Open letter to the taxman

By William R. Toler

Four years ago, on the day this nation celebrates freedom, I penned (or rather, originally penciled) an inner monologue that Corey Friedman titled “A taxonomy of taxes.”

It was a somewhat sophomoric look at the number of taxes we are forced to pay. That being said, taxes–as many people would agree–are antithetical to the idea of freedom. The fact that force is used to ensure our cooperation makes taxation, without consent, theft.

As Lysander Spooner once wrote to President Grover Cleveland:

You have not so much as the honest, responsible scratch of one single pen, to justify you in the exercise of the power you have taken upon yourself to exercise. For example, you have no such evidence of your right to take any man’s property for the support of your government, as would be required of you, if you were to claim pay for a single day’s honest labor.

Since then, both the federal and state goverments have decided to do just that: claim pay for a single day’s honest labor. Spooner dismissed the Constitution writing:

You evidently believe that a certain paper, called the constitution, which nobody ever signed, which few persons ever read, which the great body of the people never saw, and as to the meaning of which no two persons were ever agreed, is the supreme law of this land, anything in the law of nature — anything in the natural, inherent, inalienable, individual rights of fifty millions of people — to the contrary notwithstanding.

Did folly, falsehood, absurdity, assumption, or criminality ever reach a higher point than that?

You evidently believe that those great volumes of statutes, which the people at large have never read, nor even seen, and never will read, nor see, but which such men as you and your lawmakers have been manufacturing for nearly a hundred years, to restrain them of their liberty, and deprive them of their natural rights, were all made for their benefit, by men wiser than they — wiser even than justice itself — and having only their welfare at heart!

Unlike Spooner, I use the Constitution of the State of North Carolina to show that, at least, the state income tax is unconstitutional.

Article 1, Section One states: “We hold it to be self-evident that all persons are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, the enjoyment of the fruits of their own labor, and the pursuit of happiness.” [Emphasis added.]

Further down, Section Eight proclaims: “The people of this State shall not be taxed or made subject to the payment of any impost or duty without the consent of themselves or their representatives in the General Assembly, freely given.”

I have no knowledge of these rights, those listed in Section One being natural rights, being amended or rescinded. Not that the State can rescind a natural right.

The payment I receive (though not very much) from my employer in exchange for my time and skills is mine to do with whatever I wish. To use part of Spooner’s argument as well as Section Eight, I have not freely given my consent to give my money to the State, nor has anyone representing me made such an agreement. However, The State sees fit to rob my paycheck, without my permission, before I ever get a chance to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

To further quote Spooner:

If taxation without consent is robbery, the United States government has never had, has not now, and is never likely to have, a single honest dollar in its treasury.

If taxation without consent is not robbery, then any band of robbers have only to declare themselves a government, and all their robberies are legalized.

If any man’s money can be taken by a so-called government, without his own personal consent, all his other rights are taken with it; for with his money the government can, and will, hire soldiers to stand over him, compel him to submit to its arbitrary will, and kill him if he resists.

That your whole claim of a right to any man’s money for the support of your government, without his consent, is the merest farce and fraud, is proved by the fact that you have no such evidence of your right to take it, as would be required of you, by one of your own courts, to prove a debt of five dollars, that might be honestly due you.

Now, I am charged with failure to inform the State of how much I earned, though it already has said information. The State also asserts that, in addition to what it has already robbed me of, I owe yet more. To add insult to injury (if you’ll pardon the cliche), the state has added monetary penalites to the original “balance”, making the “total due” nearly twice the “owed” amount.

A tax return is essentially a request for some of the money taken from the State to be returned. Since I have not asked for any money back, the State can consider it a gift.

You may see my argument as that of a mad man. But I see it no more mad than the “laws” passed by the supposed representatives to subjucate those that are represented to tyranny in its simplest form.

You may also think that I am “trying to get away” without paying my taxes. What I am doing is trying to “get away” with enjoying the fruits of my labor, which, unlike your wage, doesn’t come from using force to obtain it from others.

If you can prove to me, without the threat of force (which may be against your nature), that I am wrong and the rights outlined in the State’s own “law of the land” no longer apply, then I may acquiesce to your request.

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