And Income Tax Resistance Would be a Bad Thing ... How?

Sunni's picture

I’ve been thinking about this for days now, and I’ve seen a few pro-freedom people touch on it. But Karl Denninger has put it in the best terms I’ve seen (although he will not like my use of his words, should he ever see this).

Denninger has been hammering on the systemic fraud in the financial system for some time now. Of late, he’s also been keeping Mr. Hope and Change’s feet to the fire. Both meld nicely in his current post, Obama: Enough of This Crap. Here’s a taste—all underlines, bold, and whatnot from the original:

I'll tell you what would be change. Since it appears that a huge percentage of the current and former Congressional delegation has cheated on its taxes - after all, what are the odds you only picked the tax cheats, if you want me to believe in your idea of CHANGE you will immediately order all member of Congress in both Houses to undergo full IRS audits all the way back to the Statute of Limitations (three years), along with all of their staff.

You and I know know it won't happen, but I'll tell you what - I keep hearing people say they're going to file absolute crap this year. Utter garbage. "The Dog ate my Schedule C."

If The American People do this, Mr. President, government funding will collapse. The IRS can't possibly audit everyone and we all know it.

Your administration is dangerously close to creating a full-on tax revolt among Americans. You would not believe how often I have heard this among people both online and off in the last couple of weeks. The anger, especially when the people who are cheating are folks like Daschle and Geithner, is VISCERAL - these are the people who both wrote the tax code and were involved in the bailouts and handouts which you expect we the people - ordinary Americans - to pay for.

There’s a bit more, but the essence of his post is clear. Denninger isn’t an anarchist, or anything close to it [during the campaign, he opined that R.P. is a nutjob, or words to that effect], but he does think our banking system is deeply damaged and needs to be rebuilt. He has complained that far too few Americans have stood up in resistance to the bailouts, stimulus plans, and other nonsensical non-solutions the feds are foisting upon us; but he seems to be stuck inside the box when it comes to making changes.

What would be better at capturing the fedgoons’ attention than grabbing them by the balls? Income tax revenue is the equivalent of those sensitive danglies, and the proof of it is shown in the vigor with which the IRS goes after any lowly submitizen who tries to challenge it on any grounds that would have real standing—while every request, even from IRS enforcers themselves, to “show me the law” has gone unanswered.

So, I for one have been purely delighted at the frequency with which His Changiness’ would-be minions are turning out to be tax scofflaws. It lays bare the “us vs. them” nature of this state: the rules are not for the rich or powerful to follow; they exist to keep hoi polloi in their place. Well, fuck that, and fuck them for their callous disregard of so many individuals.

It is off the sweat on our brows, the aching of our backs that the state feeds; it is based on the enduring faith that America has a judicial system based on laws, not men, and a corollary fear of reprisal from the IRS that many choose to keep themselves poor because of the increasing tax burden the parasites have enacted. The truth has been revealed, probably as plainly as it will ever be: however it may have begun, the American state is no longer one of blind justice. The well-connected need never fear the dreaded IRS audit—instead, they get their sins forgiven, poof!, as they continue to climb the power ladder. They don’t even need to pay to settle the tab! [Not true: but the penalties we would get tend to be waived.] Gosh, folks, them’s all honest mistakes ... except that line is coming from those who make the rules, who’ve enforced them amongst us for years. It’s a very thin gruel, and I ain’t swallowing any of it. Think about it: the current economic system in this country is structured so that the interests of the individual are at cross-purposes with the institutions’. For them to be successful, we’re being encouraged to spend more of what we don’t have—and are increasingly unlikely to ever have, as jobs are lost and on-paper wealth is vaporized. I am not willing to cooperate with that.

If Denninger is correct and mainstream folk are muttering about tax resistance, then this might be our best shot at challenging this coercive state. Congress largely ignored the overwhelming outcry against bank nationalizations, against TARP and the automakers’ bailouts, etc. and ad nauseam. Now the IRS is giving a complete pass to some of them, for actions that would have us—even Hollywood celebrities—facing severe penalties. Their message couldn’t be any more clear: we play, while you pay.

Don’t talk to me about the risks involved; yes, of course there are still risks! But Denninger is right. The IRS has been known to be scattershot in its enforcement for years; a widespread income tax revolt would be devastating, especially now that gov spending has been ramped up. If you aren’t willing to take even a small stand of any sort, here and now, in response to this utterly cavalier attitude, then you might as well pack it in, because I don’t know what it would take for you to rise off your knees. This federal government’s actions have enslaved us; not only will our children be paying, but unless something drastic happens soon, our children’s grandchildren will be beholden to today’s usurpers. I cannot bear to think of that, let alone be complicit with it.

Now is the time.



*walks away breathless, pointing back at the soap box* Did you just HEAR that? I know!! MAN, That was awesome! I gotta get me some o' that snake oil!

Is this you?

{edited by NonEntity to make link "clickable"}
[edited by Sunni to remove command]


No, that's not me. I'm not nearly so intelligent. :-/ But thanks for the link - looks like a good read!

Er, Uh...

Nice rant there, Sunni, and I most certainly have not and will not pay any taxes, but the thing is, see, they don't need our money as they're just printing all they need, so aside from our actions making us feel all warm and fuzzy (or beligerant and self-righteous), it ain't gonna fix nuthin'. It seems to me that the only thing that will fix the situation is a total economic collapse, which fortunately we appear to be approaching with great rapidity and fastness and stuff.

- NonE (learning how to live on grass clippings and cardboard)

Who wants to fix it?

... the thing is, see, they don't need our money as they're just printing all they need, so aside from our actions making us feel all warm and fuzzy (or beligerant and self-righteous), it ain't gonna fix nuthin'.

Printing more FRNs brings its own constellation of problems. Besides, I don’t want to fix this fucked up, inherently coercive system—and the more of us who refuse to pay, or monkeywrench what we do pay, the sooner it will fall.

My primary point is that this is an educational opportunity, the likes of which many pro-freedom activists have been dreaming about for years: educational for individuals who are willing to entertain the idea that this country might be broken; and educational for the bureaucrats and politicians who think the American public has an infinite capacity to play Stepin Fetchit.

Thread Convergence


As I read your post about the educational possibilities inherent in the current global meltdown, I reflected on the education-of-the-snolfs thread, and the genetics-of-religion thread, as well as the current read of mine, Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth."

One thing that came to the fore for me was my belief that people learn, they are not taught. Or at least that is the way it seems to me. So I'm unsure whether a given scenario can be considered an "educational" opportunity, or rather it might better be considered a situation where learning might occur.

Next came the thought that the ego seems to be emotionally connected with the primal defense mechanisms (thinking of the lizard brain's overriding position of control) and, to the extent that it becomes more activated, shuts down reason and acts out of sheer defense instinct. Herein I'm extrapolating from what Tolle says, rather than quoting, so feel free to lay judgement on me and not him for this thought.

From there it would appear that the impending collapse of known patterns of life would be a threat to most and so not one wherein reasoned consideration would likely flourish. Survival would be the emotion of the day, as it were.

As to the learning experience possible, I'm guessing that this would come after the fear has been gotten past, and after the individual has been able to gain a sense of self confidence in his or her ability to have some personal control over his condition, and from that position of self esteem to be able to be reflective and assimilate lessons from the experience of the passage.

So perhaps we are in a unique position for some large scale learning to occur as things progress from where they have been to wherever they are headed. But many will also be lost as their egos become inflamed and demand their "rights" in the face of the tsunami of change and are drowned beneath the waves.

Crisis = Opportunity

An aside: another thought that went through my head while reflecting upon this is that the libertarian community's desire to educate seems not so much different than the conservative community's or the "liberal" community's similar desires to educate the heathen in the sins of their poor thinking. That is perhaps a large part of why I no longer consider myself a part of the libertarian community as I have no desire to be taught, rather I wish to be left to choose my own path, at my own speed, granting the same to others. I'm tired of the strident speech making*. (Noting well that I may be seeing my reflection in this mirror.)

- NonE ... rambling through mind-space

(minor edits)

* to wit, consider the religious ferver of those proclaiming property rights in ideas.

Educate vs. learn

You present much to consider, my friend [can I call you that? ;-) ], and I don’t have the time nor attention your observations deserve at present. So, for now I will focus on just a couple of things.

I like your distinction between learning and being taught, but I think it is not universal: one may learn by being taught (even by oneself), but a teacher as such certainly isn’t always necessary. We learn simply by living. And thus, when I speak or write about educating, I do not mean just teaching; and I certainly do not primarily mean “strident speech making”. It is indisputably true that pro-freedom individuals, just like every other thinking person, can cling to our ideas too tightly sometimes. I think we educate best when we are trying to learn ourselves—when we ask questions and make observations that spur our own thinking as well as another’s.

The teacher will appear...

[Yes, please do!]

There's a wonderful saying: When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

It reminds me of experiences I've had in my life where at a certain point an idea I'd heard years before finally made sense, and I said to myself, "Oh... NOW I get it!"

Perhaps it is in that vein that the lessons the libertarians wish to teach will be of value; when the students are ready the light bulb will go off illuminating things heard in a previous time.

(But, lemme tell ya, I ain't holdin' no breath awaitin'!) ;-)

- NonE