scratch-mark

Oxymoron of the Year

Well, it seems that Wesley Snipes is going down, potentially for 16 years of jail time, for defending himself himself against having his money stolen from him.

(Aside: don’t even think about it. I’m talking to you, reading out there, who was just about to comment or was thinking that taxes aren’t theft. They are, and it’s a simple matter of getting your head out of your ass. What the government does is perfectly and clearly understood as theft if anyone else does it. There is no moral principle in the universe, upon which it can be rationally argued that the slightest right accrues to any given group of people — as in: government — that has not already accrued to individuals. If you don’t see that, then you’re simply part of perpetuating a very large problem.)

One thing in the report doesn’t make sense. If he didn’t file — i.e., report to the state what the state is to then steal from him under pain of "interest," penalties, "interest" and penalties on the "interest" and penalties, jail time, and/or death — should he insist upon uncompromisingly defending himself from being unjustly captured, held against his will, and imprisoned for merely defending his property — then how is he to have…

The charges allege Mr. Snipes failed to file tax returns
between 1999 and 2004, and conspired with two men to defraud the
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

You have to file to claim a "refund," which is itself an obnoxious use of the language. Getting money back that has been stolen is not getting a "refund." It’s recovery. Aside from the ethical question of whether it’s morally justifiable to steal from a thief in self-defense, assuming the charges somehow turn out to be true, I just though that was the greatest oxymoron I’ve yet seen in my whole life: "defraud the Internal Revenue Service." We’re talking about an organization responsible for stealing trillions of dollars of productivity from men, women, children, families, and businesses going back over 100 years. We’re talking about an institution that, in actuality, is magnitudes worse than all criminals ever prosecuted in this country for any crime combined. The productivity they have utterly destroyed is gone forever, as is the ever-expanding compounding of such productivity. It’s incalculable; it’s as incalculable as counting the stars in the heavens.

There is simply no way to imagine where our economy, our individual wealth, our technology, our lifespans, or our culture would be had it not been for this thieving and murdering regime.

(Neal)

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

30 Comments

  1. Kyle Bennett on October 19, 2006 at 09:59

    Trent,

    Try for just a moment to parse the word "payment". boil it down to its essentials, and see if you can discover why you felt it necessary to add the modifier "basically". If you're honest with yourself (never mind us, we don't ever need to know), you'll find that it's because the actual meaning of the word really nothing at all like what you want to use it for here.

    And now, in your second paragraph, replace "roads, police, fire, sidewalks, parks, internet" with "cars, security, insurance, shoes, theaters, and websites", and see if you can relate the resulting nonsense to what you discovered about the word "payment".

  2. Richard Nikoley on October 19, 2006 at 10:22

    Trent:

    I'm more than happy to pay for any and all goods and services I see value in using. Aren't you?

    Why do you wish to create the illusion of meaningful distinction between some goods and services, and others? If you're willing to pay for whatever value you receive, and willing to forgo values you cannot afford at market prices, then there's no problem.

    But if you want to get more value than you can pay for, then you simply suffer from a criminal mind; and if it's that you want others to receive values for which they are unable to offer anything in exchange, then be my guest. Help them. No one is stopping you.

    Or, is it that you want to force others to do what you can't, or won't? That's probably the heart of the matter, isn't it?

  3. Trent on October 19, 2006 at 09:21

    Are taxes theft? Did you use a road or a park built with those dollars? Did you have police protection that reduced crime in your neighborhood?

    Think of a world without taxes for a moment. There would be /no/ public services: no roads, no police, no fire department, no sidewalks, no parks, no Internet (who do you think pays for the backbone?)…

    Taxes are basically payments for services rendered because we live in a society where so many share these services that they seem like a right.

  4. jomama on October 20, 2006 at 06:56

    I'll gladly pay voluntarily for what I use.

    I'll also gladly evade and avoid the thieves who tell me what I can have left.

    I've done a pretty good job of both for many years.

    I've no disagreement with what you wrote, Rich. None.

  5. Ironbear on October 20, 2006 at 12:11

    *nods* @ jomamma.

    Interesting to me how almost none of the people who advocate "tax reform" seem to ever mention the only real reform that would matter: voluntary payments, earmarked to go to *only* what the payee wants them to support.

    FREE WESLEY!!! 😉

    I think I'll get that made into a t-shirt.

  6. John Lopez on October 20, 2006 at 18:15

    Ironbear,

    Main reason for that is that everyone knows that the state would last about )( that long on voluntary payments.

    Only some kind of anarchist would advocate people being able to freely choose whether or not to support a government.

  7. RichM on October 21, 2006 at 16:21

    Paying taxes is compensation for the privilege to live in this country. To evade them would be unpatriotic!

  8. billy-jay on October 22, 2006 at 06:41

    Like those goddamned unpatriotic bastards at the Boston Tea Party?

  9. Kyle Bennett on October 22, 2006 at 14:16

    Jonathan,

    What does the argument made here have to do with what the law says?

    Oh, wait, I forget, that's all that "moral principle" means to you guys, isn't it?

    I bet you get all tingly when you hear Sean Hannity call some caller he's never spoken to before a "Great American", dontchya?

    Like somebody mentioned before, the "Great Americans" were the ones at the Boston Tea Party. You're just a plain old loyalist.

    And by the way, the IRS doesn't let you stop paying taxes just because you give up your citizenship.

  10. Richard Nikoley on October 22, 2006 at 15:23

    So, RichM said something stupid, like:

    "Paying taxes is compensation for the privilege to live in this country. To evade them would be unpatriotic!"

    RichM, this just simply evades the argument. Since taxes are exacted by force, what you are saying is: "Having 30-50% of your production stolen by force is 'compensation' for the privilege to live in this country. To evade having your money and time stolen would be unpatriotic!"

    So, I dismiss you as a moron.

    Jonathan Murry:

    You're dismissed as ignorant. Your argument rests on the premise that I can escape US taxation by rescinding my US citizenship. Too bad you made that argument, because you can't escape taxation that way, anymore.

    Therefore, unless you have a pussy between your legs, you need to cop to defeat like a man.

  11. John Lopez on October 22, 2006 at 12:24

    RichM,

    If they could, the overwhelming majority of Americans would opt out of taxation overnight, thus opting out of this government. Don't think so? Try making taxes voluntary and see what happens.

    So what does that say about "patriotism"?

  12. Jonathan Murray on October 22, 2006 at 12:46

    Please, feel free to stop paying taxes. The easiest way is to give up your citizenship and leave the country.

    There are plenty of people the world over desperately eager to take your place.

    I suggest you a) learn about the law, and 2) learn about the alternatives before you rile up the fear-mongering, self-hating, anti-American masses whose attention you've gained here.

  13. Richard Nikoley on October 22, 2006 at 20:28

    RichM:

    Look, there's some things — after more than a dozen years and thousands of pages of debate — I'm just not willing to debate any longer.

    Google up — or, better yet: search Google groups — "taxation is theft" and have at it.

    Your postings amount to nothing more than an attempt to shame me and others into not complaining about it, rather than making an argument for why taxation is not theft. There's no surprise there, since taxation _is_ theft and arguing it's not will just make you look stupid. So, instead, you try to sweep it under the rug.

    Well, I don't care how you keep your house. I'd never try to compel you to _not_ pay taxes. Be my guest. Of course, you can hardly be as accommodating as I, for, I and others are "needed" in your schemes. I'm here to tell you that I don't really care about your life or your values that happen to conflict with mine. I'm happy to leave you to pursue them at your pleasure. Just leave me out of it.

    It's simple.

  14. RichM on October 22, 2006 at 17:31

    Ad hominem attacks are unworthy of someone who wishes to judge the intellectual worth of others. I am assuming that your calling me a moron is not shorthand for "never again comment on this blog" – let me know if my assumption is mistaken.

    The problem with voluntary payments is that many people would choose to forgo payment on things they do not value in the short term, only to find out that those things were important to have in the long term. For instance, too many people might not appreciate the importance of disaster readiness until after something catastrophic has already happened, and then it is too late to invest in it.

  15. Cecil H. Herline III on October 22, 2006 at 20:06

    The problem with voluntary payments is that many people would choose to forgo payment on things they do not value in the short term, only to find out that those things were important to have in the long term. For instance, too many people might not appreciate the importance of disaster readiness until after something catastrophic has already happened, and then it is too late to invest in it.

    Which is a decision the people in question have to make on their own volition. It's their lives, their property, and their values, not yours and not mine. Thus, the decision should be theirs alone.

  16. John Lopez on October 22, 2006 at 21:15

    RichM,

    I busted your pretensions of patriotism with one example, and now you're trying to shift ground to a different argument. That one is just as easy to dismiss, but first I'd like you to acknowledge that virtually nobody pays taxes out of any sense of "patriotism".

  17. Ironbear on October 22, 2006 at 14:53

    "Only some kind of anarchist would advocate people being able to freely choose whether or not to support a government." – John Lopez

    Damn right.

    Who keeps letting those damned anarchists in here, anyway? Bastards act like they have rights er sumthin. ;]

  18. Ironbear on October 22, 2006 at 14:56

    "I suggest you a) learn about the law, and 2) learn about the alternatives before you rile up the fear-mongering, self-hating, anti-American masses whose attention you've gained here." – Jonathan Murray

    And I suggest you fold your suggestion til it's all corners, and self-administer as a legal suppository, Tory.

  19. PRACTiCAL CHiCK on October 23, 2006 at 08:52

    Well you know what they say…

    Don't steal. The gov't hates competition.

  20. Richard Nikoley on October 23, 2006 at 17:48

    "I just wanted to point out that there are some people who claim to love the United States but who complain bitterly when they are enjoined to part with any of their own money to support it, and that for them, there is some kind of contradiction."

    Ah, another near euphemism, at least: "enjoined." Why not just let's be clear and precise about it. They are forced to pay. It's a law, and the penalty for violation is fines and imprisonment, along with forced seizure of assets, even if there are non-employee-force housewives/husbands and children to feed.

    "I don't think taxation is theft."

    Then you are ignoring the simple and clear reality of the matter.

    "I know that I have benefitted from some things the government has done with money it has taken in with taxes…"

    See, you can't be honest even with yourself. You can't say "my money" and you have to say "taken in," which denotes an entirely different connotation than simply: taken.

    And, you understand, of course, that this does not qualify a forced taking as non-theft. Otherwise, none of the plethora of private protection rackets that have existed throughout history could be considered theft.

    It is entirely plausible, probable even, that the smartest of thieves always "give something back," so as to allow their thievery to go undetected by…by…well, by people like you. There's a lot of those.

    "…it seems very reasonable to me to pay my fair share…"

    Fair share of _what_? I have never argued that a person should attempt to acquire or receive values he's not willing to pay for. But when a thief steals and controls by force the very values necessary to survive (and this goes beyond taxation, even), then no one is morally obligated to pay for them when there is no voluntary market in place to do so, as a consequence of the theft.

    "Really, I'm not the first person to suggest that rights come with responsibilities…"

    Oh, really? Well, I would submit that you don't even know what that means. There is only one right: the right to one's own life. All else is corollary, derivative, implied. The responsibility that comes with such right is to make your own way, not steal from others to pay for your social schemes 'cause you happen to think they're really cool. I'm not the first to suggest this. You can find references in the ancient Greek literature, if you're so inclined.

    "…or that there is a notion of a social contract among the citizens of a state…"

    Which really exposes your ignorance, here. There is no such thing as a "social contract" for the most simple reason that a contract is only a _contract_ by mutual agreement. It's what the fuckin' word means, moron. I, and millions have never agreed and in fact, this blog is explicit evidence that I most certainly do not subscribe to any such "contract."

    "so I don't know why there's all this fuss here over this"

    And the only reason for that is you're clearly very new to this. Ignorant. The arguments go back hundreds of years. They were annihilated hundreds of years ago, and daily going back 15 years on Usenet and other places. Still, that does not stop another johnny-come-lately from raising them anew.

  21. RichM on October 23, 2006 at 16:59

    John Lopez: I did not say that patriotism is why people pay taxes. I just wanted to point out that there are some people who claim to love the United States but who complain bitterly when they are enjoined to part with any of their own money to support it, and that for them, there is some kind of contradiction.

    I don't think taxation is theft. I know that I have benefitted from some things the government has done with money it has taken in with taxes, and it seems very reasonable to me to pay my fair share in return so that that situation will continue. Really, I'm not the first person to suggest that rights come with responsibilities, or that there is a notion of a social contract among the citizens of a state, so I don't know why there's all this fuss here over this.

  22. John Lopez on October 23, 2006 at 20:50

    RichM,

    I did not say that patriotism is why people pay taxes.

    That was the implication of the patriot talk, I just wanted to clarify the matter.

    I just wanted to point out that there are some people who claim to love the United States but who complain bitterly when they are enjoined to part with any of their own money to support it, and that for them, there is some kind of contradiction.

    Isn't it a much more fundamental contradiction that virtually all of the people who claim to support this government wouldn't volunteer to pay a dime for it?

    The problem with voluntary payments is that many people would choose to forgo payment on things they do not value in the short term, only to find out that those things were important to have in the long term.

    How is that a problem?

  23. billy-jay on October 23, 2006 at 23:13

    The taxes as payment for public goods argument would be a lot more compelling if there were any correlation between taxes paid and services used.

    As for taxes as payment for the privelege to live in this country, that's even more bizarre. Why should the rich have to pay more for the privelege and public servants (sic) get the privelege for free?

  24. Ironbear on October 23, 2006 at 18:04

    "I just wanted to point out that there are some people who claim to love the United States but who complain bitterly when they are enjoined to part with any of their own money to support it, and that for them, there is some kind of contradiction." – RichM

    I know that was to Lopez, but I hope he won't mind if I take a shot at it too.

    The United States Government and America are not synonyms. There is no contradiction between me being an American and my having no regard for the entity of the US Government. Or, if there is, it's an inherent contradiction I'm willing to accept and live with.

    "I don't think taxation is theft." – RichM

    Things are. What you think about them doesn't change that.

    If it's not a voluntary exchange; if it is taken from you via threat of violence and incarceration, then it is theft regardless of what you think it is.

    "Really, I'm not the first person to suggest that rights come with responsibilities, or that there is a notion of a social contract among the citizens of a state" – RichM

    That rights come with responsibilities I believe very few will argue against. We may disagree on what those responsibilities *are*.

    That there is a notion of a social contract very few will disagree with. That a social contract exists in reality is the fundamental disagreement and "why there's all this fuss here over this".

    "Main reason for that is that everyone knows that the state would last about )( that long on voluntary payments." – John Lopez

    Somehow, that's not inclining me to suddenly lean against voluntary taxes. 🙂

  25. Daryl McCullough on October 24, 2006 at 04:01

    For those who ask why we need government to enforce the payment of taxes, I agree completely: If it is such a good thing, why can't people pay it voluntarily? I ask the same thing about private property. Why can't we allow for voluntary enforcement of property rights? I believe in private property, but not if it requires the threat of violence.

  26. Richard Nikoley on October 24, 2006 at 18:23

    John:

    Yes, well that's part of the plan, isn't it? Once you achieve a majority of voters who are net consumers, then you're all set (as a politician).

    I'm not certain, but the last figures I read as to who "contributes" what seem to suggest that we passed that state some time ago.

  27. Ironbear on October 24, 2006 at 14:54

    "Why can't we allow for voluntary enforcement of property rights? I believe in private property, but not if it requires the threat of violence." – Daryl McCullough

    Is it the threat of violence that's the problem, or is it the monopoly of government violence coupled with an inability to opt out?

    I'm not asking to be a smartass, I'm honestly curious about that statement.

  28. John Lopez on October 24, 2006 at 18:15

    Billy-Jay,

    The taxes as payment for public goods argument would be a lot more compelling if there were any correlation between taxes paid and services used.

    A variant of the argument could be made: since most people are net tax consumers, most people get services that are worth more than the taxes they pay. As far as the net tax payers go, fuck 'em: it isn't like they're gonna stop paying for everyone else any time soon, and the votes are overwhelmingly on the side of net tax consumers anyways.

    The problem with that line of argument from a statist's point of view though is that it exposes the nature of the system a little too clearly.

  29. billy-jay on October 25, 2006 at 06:42

    John,

    The problem with that line of argument from a statist's point of view though is that it exposes the nature of the system a little too clearly.

    A little too clearly? More clearly than "taxes are theft"? Maybe I misunderstand you.

    The thing with the "taxes are theft" argument, as evidenced above, is that some people just flat out don't believe it. If you approach it from a somewhat different angle, you might change their mind. That's if you're interested in changing minds (yes, I'm familiar with JTK's thoughts on rational evangelism), but I think it can only help if you can convert a handful along the way.

    Another thing with the tax consumer bit: sure, they may be getting more "services" than they're paying for, but are they interested in those services? War in Iraq, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Social Security: these are not things that everyone is interested in.

  30. John Lopez on October 25, 2006 at 19:08

    Billy-jay,

    My point was that the argument I gave, while it would tend to support the argument for taxation for most statists, would expose the nature of the system as a consequence of the argument.

    As you say, "Taxes are theft" can be wished away with "no they ain't". It's harder though to make an argument that rests on the idea that most people are living off of a few people and at the same time ignore that most people are living off of a few people – the implication is too direct to evade. Implicit in this is that it's emotionally unpalatable for statists (especially conservatives) to admit that they're living off of other people.

    Don't think that I'm arguing a position I actually believe in, here. I find it useful and amusing to offer my opponents boody-trapped arguments.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

YouTube1k
YouTube
Pinterest118k
Pinterest
fb-share-icon
40
45
Follow by Email8k
RSS780