NH Tax Protester Goes Gentle into that Good Night

Ed Brown had warned authorities the authorities wouldn't take him alive: "We either walk out of here free or we die," he said earlier this year.

The Browns, who were turned over to the custody of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, were convicted on federal tax charges in January and refused to turn themselves in to authorities when they were sentenced in April to five years and three months in prison.

"We had no indication that the Browns intended to voluntarily surrender, so we had to move forward with an operation that promised the safest possible outcome. That day was today," Monier said in a news release Thursday.

Expert observers had praised the authorities' hands-off approach, but patience wore thin for Plainfield's 2,400 residents. During the summer, town selectmen asked Monier to stop the influx of militiamen and other anti-government groups to the Browns' home and to bring the couple to justice.

More here.

Brown had been convicted of not paying federal income tax, which he claims is not legal or legitimate (or something).

Brian Doherty spent time among the "we have no legal obligation to pay income tax" crowd in this memorable 2004 feature.

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  • ||

    Ron Paul should pardon these guys when he gets elected next year...

  • ||

    Man I love government. The State rules. You rock, Nick. Taxes are a libertarian's best friend.

  • seks shop||

    I really admire the way you approach to tackle this matter which became a global issue . I will be observing your future works and submitting my own views and results of my personal researches.

  • Untermensch||

    I have a hard time agreeing, Taktix. Libertarians can disagree with the law and work to overturn it, but we also usually pay homage to the "rule of law." I may disagree with taxation, but I would not support anyone who argues that they can choose to disregard that law because they don't agree with it. As a parallel case, there's a big difference between (a) arguing that we shouldn't have a "war on drugs," pointing out the real problems it causes, and arguing that justice is not served by it, and (b) advocating that everyone should just ignore those laws and cook up meth in their kitchen.

    Maybe for some of the anarcho types out there I sound like a cop-out, but I'm much more in favor of trying to change the laws (but live by them in the meantime). This case is not like, say, pardoning the pain doctors who were convicted of "distribution." The Browns fully knew that what they were doing went against the current interpretation of the law. If there were a President Paul, I would fully hope that he would work towards what the Browns wanted, but to ignore that they broke the clear law of the land and pardon them for it would be to say that we can break an unjust law with impunity and open the door for anyone to claim that whatever law they don't like is unjust.

  • Tx||

    There is no legislation or statute that that requires anyone to pay a federal income tax. It has been cited in numerous Supreme Court cases. (The amendments to the constitution that would make this unapportioned tax constitutional have also never been ratified.)

    They are absolutely correct.

  • ||

    to ignore that they broke the clear law of the land and pardon them for it would be to say that we can break an unjust law with impunity

    Sounds good to me. But I don't think it applies to this case.

  • ||

    I'm gonna regret this:

    There is no legislation or statute (except the Internal Revenue Code)that that requires anyone to pay a federal income tax.

    It has been cited in numerous Supreme Court cases
    (except it never has).

    (The amendments to the constitution that would make this unapportioned tax constitutional have also never been ratified
    (except they were.)

    Don't get me wrong. The federal income tax is an abomination, but its legal, and real.

  • ||

    oh man I thought going gentle into that good night meant dying. Jeez!

  • SP||

    Could somebody please link to the relevant section of the internal revenue code?

    I've heard this debate for years and never understood how this can be in dispute. Either a section of code exists or it doesn't, correct?

    Or is the problem a matter of interpretation? What gives?

  • Underzog||

    Those political prisoners are absolutely right about the phony income tax.

    Ron Paul might pardon them if President? It's almost enough for me to vote for him. I only hope a President Paul would just cut off aid to Israel and then not meddle in Israel's affairs. That wouldn't be so bad.

    "There's no need to fear. Underzog is here!"

  • ||

    Mr. Zog,
    That post seems at odds with your past ones urging an amendment to ban Islam lest we all be firebombed by mad arabs. Care to elucidate?

  • Paul||

    SP,

    Here you go: http://docs.law.gwu.edu/facweb/jsiegel/Personal/taxes/JustNoLaw.htm

    If you cruise around the site, he debunks other tax protestor arguments as well.

  • iih||

    Randolph:

    Lets not get "Zog" started on Islam and Arabs, else we're off on a BIG tangent. He either has a typo somewhere in there, or someone is pretending to be him, or he lost his old mind, and finally saw the light of reason ;-)

  • ||

    Untermensch, the "founding fathers" were criminals. They also didn't like to pay their taxes. I don't know what made them think they could just start a revolution because they didn't like to obey the law.

  • ||

    Mr. Zog,
    That post seems at odds with your past ones urging an amendment to ban Islam lest we all be firebombed by mad arabs. Care to elucidate?


    The real targets of Islamophobes are not Muslims themselves so much as the liberals who insist on letting them in the country, said liberals being "rootless cosmopolitans" loyal to nobody but themselves--Jews.

    Scratch an immigration nutter hard enough and you'll find an anti-Semite. Every time. Most Islamophobes hate Muslims only because it is no longer in good taste to openly hate Jews.

  • ||

    Cool. I was getting tired of supporting those freeloading nutcases.

  • ||

    Randolph Carter -
    I also thought it meant that they died.

    As for the income tax
    I have no idea whether or not it's legal or whatever, but I do know that there are very real penalties for not paying it. Even if I'm complying with a fake law, I'd rather work to fakely reverse a fake law than suffer the real consequences of not complying with said law.
    Besides, everybody's doing it…

  • iih||

    An Ottawa Reader:

    Right on mark. Listening to Michelle Malkin, and other nuts, I sometimes tell myself that there can not possibly be people who are either that blind or that hateful, and finally came to the realization that this to them is just a job. In any case, "Zog" seems to have been successful is sending some of us on a tangent.

    Since we're sort of off topic anyways, it was good to see the Sens beet the Leafs yesterday.

  • Man Looking for an Argument||

    Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of any statement the other person makes.

  • ||

    Reinmoose - agreed. No other law(s) generates the weird denial that comes with the income tax. I mean, you don't see pot protestors saying "the Marijuana Tax Act was never ratified!" and lighting up fatties in front of a cop.

    (libertarian boilerplate #18, I do not support the Income Tax or Drug laws. I just don't want to go to prison, so I obey them.)

  • x,y||

    Untermench,

    You say we should obey the laws as written and currently interpreted and try to change them from within. Is there any law (past, present, or future, if you care to use your imagination) so repugnant you would consider mitigating your position?

  • ||

    x,y, I agree - I'm all for civil disobedience, but don't pretend that there's no law that you're breaking. Call the bad law what it is, immoral and evil, and break it proudly rather than acting like a crazy person in denial.

  • ||

    (The amendments to the constitution that would make this unapportioned tax constitutional have also never been ratified.)

    One night, an intern just copied and pasted those admendments into the offical document and everybody just assumed they had always been there.

  • Untermensch||

    Untermensch, the "founding fathers" were criminals. They also didn't like to pay their taxes. I don't know what made them think they could just start a revolution because they didn't like to obey the law.



    Are you advocating rebellion over this issue? I'm not convinced the rebellion would be the right answer. And if I'm not willing to overthrow the entire system, picking only those parts of the system I want to comply with seems like a cop-out. Short of rebellion, which admits the system is fatally flawed and that only blood and fire can cleanse it, I really object to the thinking that says you can just ignore laws you want to because you think they are wrong. (Mind, the way things are headed, I can foresee the day when rebellion might be the only way to fix things, but I certainly hope I never live to see that day.)

  • x,y||

    Although an income tax enforced at the point of a gun is one of the most morally repugnant laws I can imagine, I consider the benefits of following it (approx. 40% less income and not going to jail) to outweigh the costs of flagrantly now following it (fines, going to jail, etc.).

  • Untermensch||

    You say we should obey the laws as written and currently interpreted and try to change them from within. Is there any law (past, present, or future, if you care to use your imagination) so repugnant you would consider mitigating your position?



    There are certainly some, but if I'm going to break the law, I'd like to think I had the courage to face the consequences, not hoping that I'd get a get out of jail free card. If these folks don't want to pay takes, I agree with Randolph: let them be willing to face the consequence. It makes their actions a lot more compelling. Pretending the law doesn't exist and that the consequences should therefore not apply isn't really helpful.

    For what it's worth, I guess I'm not lib enough to think that tax laws fall under the category of something so morally repugnant that I should be willing to go to jail for them. Call me a coward, but I'd rather try to change it from inside than just declare myself exempt, hole up in a compound, and try to live cut off from the world.

  • anon||

    C'mon, Danny boy, cheer on those tax collectors! Who do you think's gonna pay for this war>

  • Untermensch||

    err. pay taxes, not takes (although I suspect many/most here would agree with my typo as the correct form)...

  • ||

    26 USC § 1 (2000)

    Cheek v. United States, 498 U.S. 192 (1991) (discussing the meaning of the word willfully for purposes of evading income taxes).

    Sucks or not, you can't say it ain't so.

  • robc||

    Mind, the way things are headed, I can foresee the day when rebellion might be the only way to fix things, but I certainly hope I never live to see that day.

    The older I get and the more I see the way things happen, the more I agree with Jefferson that rebellions are needed fairly regularly.

  • LibertyPlease||

    "...I do not support the Income Tax or Drug laws. I just don't want to go to prison, so I obey them."



    So, BakedPenguin, you're paying protection money? Don't get me wrong, I pay it too. They have more guns. Seems an indictment of the system though...

    "....(Mind, the way things are headed, I can foresee the day when rebellion might be the only way to fix things, but I certainly hope I never live to see that day.)"



    Untermensch, I hope I do live to see it, soon enough that I can fight in it. This is only one issue. But it is one of very many. Illegally searching and seizing your property, massively infringing your second ammendment rights (building an entire beaurocratic dept for that purpose), evesdropping on your phone calls, watching your internet activity, reading your mail, watching your banking activity, etc, etc, etc.

    Soon is the time to start shooting the bastards.

  • ||

    Although an income tax enforced at the point of a gun is one of the most morally repugnant laws I can imagine, I consider the benefits of following it (approx. 40% less income and not going to jail) to outweigh the costs of flagrantly now following it (fines, going to jail, etc.).

    Not to mention the benefit of living in one of the world's top civilizations.

  • LibertyPlease||

    Not to mention the benefit of living in one of the world's top civilizations.

    In decline, because of exactly the tyrannical problems we're discussing. Let us reinvigorate our country with a healthy (for the survivors) rebellion!

  • LibertyPlease||



    Grrrrrrr

  • ed||

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Taxation should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the 1040A.

  • ||

    @Man Looking for an Arguement

    No it's not.

    CB

  • Fluffy||

    I don't agree with the "there is no legal income tax" conspiracy theory people, for a simple reason:

    If there really was no law, a law would simply be passed. The overwhelming majority of the Congress agrees on the need for an income tax and passes budgets containing such a tax every year.

    Similarly, if there really were technical flaws to the ratification of the relevant amendment to the Constitution, those flaws would simply have been corrected in real time. The fact that the entire legal establishment of the United States acquiesced to the claim that the amendment had been properly ratified is to me prima facie evidence that it was properly ratified.

    That being said, I feel the need to chip in on the "rule of law" discussion:

    There really is no single moral standard for when an individual must respect an unjust law, and is morally prevented from rebelling against it. Every person will put their own "insurrection meter" at an individual level. Some people won't rebel even if openly enslaved. Some people will rebel against slavery, but not against unjust taxation. Some people will rebel against, say, a Stamp Act. And some people will rebel for reasons that appear truly trivial. I don't see a way within the Jeffersonian framework [tinged as it is with Hobbesianism] to evaluate the merits of a particular revolution other than success: if your revolution gathers enough support to succeed, your cause had merit, and if it fails to gather enough support to succeed, the injustice you were fighting must not have been that bad.

  • ||

    Untermensch - what if you were black, and the law said you had to sit in the back of the bus.

    Work from within the system to change the law? Or sit in the front of the bus?

    CB
    (DAMN! I sound like joe! Sorry.)

  • ||

    Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.
    Thomas Jefferson


    The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
    Thomas Jefferson

  • ||

    Dan T--Whatever do you mean? "I was getting tired of supporting those freeloading nutcases." They've just been arrested. NOW is when you START supporting them.....

  • ||

    I think the tax code is an abomination along with the IRS, Congress, etc., but I've never bought into the income-tax-is-unconstitutional argument. The only piece of it (as I recall--I'm working from memory here) that had any validity at all was the question about whether the ratification occurred as it should have. But, from what I've seen, those arguments have been weak. I do seem to remember that one of the other amendments may really have not been properly ratified--can't remember which one, but it wasn't the Sixteenth.

    Incidentally, civil disobedience is a cornerstone to a free society. Just like things like jury nullification. On the flip side, I fear any revolution in this country, because I'm 95% sure that Libertopia--or even a restoration of a Constitutionally limited government--would not be the result.

  • ||

    Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Thus the beneficiaries are spared the shame and danger that their acts would otherwise involve... But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them and gives it to the other persons to whom it doesn't belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. Then abolish that law without delay ... No legal plunder; this is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony and logic.
    -- Frederic Bastiat

  • ||

    Dan T--Whatever do you mean? "I was getting tired of supporting those freeloading nutcases." They've just been arrested. NOW is when you START supporting them.....

    I was supporting them by paying income tax, while they enjoyed the civilization that those taxes helped provide.

    It's a shame that we've had to invest additional funds to bring these greedy people to justice, but at least the message will be sent to others that taxpayers don't appreciate those who are too good to pay their fair share.

  • ||

    "that taxpayers don't appreciate those who are too good to pay their fair share."

    I actually agree with the overall point here, these guys presumably drive on interstate highways afterall, but nowhere will you find a more loaded term than 'fair share'.

  • Fluffy||

    All you had to do to not be taken advantage of, Dan, was not pay your income tax either.

  • ||

    Let's all pick which laws we don't want to obey! I'd hope that I would have had the courage to violated the Fugitive Slave Act. I don't think tax protesters have the claim of moral authority that the conductors of the underground railroad did.

    If you think electing a libertarian president is tilting at windmills, how would you describe repealing the 16th Amendment? Facts are stubborn things and the income tax is the law. It is overwhelmingly supported by the citizenry. Deal with it.

  • ||

    Taxes are legalized theft. In a country where liberty is supposed to mean something an individual should be allowed to opt out of the system if he chooses. Why should his life, liberty, and property be threatened because he doesn't want to support our political masters' programs. How can liberty be limited in this way by government and still be considered liberty?

  • ||

    How is it right to take the fruit of my labors and dole it out like treats to whatever interest groups howl the loudest. Our system of government is a giant patronage system based on theft.

  • ||

    You know, the Sixteenth Amendment has proven bad for the states--dramatically reducing their possible pool of tax revenues and, over time, increasingly the size and scope of the federal government at the expense of state power. I wonder if an attempt to repeal the Sixteenth might not be possible at the state level? Probably not, but there are politically pragmatic reasons why states might favor doing so. Hmmm.

  • ||

    "but at least the message will be sent to others that taxpayers don't appreciate those who are too good to pay their fair share."

    I agree! Down with the progressive income tax!

  • ||

    Taxes are legalized theft. In a country where liberty is supposed to mean something an individual should be allowed to opt out of the system if he chooses.

    An individual can opt out - there are no laws preventing you from leaving the United States.

    Oh wait, that's right, you want the benefits of living here without having to pay the costs.

  • ||

    Not "too good" to pay their share. Too numerous to pay their share, because they can simply vote to make other people pay their share.

  • ||

    This is probably stating the obvious, but I believe the reason the "income tax is unconstitutional" argument has had such long legs is that it provides a moral justification for violent resistence to taxation that is rooted in our country's founding. The American Revolution was grounded on almost precisely that argument, ie, that the taxes imposed by Parliament were illegitimate because they violated the natural rights of the colonists as English citizens, whose consent was required for the laws to be valid. After the Revolution, we almost didn't have a country because there were still a lot of people who weren't any more willing to accept taxation from a central US government than they were from Parliament. Eventually, a broad enough consensus was reached on that issue and others so we could create an effective national government, but the Revolution itself still provides powerful moral authority for tax protestors to this day. Historically, tax protest groups have been most closely associated with right wing hate groups and left-wing extremists, which makes pretty awkward company for most people, and keeps the movement from gaining any real momentum. My basic objection to the "income tax is unconstitutional argument" is that it is a not-so-subtle call for violent resistance. Otherwise, there would be no need to make the argument; anyone who didn't like the income tax could just join Club for Growth.

  • ||

    Dan T you need to read what the father of the declaration of independence wrote about government and taxes. Here are a few quotes for you to start you re-education.

    To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.
    Thomas Jefferson

    Our country is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation of power first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence.
    Thomas Jefferson

    I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
    Thomas Jefferson


    Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.
    Thomas Jefferson

    All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.
    Thomas Jefferson

  • ||

    Was Jefferson a seer? No, he studied and understood the history of governments and the ways of those who seek power and control over others.

  • ||

    The full quote:

    To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical. Now pardon me while I pay a quick visit my female slaves' quarters so they can pleasure me or suffer the whip.

    Thomas Jefferson

  • ||

    Ah, Dan, that refutes all of the great principles of liberty stated by any of the Founding Fathers. In fact, might as well toss out the Constitution.

    Since you don't believe what you are posting, why do it?

  • ||

    "Oh wait, that's right, you want the benefits of living here without having to pay the costs."

    Nope. I would not complain about contributing to the services I use.

    Unfortunately, the government doesn't give me that option. It just takes my money and distributes it in ways I find objectionable.

  • ||

    Ah, Dan, that refutes all of the great principles of liberty stated by any of the Founding Fathers. In fact, might as well toss out the Constitution.


    Principles should be judged on their own merit, not based on those who expouse them.

    However, if people are going to use Jefferson as an authority figure when it comes to liberty, I'm going to point out that he was full of crap. His opinions on the importance of liberty only applied to members of the ruling elite like himself.

  • iowan||

    However, if people are going to use Jefferson as an authority figure when it comes to liberty, I'm going to point out that he was full of crap.

    I'll take ole Tommy any day over you Danny.

  • ||

    Sarcasm is verbal perfection. That is why.

  • ||

    Which is why he and others founded this aristocratic oligarchy that doesn't allow the hoi polloi to vote. Blah, blah, blah.

  • Umberto de Aragon||

    Dan T, you really ought to be robbed at gunpoint.

  • ||

    I never said the founders weren't hypocrites that doesn't mean that they didn't have valuable insights that are relevant today. We have forgotten what it means to be free in America. We believe we are free but we really aren't. Our elected officials believe they are our superiors. We have traded monarchy for democracy and ended up just as enslaved under democracy as we were under monarchy. Thomas Jefferson had another quote that speaks to the nature of man.

    Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.
    Thomas Jefferson

    We have given up the right to make decisions on what we will do with our property, life, and liberty. Our politicians are men and women like you and I. Why do we put such great trust in them as if our flaws and foibles aren't shared by those we "elect". I would argue that they are even more flawed because they seek power over others.

  • ||

    Democracy, too, is a religion. It is the worship of jackals by jackasses.
    H.L. Mencken

    Government is a broker in pillage, and every election is a sort of advance auction in stolen goods.
    H.L. Mencken

    Demagogue: one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.
    H.L. Mencken

  • ||

    Sorry, james, Mencken was a racist. And anti-semitic.

    Just kidding! I thought I'd help Dan continue his ad hominemally non sequiturs. I enjoy Mencken, myself. And Jefferson, for that matter.

  • ||

    I have your blog in my favorites Pro Libertate I hope Dan doesn't really believe the stuff he writes. I just think he enjoys trolling.

  • ||

    Actually, it's the people calling taxation "theft" who need to be robbed at gunpoint.

    Just so they can clear up some of their confusion.

  • ||

    Thanks--we're up to many tens of readers now!

    As for Dan, he doesn't. By his own admission he's libertarianesque--he just enjoys chain-yanking a bit too much. He threatens to reform, then reverts on days like this. Better than threatening to leave all the time and calling me "wacky". That friggin' torques me ☺

  • ||

    Joe are you a troller too? Theft defined: In the criminal law, theft (also known as stealing) is the illegal taking of another person's property without that person's freely-given consent. Now at what point were we asked if we would like to pay taxes and given the option of saying no?

  • Paul||

    There is no legislation or statute (except the Internal Revenue Code)that that requires anyone to pay a federal income tax.

    It has been cited in numerous Supreme Court cases (except it never has).


    Wouldn't that nullify every single regulation passed by regulatory bodies? EPA, OSHA?

  • ||

    joe,

    I think james raises an excellent point: At what point does "consent of the governed" cease to have any meaning? I don't mean that to solicit a but-we-have-the-vote response or to say that any government action requires unanimity, but I do think the U.S. may be approaching (or may have passed) the point where any real consent to laws, taxation, etc. is questionable.

    To me, this almost argues that the laws on the book should have to sunset and be, at the very least, re-ratified. At least some of them, anyway--I don't think I'd want that for structural or Constitutional matters.

    Just thinking out loud--not meant to be a libertarians-are-always-right point. Though, of course, we are ☺ In any case, I think the political difference would be where to draw the line, or, stated differently, how much consent needs to really mean consent.

  • ||

    Cool. I was getting tired of supporting those freeloading nutcases.

    You're still supporting them. Who do you think is paying for their three hots and a cot?

  • ||

    psst, hey james: Theft defined: In the criminal law, theft (also known as stealing) is the ILLEGAL taking of another person's property without that person's freely-given consent

    You see that big word? Think it conveys meaning of some sort?

  • Paul||

    Actually, it's the people calling taxation "theft" who need to be robbed at gunpoint.

    Just so they can clear up some of their confusion.


    I'm playin' devils advocate here, joe, but if you don't pay your taxes, and continue to refuse to do so, eventually someone with a gun will come to your door.

    But before you get all up in my grill, I know what you mean.

  • ||

    Pro Libertate,

    You think a bill the Congress passes in 1993, establishing income tax rates, is the product of less consent than a bill Congress passed in 1799, setting tarriff rates?

  • ||

    Paul,

    Ditto with "and if you don't stop your car at the crosswalk" and "if you don't do something about the mound of rotting garbage in your front yard." Yes, the government uses force to enforce the law. No, that does not make it equivalent to being assaulted.

    Have I been kidnapped if the police remove me after I've trespassed on someone's property?

  • ||

    Joe pssst if I don't consent how is it legal to take my money? Or are you saying that it doesn't matter if I consent or not to taxes the government can do whatever it wants because it is the government and anything the government decides to do is legal because it is the government? If so you need to do a little more studying about liberty. Try reading the Anti-Federalist papers maybe it will knock out the propaganda that gubmint education has wedged in your mind.

  • Underzog||

    Mr Otowwaread,

    I am a Jew you Maroon!

    Arabs are savages, just as Ayn Rand said.

    "There's no need to fear. Underzog is here!"

  • ||

    This piece and its pro government commenters are really disturbing, granted they knew the hammer was coming down, but they had every right to fight like all holy hell. I wish they had succeeded or escaped. At least someone in this rotten age would have been a hero.

    I guess anyone who isn't heart broken by this can just go ahead and start paying more since there seems to be no other way to deal with the various "Po Po" than laying down.

  • Paul||

    Have I been kidnapped if the police remove me after I've trespassed on someone's property?

    According to Marxists, yes.

    BTW, joe, I was just kind of half kidding. I was playing devils advocate-- being close to halloween and all.

  • Underzog||

    While Otawwa reader distracted me from the issue at hand, the fact of the matter is that Irwin Schiff sits in jail and the government knows he is innocent Here

    "There's no need to fear. Underzog is here!"

  • ||

    joe,

    Is that what I said? I don't think that's what I meant.

  • ||

    Joe something else to further your education on liberty. Try reading Bastiat's The Law. You must have missed his quote above. Here is a reissue especially for you.

    Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Thus the beneficiaries are spared the shame and danger that their acts would otherwise involve... But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them and gives it to the other persons to whom it doesn't belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. Then abolish that law without delay ... No legal plunder; this is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony and logic.
    -- Frederic Bastiat

  • ||

    In case you still don't understand taxation is "legal" plunder.

  • ||

    Now at what point were we asked if we would like to pay taxes and given the option of saying no?

    Next time I eat at a restaurant, I'm going to refuse to pay the bill on the basis that I never consented to it.

    You guys got my back on this one?

  • ||

    Untermensch: I obey what I consider bad laws or rules or regulations only if the consequences are worse than compliance (which they usually are, BTW). My son was horrified when I tossed out the federal survey his school keeps sending each year asking whether I live or work on federal property -- he hasn't yet grasped that even such petty defiance of government feels pretty darn good. I drove around with an expired driver's license for about six years, until the heat started to get ratcheted up (getting treated as a potential terrorist at the airport, etc.)

    About the only moral laws on the books I feel good about complying with are the libertarian prohibitions against murder, theft, etc.

  • ||

    In case you still don't understand taxation is "legal" plunder.

    So James, you're an anarchist I take it?

  • ||

    Now at what point were we asked if we would like to pay taxes and given the option of saying no?

    Next time I eat at a restaurant, I'm going to refuse to pay the bill on the basis that I never consented to it.

    You guys got my back on this one?


    Dan T. -- do you walk into restaurants and people just start bringing you food unasked, or do they put a menu with prices in front of you -- a contractual offer, if you will -- and you verbally request something off that menu without quibbling over the price listed?

    Do you see the difference between that and the government requiring you to pay for services you didn't ask for and don't want, from politicians you voted against? Do you have a special income tax form, different from the one I get, with a list of proferred government services you can choose to enroll in or decline, and with the prices listed for each option?

    Are you really that thick or just trolling?

  • ||

    Underzog,

    Just curious. Why do you use "zog"?

    This is the most common meaning for zog that I kow of and it's usually used by anti-Semites to denounce the US government as being run by Jews.

  • ||

    Dan I know you're trolling this is for joe. I would be an anarchist. That however doesn't believe that I don't believe in laws. Laws should be about only a few things protecting property rights (so no you can't eat a meal and refuse to pay for it that would be theft), protecting my right to do what I want as long as it doesn't infringe on your right to do the same, and protection from violence those are the only laws that we should obey.

  • ||

    oops that first believes should be doesn't mean

  • ||

    LibertyPlease -- The problem with starting an armed rebellion is that the percentage of libertarians is in the single digits, perhaps even low single digits, which means that the winners of the revolution would start another repressive government, probably worse than the one we have now.

    That, and the government has more and better guns.

    Gotta have many if not most of the populace on your side to win such a rebellion. Something really bad probably to happen before people will shrug off their statist public school indoctrination.

  • ||

    Do you see the difference between that and the government requiring you to pay for services you didn't ask for and don't want, from politicians you voted against? Do you have a special income tax form, different from the one I get, with a list of proferred government services you can choose to enroll in or decline, and with the prices listed for each option?


    Admittedly, the resturant analogy works better if it's a buffet and your costs pay for items that you might not necessarily want but others are eating.

    I think one issue with government is that you get benefits whether you explictly want them or not and thus you have to pay whether you want to or not. You can't just opt out of military protection or the protection of clean air laws or the police department - either we collectively have these things or we don't. And since no civilization can function without such things, then taxes must be collected.

    So if taxes are theft, then civilization is based on theft. Which means that theft, if you continue to define it as such, is not always a bad thing.

  • ||

    Laws should be about only a few things protecting property rights (so no you can't eat a meal and refuse to pay for it that would be theft), protecting my right to do what I want as long as it doesn't infringe on your right to do the same, and protection from violence those are the only laws that we should obey.

    Okay. So how are these laws enforced?

  • ||

    Dan T I think I will start referring to you as Master T (the t is for trolling)Rather than try to explain how to enforce them I ask you to check out this link. We had a way of enforcing the rules prior to the creation of modern law forces. http://www.constitution.org/lrev/roots/cops.htm

  • ||

    I think one issue with government is that you get benefits whether you explictly want them or not and thus you have to pay whether you want to or not. You can't just opt out of military protection or the protection of clean air laws or the police department - either we collectively have these things or we don't. And since no civilization can function without such things, then taxes must be collected.

    So if taxes are theft, then civilization is based on theft. Which means that theft, if you continue to define it as such, is not always a bad thing.


    Dan, thanks for the above ten-percenter (you seem to be scoring above the five-percent level lately).

    Plenty of libertarian thinkers have proposed means of privately providing all the services above -- you might want to start by reading David Friedman's "The Machinery of Freedom".

    Already have some private versions of the above -- private security guards or bodyguards in place of police, lawsuits against those who harm you with their pollution, etc.

    Some of the services government provides are really hard to privatize, with national defense being the ultimate challenge. But go through the list of stuff the federal government does, and about 90% of it can easily be eliminated by simply making participation in that program voluntary, with citizens choosing whether or not to subscribe, or outsource it to a private firm.

    BTW, I think even national defense is doable. If you were given the choice of paying an assessment for national defense (not offense -- no troops in Iraq, Germany, etc.) or being listed on a computer database as someone who can be kidnapped, enslaved, robbed, or otherwise mistreated by a foreign power or a non-citizen, and the feds won't lift a finger to help you because you chose to not pay your assessment -- would you opt out? I sure as heck wouldn't.

  • ||

    You can't just opt out of military protection or the protection of clean air laws or the police department - either we collectively have these things or we don't. And since no civilization can function without such things, then taxes must be collected.

    Ladies and gentlemen, you heard it here first. There was no such thing as civilization until the Clean Air Act of 1963

  • ||

    P.S. The computer database would be put on a website on the internet, with everyone in the world thus knowing you weren't protected by your government against depredations by non-citizens.

  • ||

    Reinmoose that was spot on

  • Pat||

    Dan T. said:
    I think one issue with government is that you get benefits whether you explictly want them or not and thus you have to pay whether you want to or not.

    You indirectly benefit from me deciding not to be a criminal and going to school instead. As far as I see it, that is a service I have provided and that you have benefited from since I am positively contributing to the civilization that you have found success in. You owe me some money.

  • Pat||

    So if taxes are theft, then civilization is based on theft. Which means that theft, if you continue to define it as such, is not always a bad thing.

    The error in your reasoning is with the false assumption that civilization relies on taxation to exist. Civilization does not fall apart when taxes and Government spending are both reduced.

  • ||

    or eliminated

  • ||

    Already have some private versions of the above -- private security guards or bodyguards in place of police

    I think private security is done in addition to police protection. Without a public police force, who would protect me from the security guards of somebody with more money?

    lawsuits against those who harm you with their pollution, etc.

    Lawsuits still require a court system, and since the environment is something we share (and all pollute, for that matter) it would often be difficult to sort out who is the plantiff and who is the defendant. Not to mention that most of us would rather have clean air than be compensated for polluted air.


    Some of the services government provides are really hard to privatize, with national defense being the ultimate challenge. But go through the list of stuff the federal government does, and about 90% of it can easily be eliminated by simply making participation in that program voluntary, with citizens choosing whether or not to subscribe, or outsource it to a private firm.


    The problem is that individuals usually will choose personal interest over the public good. This is fine in some cases but not all.

    Now, I will agree with you that the government wastes a lot of money and tends to be inefficient. Some of that is due to the nature of politics, and some of that is built in to the system as a way to prevent corruption.

    BTW, I think even national defense is doable. If you were given the choice of paying an assessment for national defense (not offense -- no troops in Iraq, Germany, etc.) or being listed on a computer database as someone who can be kidnapped, enslaved, robbed, or otherwise mistreated by a foreign power or a non-citizen, and the feds won't lift a finger to help you because you chose to not pay your assessment -- would you opt out? I sure as heck wouldn't.

    It's the free rider problem - if America has a strong enough national defense because most other people agree to pay for it, I'm going to figure it's pretty unlikely that any foreign military is going to come after me personally, so I'm opting out.

    Also, there's a gray area between "defense" and "offense" when it comes to a national military. The war in Iraq is not defensive in the sense that our homeland was under attack but it was done in part to defend our economic interests, for example. There's really no way to present each voter a menu of military services and let him choose the ones that he wants to contribute to - it makes more sense to elect representatives to make those decisions as few of us have the time or resources to study all the scenarios.

  • ||


    The error in your reasoning is with the false assumption that civilization relies on taxation to exist. Civilization does not fall apart when taxes and Government spending are both reduced.


    Well, what civilizations out there do not rely on taxation?

  • ||

    Rather than try to explain how to enforce them I ask you to check out this link. We had a way of enforcing the rules prior to the creation of modern law forces. http://www.constitution.org/lrev/roots/cops.htm

    Here's the thing: I don't want to have to be a town policeman, town fireman, town street sweeper, town road builder, etc in addition to my regular job. Who has time for all that? I'd rather pay taxes and have other people do those things.

  • ||

    Come on Master T you make me say uuuh na na na na.

  • Pat||


    Well, what civilizations out there do not rely on taxation?


    C'mon, you can do better than a post hoc fallacy. Ignoring that you have a chicken/egg paradox.

  • ||

    Honorable civil disobedience: Refuse to obey a law because it is unjust. This was the tactic used by the abolitionists and civil rights activists.

    Dishonorable nuttery: Argue that the law doesn't exist, and that there is nothing to disobey. Stick your fingers in your ears and go la la la la. These are the tax deniers.

    Now imagine that the abolitionists followed the tax deniers tactics. They would declare that there's no such thing as slavery, because the constitution mispelled "negro". Or that slavery is only authorized in federal territories and not in the states. Or that if a slave's name is not capitalized then he is not a slave. Furthermore, imagine that the slavery deniers actively counseled slaves to walk away (walk don't run) because there was no valid law compelling them to be returned. Finally imagine the slavery deniers angrily denouncing the traditional abolitionists as traitors and statists.

  • Pat||

    C'mon, you can do better than a post hoc fallacy. Ignoring that, you have a chicken/egg paradox.

    Sorry, that comma makes all the difference in that sentence.

  • Pat||

    I don't mind paying taxes for having a Government that protects my rights. It's the other $2,000,000,000,000.00 of the Fed budget I have a problem with.

  • ||

    Ah, yes, the "private armies" schtick. Care to look at what is happening in Iraq lately with Blackwater?

    I'm surprised more Libertarians haven't moved to Iraq. Private armies, no taxes, no gun control, no regulations....what's not to like?

    Look, guys--either you're going to be paying taxes to the government or protection money to the Mafia/warlords. Take your pick. At least with the government, you get a chance of voting them out at some point. You think the warlords care?

  • ||

    Grumpy realist if voting really did anything it would be against the law. Blackwater is aided and abetted by our government. They are operating outside the laws of Iraq because our government allows them too. They wouldn't even be over there if not for Blackwater's government contacts. So our government has put in place the system that allowed Blackwater to behave unlawfully.

  • Pat||

    I'm surprised more Libertarians haven't moved to Iraq. Private armies, no taxes, no gun control, no regulations....what's not to like?

    Uh, the martial law?

  • ||

    Blackwater is aided and abetted by our government. They are operating outside the laws of Iraq because our government allows them too. They wouldn't even be over there if not for Blackwater's government contacts. So our government has put in place the system that allowed Blackwater to behave unlawfully.

    Too funny - you're blaming the government for partially implementing the very type of system that you advocate!

    I guess your only complaint is that Blackwater is getting paid by the government to do its dirty work, where you'd prefer that private individuals pay them to do their dirty work instead?

  • ||

    Libertarians are not anti-law and not all of us are even anti-government. We are pro-freedom. The freedom to live your life as you see fit with out our overlords in congress limiting our freedoms in order to benefit themselves and their cronies.

  • ||

    Master T would you please stop trolling? LOL come on now people are going to start believing that you are serious.

  • Fluffy||

    The issue of taxation is secondary to me, really.

    When all taxes are spent on just undertakings, and are apportioned fairly, the actual AMOUNT of those taxes or whether they're income-based or property-based or sales-based or whatever is not that relevant.

    Dan T actually came up with some good examples of public goods that have externality benefits where there's a free rider problem if everybody doesn't pay. I don't have a problem paying income taxes to support those goods.

    Reduce the size of the state to its Constitutional limits, and I will pay my taxes and smile. And tip my hat at the "civilization" of it all.

  • Paul||

    Look, guys--either you're going to be paying taxes to the government or protection money to the Mafia/warlords.

    What happens when you're doing both and the Mafia/warlords and government have switched roles?

  • Underzog||

    The reason I use UnderZOG is because the anti-Semites use ZOG to describe "Zionist Occupied Government" and I thought it funny to relate the anti-Semites paranoid idiocy to a favorite cartoon character of mine.

    I feel we need a sense of humor against the anti-Semites and turning their epithet into a Wally Cox cartoon character seemed the way to do it.

    When I first tried it out, some college kids on the internet were funny, too. They used as screen names "the Whore of Zogylon" and "Auntie Semite."

    I thought you Libertarians liked to party.

  • iih||

    Underzog:

    So what about the Islamophobes and collectivist anti-Arabs? Do you have any ideas on throwing a bit of sense of humor at them? (like what I am doing now, may be?)

  • Underzog||

    Islamaphobe is a smear word against those that have studied and/or experienced the Islam issue. It's quite sick of the Commie PCers and their Libertarian wannabes that understanding of something is a prejudice.

    And as your idols are chopping off our heads, crashing down our highest buildings; etc., there's good reason to fear them.

    I may be going back to Israel for the fourth time to visit my family (which you people wouldn't care if they died horribly). If I'm blown up by a bloodthirsty Islamist, I'll remember that the pink mist a person (me; etc.) sees before he dies is merely a prejudice on my part. /sarc

  • iih||

    Underzog: Does this include Arab Jews?

    BTW, if you happen to see/identify an Arab or Muslim around, what would you tell (or do to) him/her? Would you let him/her just be?

  • Underzog||

    Arab Jews? Are you talking about Oriental Jews (also called Sephardim)? My niece is married to an Oriental Jew with the nice Sephardic name of Mizrachi. Your question verges on mere babbling.

    As for the last part of your post, you're pumping me for tactical information and it would be a mistake for me or any other Jew that favors survival over screaming opinion to lay out what tactics one has beforehand. veg

    "There's no need to fear. Underzog is here!"

  • iih||

    Underzog: You are a very disturbed person.

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