not Your Own
Chapter 4 How It Came Upon Us
Chapter 5 The Revolution of 1913
Chapter 6 Soak The Poor
Chapter 7 Corruption and Corruption
Chapter 8 A Possible Way Out
Chapter 9 Competition in Government
Chapter 10 Union Forever
Chapter 11 For Freedom’s Sake

To the Memory of

ALBERT J. NOCK

Foreword

THIS WAS, to be sure, “the home of the free and the land of the brave.” Americans were free simply because the government was too weak to intervene in the private affairs of the people-it did not have the money to do so-and they were brave because a free people is always venturesome. The obligation of freedom is a willingness to stand on your own feet.

The early American wanted it that way. He was wary of government, especially one that was out of his reach. He had just rid himself of far-away and self-sufficient political establishment and he was not going to tolerate anything like it in his newly founded country. He recognized the need of some sort of government, to keep order, to protect him in the exercise of his rights, and to look after his interests in foreign lands. But, he wanted it understood that the powers of that government would be clearly defined and be limited; it could not go beyond specified limits. It was in recognition of this fear of centralized power that the Founding Fathers put into the Constitution-it never would have been ratified without them-very specific restraints on the federal government.

In other matters, the early American was willing to put his faith in home government, in a government of neighbors, in a government that one could keep one’s eyes on and, if necessary, lay one’s hands on. For that reason, the United States was founded as a Union of separate and autonomous commonwealths. The states could go in for any political experiments the folks might want to try out-even socialism, for that matter-but the federal government had no such leeway. After all, there were other states nearby, and if a citizen did not like the way one state government was managing its affairs, he could move across the border; that threat of competition would keep each state from going too far in making changes or in intervening in the lives of the citizens.

The Constitution, then, kept the federal government off balance and weak. And a weak government is the corollary of a strong people.

The Sixteenth Amendment changed all that. In the first place, by enabling the federal government to put its hands into the pockets and pay envelopes of the people, it drew their allegiance away from their local governments. It made them citizens of the United States rather than of their respective states. Theft loyalty followed theft money, which was now taken from them not by their local representatives, over whom they had some control, but by the representatives of the other forty-seven states. They became subject to the will of the central government, and their state of subjection was emphasized by every increase in the income-tax levies.

The state governments likewise lost more and more of their autonomy. Not only was their source of revenue being dried up by federal preemption, so that they had less and less for the social services a government should provide, but they were compelled in their extremity to apply to the central authorities for help. In so doing they necessarily gave up some of their independence. They found it difficult to stand up to the institution from which they had to beg grants-in-aid. Furthermore, the federal government was in position to demand subservience from the state governments as a condition for subventions. It has now become politically wise for governors, legislators, and Congressmen to “play ball” with the central government; they have been reduced to being procurement officers for the citizens who elect them. The economic power which the federal government secured by the Sixteenth Amendment enabled it to bribe the state governments, as well as the citizens, into submission to its will.

In that way, the whole spirit of the Union and of its Constitution has been liquidated. Income taxation has made of the United States as completely centralized a nation as any that went before it; the very kind of establishment the Founding Fathers abhorred was set up by this simple change in the tax laws. This is no longer the “home of the free,” and what bravery remains is traceable to a tradition that is fast losing ground.

For those of us who still believe that freedom is best, the way is clear: we must concentrate on the correction of the mistake of 1913. The Sixteenth Amendment must be repealed. Nothing less will do. For it is only because it has this enormous revenue that the federal government is able to institute procedures that violate the individual’s right to himself and his property; enforcement agencies must be paid. With the repeal of the amendment, the socialistic measures visited upon us these past thirty years will vanish.

The purchase of elections with federal money will no longer be possible. And the power and dignity of the home governments will be restored.

This measure should be supported by the governors and legislators of all the states. Every state in the Union now contributes in income taxes to the federal government more than it gets back in grants-in-aid; this is inevitable, because the cost of maintaining the huge federal machinery must come out of the taxes before the citizen can get anything. With the abolition of income taxation the states will be better able to serve its citizens, and because the state governments are closer and more responsive to the will of the people, there is greater chance that the citizens will get their full dollar’s worth in services.

However, the principal argument for the repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment is that only in that way can freedom from an interventionist government be restored to the American people.

J. Bracken Lee,

Governor of Utah

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