Thursday, March 12, 2009

Taxpayers in Revolt, Chapter 3

Taxpayers in Revolt, David T Beito
Blog: Chapter 3, part 1

From Portrait of a Tax Racket to Taxpayers on Strike in Chicago. Interesting stuff right off the bat. The crash of 1929 sparked the nation's interest in tax rebellion, but Chicago's revolt had been brewing for years already. According to Beito, the "breakdown of the tax-appeals system provided the immediate spark." So many people were appealing their assessments that the aforementioned insufficient appeals system required an alternative. "In one day alone, 29 November 1930, 4,000 taxpayers jammed into the board's offices to file protest. When the board's members turned a deaf ear to the mountain of pending appeals, aggrieved taxpayers resorted to the only avenues of protest left open to them. In Chicago, this meant court litigation and/or nonpayment of taxes." Avenues of protest—what an important concept, eh? What an important reality too. Do we have any? Before you get all Glenn Beck-y and start talking about changing the system by working in the system, let me ask you if you really think the system would agree to change itself. OK, here goes: do you think the system would agree to change itslef? Well, we have the court system, right? But who appoints judges? Sure, some are elected, but those ones are just peons. The big guns what have the final word are appointed. What is the source of funding for the court system? Taxes. Elected officials who have the power to tax have the ability to fund or defund the court system. How do you think the court will find? For their employers or against? You don't have to raise your hand, just answer it in your mind.

Chicago and Cook county had suspended real estate tax collections for two years following a court battle over assessment issues. Some favored renewed collection ASAP. "Many defenders of renewed collections feared permanent damage to the psychology of orderly taxpaying." Orderly taxpaying! Images of orderly Jews shuffling into trains and showers and ovens comes immediately to mind. I suppose Spartacus drowning a cook in the soup damaged the psychology of orderly slaves, right?

The new mayor, Anton Cermak (if he saw the road named after him he'd be embarassed), got elected on a "limited government" platform (we've heard that before, haven't we? Ahem, Reagan, Bush, etc) but proceeded to demonize proponents of lower taxes. What a surprise. Cermak was supported in his falsities by the press, of course. Beito says, "All five of Chicago's daily newspapers closed ranks against the strike." Taxpayer groups and the like were called undesirable citizens, racketeers, and who knows what else. I guess things haven't changed all that much. The media (or at least media outlets with large audiences) were shills for state (or city) power then, and they are now. I think that may be a little generous. Maybe I should say the (collective) mainstream media is a tentacle of the state. Or city.

And speaking of tentacles, I'll go ahead and say the state is a tentacle as well. I know, you're on the edge of your seat wondering who or what this tentacle is attached to. Well, the big rush to resume taxing everyone everywhere was due to the "need" for the city and county to maintain lines of credit. The banks were becoming impatient. They had bonds and notes from the city that were contingent on future tax receipts, and they wanted the dough. But some reforms (or deforms, more appropriately, supported by "leading bankers") were in order. Instead of an elected board of assessors, they wanted to "substitute a single appointed assessor." And who, pray tell, do you think would be appointed? And who do you think would do the appointing? So the tentacles are all attached to banks. That's the big, fat, disgusting, slimy body. And it smells like Little Timmy Geithner. So the banks pay for their man to get elected, their man regurgitates the required instructions to the media (owned by guess who), and the media get everyone behind policy that supports, of course, the banks. Or maybe I'm mistaken. Or maybe I'm not.

Remember the Socialidiot mayor of Milwaukee and his fear of the lack of government programs? The specter of tax resistance caused the newspapers' knees to quiver. While the papers were running front page editorials (front page!) urging passage of bankster bills and reforms proposed by the banks, the Chicago Daily News was warning that "the danger of violence, fire and disease is so imminent as to warrant immediate preparation of possible invocation of martial law, under which civil rights in a normal community are automatically suspended." (How can you tell that fire is imminent? Shouldn't that person be working for the fire department?) The Chicago Evening Post claimed that "refusal to pay taxes strikes at the very root of government as effectively as an armed revolt." Yes, but that's a good thing. I seem to recall some of our Congressweasels being threatened with the ol' martial law ploy during the recent hand-over-trillions-of-dollars-or-else debacle. My, how things don't change. Lucky for them people don't change much either. "Oh please mastah gubmint, save us from the horrible things like unemployment, recession, global climate in crisis, sickness, death, killer asteroids, black holes, spiders, cold wind, British comedy, and the Oort cloud." Look to God and live. Look to government and die.


Leah Hollett said...

what's an Oort cloud?

isaac stanfield said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
isaac stanfield said...

The Oort cloud is the hypothetical birthplace of long-period comets. Imagine a giant cloud of bazillions of comets out past the solar system, just at the edge of the solar system's gravitational jurisdiction.