Growing Protest Movement Too Much for Revenuers
The Internal Revenue Service seems to be having a
tough time keeping up with the growing number of Americans who question the
validity of the income tax and refuse to pay. The recent court case of a
California manufacturer charged with failing to withhold income taxes from
employees’ paychecks signals a new trend that federal authorities would like to
quash. But it may be too difficult to stop now.
In 2000, Al Thompson told employees of his
factory, Cencal Aviation Products, that the tax laws are bogus and that he
would no longer withhold taxes from their paychecks.
Four years later, the Justice Department’s tax
division is now targeting Thompson for what they say is willful failure to file
tax returns. They want him to turn over more than $500,000.
The case “illustrates some of the reasons that tax
evasion is growing, despite repeated statements by the IRS that it is cracking
down on those who deny the legitimacy of the tax laws. The Internet,
antigovernment news organizations and dwindling law enforcement resources are
all factors in the spread of the tax-denial movement,” wrote New York Times
reporter David Cay Johnston in an article syndicated in multiple newspapers
across the country.
While the proliferation of groups questioning the
validity of income taxes is on the rise, claims that the IRS has reduced its
enforcement are not entirely true.
The IRS is budgeted $10.2 billion annually for
Horrifying accounts of heavily armed IRS goon
squads falsely targeting innocent U.S. businessmen in the late 1990s forced the
agency to scale back its efforts. However, since then, enforcement actions have
And a new measure passed by Congress in December,
which was buried in a weighty appropriations bill, allows the IRS to hire private
debt collection firms to target people suspected of failing to pay their income
tax—and keep 25 percent of the money.
Officials estimate that the IRS cannot collect
hundreds of billions of dollars in income taxes, and that number is growing.
This reminds us of the sainted Dr. Martin A. Larson who dreamed of the day of a
genuine American tax strike to bring the feds to heel.
Happily, there is a resurgence of anti-war tax
Recently, the groups Austin Conscientious
Objectors to Military Taxation and National War Tax Resistance Coordinating
Committee received some publicity in an article written by Greg Moses for the
anti-war Internet site, Texans for Peace. The organizations provide information
to Americans about how they can withhold a portion of their income taxes to
protest the federal government’s war budgets.
Could this signal the beginning of the end for the