Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Great Moments in Tax Resistance History #1

On April 15, 1969, the late Karl Hess sent the following letter to the Tax Collector, accompanied by his filled-out 1040:

The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America establishes a bill of particulars in regard to intolerable infringements, abuses, and denials of political power which belongs to the people.

The Federal government of the United States of America today is guilty of exactly every sort of infringement, abuse, and denial stated as intolerable by the Declaration of Independence.

I cannot, in conscience, sanction that government by the payment of taxes.

Further, the Federal government of the United States of America has established as a principle, and ruthlessly by the power of its officials enforces as a practice, that it can demand the primary loyalty of the people, that it can exercise all political power on their behalf, that it can wage war without their approval, and that it can and should establish the standards of their behavior and the goals of their lives.

I could not in conscience sanction such a government by the payment of taxes.

Finally, the Declaration of Independence, in the clearest possible language, tells Americans that when a government becomes destructive of the ends of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that it is the right and the duty of the people to abolish such government, to “throw off such governments.”

It is in the spirit of that Declaration, and in comradeship with men everywhere who seek freedom and to throw off such governments, that I now refuse to pay the taxes demanded by the government in the attached form.

[Published in The Libertarian, May 1, 1969]


At 8:24 PM, Blogger Ali Massoud said...

I believe Hess also said he regretted doing so too. Being so public in his opposition that is. They hounded him for the rest of his life.

At 6:47 AM, Blogger Don Bangert said...

I was just wondering what became of Hess's decision to refuse payment. Ali's comment about him being harassed to the bitter end does not surprise me at all.


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