The Right Opinion

Taxpayers, Revolt!

By Cal Thomas · Nov. 29, 2012

Congress returned to “work” this week (now there's a laugh) to complete its lame-duck session before taking another holiday. Spending other people's money is a taxing experience.

Their task is to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” a geological construct of their own making. It doesn't take a genius to predict both parties will try to do two things: (1) reach an agreement that will allow each side to take some credit and (2) require those who work for a living to pay government more while they come up with phony, or inconsequential spending “cuts.”

Whatever they do, payroll taxes are going up January 1 and new taxes associated with Obamacare will soon follow. It is beyond argument that additional revenue isn't the solution to the problem of uncontrolled spending.

According to, writer Christopher Chantrill's “resource on government taxes and receipts in the United States,” “Total revenue at all levels of government in the United States is 'guesstimated' to be $5.5 trillion in 2013.” Unfortunately, our projected debt will be $17.5 trillion. Absent reforms, the U.S. Senate Budget Committee predicts the federal government could be $20 trillion in debt by 2016. Clearly, it's not lack of revenue that is driving the debt; it is lack of spending restraint.

How much more should we subsidize government irresponsibility? If the answer is “not another dime” perhaps the time has come for a taxpayer revolt.

In 1978, the late Howard Jarvis and his wife led a successful drive to put Proposition 13 on the California ballot. The measure, which was overwhelmingly approved by voters, limited rapidly rising property taxes. According to the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association website, Proposition 13 “has saved Californians $400 billion and allowed millions of Californians to keep their homes.”

What is needed is a leader with the determination of Howard Jarvis who can organize nationally to keep government from constantly pilfering the assets of the productive so politicians can subsidize the unproductive, buy their votes and addict them to entitlements.

As long as taxpayers continue to acquiesce to the politicians in their never-ending search for more revenue, they will keep taking it, all the while attacking “millionaires and billionaires” for not paying their “fair share.”

Perhaps the revolt can start with the so-called “rich,” those making more than $250,000 a year. That has always been an arbitrary figure applied to all, regardless of their personal circumstances. Suppose people who are able decided to limit their income to $249,999.99 in 2013? If they make a lot more than that, they could consult their tax adviser about legally placing the excess in tax-free municipal bonds or other tax shelters, depriving the government beast its sustenance.

The tax system in this country is based on willful compliance. It wouldn't take many “I'm as mad as Hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore” taxpayers to creatively, but legally, withhold from the government some of the money they earn.

Members of both parties are guilty of not reforming entitlements and failing to put the people first. Their intransigence is robbing future generations of their right to economic independence and economic growth.

America was birthed during a tax revolt. Expecting politicians to fix a problem of their own making rarely succeeds. Maybe it's time to force the issue by having taxpayers go on strike. It sometimes works for labor unions. Giving more money to the government hoping it will responsibly spend it is like offering a child chocolate and expecting him not to eat it.

Yes, it sounds impractical and some will say it isn't doable. But what other avenues are open to wealth creators? The government has become an enormous panhandler, constantly asking for ever-greater amounts of other people's money. Let's tell them “no more” at least until we see real spending reform and policies that result in economic growth, which by itself would produce more tax revenue.

Absent members of Congress acting responsibly, does anyone have a better idea? If so, send it to me. I eagerly await all legal and credible suggestions.



Howard Last in Wyoming said:

There is an interesting court case which gives citizens the right to tell the IRS to bug out. "A U.S. appeals court has ruled the IRS cannot compel taxpayers to turn over personal and private property without a federal court order and that taxpayers can ignore the agencies summonses until actual enforcement action is taken.
In the case Schulz v. IRS, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled:
... absent an effort to seek enforcement through a federal court, IRS summonses apply no force to taxpayers, and no consequence whatever can befall a taxpayer who refuses, ignores, or otherwise does not comply with an IRS summons until that summons is backed by a federal court order. … [A taxpayer] cannot be held in contempt, arrested, detained, or otherwise punished for refusing to comply with the original IRS summons, no matter the taxpayer's reasons, or lack of reasons for so refusing."
If enough of us followed this ruling the IRS would be tied up in court for years.
BTW, you can't say Congress and work in the same sentence.

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 1:15 AM

rab in jo,mo said:

I've been advocating a tax revolt for several years now. All it takes is to change the withholding exemptions on the W-4 form to the maximum (thereby reducing the amount automatically withheld) then "forget" to file a return in April. I call this the Geithner Plan. If several million follow this plan, it will overwhelm the IRS and drastically reduce the Fed's "revenue stream".

We, the productive citizens, need to stop feeding the beast in DC! No more tax money until they get spending under control.

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 8:19 AM

Anton D Rehling in Olympia, WA replied:

DC will borrow and send out the troops and there will be rubble on the ground.

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 2:03 PM

rab in jo,mo replied:

Then the tax revolt turns into another type of revolution - armed insurrection. What's the alternative, meek submission to tyranny?

On your feet or on your knees, how are you willing to live (and possibly die)? King George III sent in the troops, they got pretty badly mauled on the way to Lexington and Concord. Yes, there were setbacks afterward, but ultimately, tyranny was defeated.

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 4:21 PM

RyDaddy in Madison, WI replied:

What would be the effect of moving the W4 to maximum, but then still paying the bill come April? It would deny the gov. interest on my money I would make myself, but ultimately no difference since it is so "short term" in the scheme of things.

But if 50,000,000 people did it...

And if that happens to be the year the USA defaults and it all goes down the crapper anyway...well, all that extra money in my pocket that year sure helped me stock up the non-perishables in the pantry and the ammo closet!

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 6:03 PM

tdrag in South Carolina said:

First let me say that I agree with Howard, Mac, and rab. I was a participant in the tax revolt of the 1980's. (yes there was one) While it says right on your tax form that you are voluntarily paying, just try not volunteering sometime. When you file the 99 dependents as suggested by rab or cite the court cases as suggested by Howard Last, the IRS (there is a reason Obama is hiring 16,000 new IRS agents) and the Judges simply disqualify your arguments and your lawyer, then take your property and/or throw you in jail. The Tax Courts made an ugly example of the leaders of this revolt and allowed the rest of us to settle up. So after a year of IRS harassment I declared Chapter 13 and paid up. ("If several million follow this plan") There simply were not enough people who would stick their necks out to fight the fight and their are probably fewer now. It will take a willingness to sacrifice EVERYTHING up to and including your life to battle this government. I fear that this may be our only choice in the end.

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Anton D Rehling in Olympia, WA replied:

News Flash! All we give up is a part of our lifes fighting tyranny if killed. We are all going to die, it is just a matter of when and how. Choose to live as a slave of die a freeman fighting for Life Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness for you your posterity and freedom loving countrymen.
I read this today, "The citizenry needs their own version of Rosa Parks."

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Daniel Hornbrook in Dayton, OH replied:

Wow, I've never thought of it that way before. I'm still a young man by most standards, but my life would still be complete and well-lived if I died today. Thanks Mr. Rehling!

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 3:52 PM

Tex Horn in Texas said:

Cal, like most commentators this week, you are arguing that there is now, after the sad election cycle, no one in Washington worth having around. And you're right. Mac asks the appropriate question: How long are we going to bend over and take it up the ass?

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Doug Perdew in Tumbler Ridge B.C. Canada said:

Cal Thomas, I think they still call it buying votes and they need all they can buy to stay in office to wit Obama ! Simple but very effective .

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Anton D Rehling in Olympia, WA said:

The government is not acting legally in the imposition of current taxes. The current tax burden is partially hidden in massive regulation.
Lets all just quit our jobs and apply for welfare and food stamps. LMAO

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 1:55 PM

JHenry in NYSS, USSA said:

While I have always advocated a mass tax strike (>50,000,000 people, yeah I know, sure...) to cripple the government beast, Cal is talking about legally sheltering income from the greedy government, not illegal tax evasion. I'm with him there, in fact I have already gone Galt. I wish another 50M taxpayers would.

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Stephen in NH replied:

The majority of americans live paycheck to paycheck. Most don't even have enough in the bank to pay the mortgage/rent, groceries, and utilities for more than a month.

This is one of the major reasons for the large disparity in wage increases over the last 25 years.

According to Economic Policy Institute calculations, CEO compensation rose 726.7 percent between the years of 1978 and 2011, while pay for the average private-sector nonsupervisory worker rose a meager 5.7 percent.

Why? Because CEO's know workers can't afford to strike. With no threat of employee backlash, management will continue to award themselves lavish compensation/pay packages while employees slave week after week just to pay the bills.

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 6:42 PM

Orf in Pittsburgh said:

If secession doesn't work, what about nullification. This means a governor or state legislature simply declares a federal law unconstitutional or unjust and refuses to comply. This is being done by some states relative to Obamacare. Texas is one such state and it also has petitions to secede with over 100,000 signatures. Anyone for a move to the Lone Star State?

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Stephen in NH said:

Question: What, if any, is the statutory basis for the Internal Revenue Service's "zero basis" rule, which considers wages, salaries and other personal earnings as 100% profit?

Answer: There is no lawful basis for treating personal earnings as 100% profit.

Question: What, if any, is the statutory provision that makes the average working american liable for the income tax?

Answer: Every tax law must clearly and plainly identify three things:

1) The subject of the tax;
2) The amount of the tax;
3) The persons or entities liable for the tax.

Nowhere in 26 CFR or 26 USC will you find these this information. Lacking a specific statutory provision, there is no law making the average working Americans liable for the income tax.

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Patriot LEO in The People's Republik of MD replied:

The 16th Amendment is all the 'liability' that Congress needs. Most state constitutions carry similar provisions.

Friday, November 30, 2012 at 3:22 AM

Stephen in NH replied:

Our right to earn a living is as exempt from taxation as our freedom of speech. The government used the 16th amendment to sell the people a lie, and the people bought it.

The effect of the Sixteenth Amendment was not to permit a direct income tax, nor to grant Congress any additional power of taxation. If that conclusion can be in any doubt from the difficulties experienced by some in understanding the Brushaber opinion, the point is reiterated in Stanton v. Baltic Mining Co., 240 U.S. 103 (1916), the Supreme Court held:

". . . The provisions of the Sixteenth Amendment conferred no new power of taxation but simply prohibited the previous complete and plenary power of income taxation possessed by Congress from the beginning from being taken out of the category of indirect taxation to which it inherently belonged and being placed in the category of direct taxation subject to apportionment by a consideration of the sources from which the income was derived, . . ." Stanton, supra, at 112-3

There can be no doubt, the income tax is an indirect tax, not a property tax that is immune from direct tax apportionment, and there can be no doubt that the Sixteenth Amendment did not in any way, shape or form enlarge or enhance the taxation power of Congress.

Friday, November 30, 2012 at 8:18 PM

Patriot LEO in The People's Republik of MD replied:

^ not that it makes in any more palatable...

Friday, November 30, 2012 at 3:22 AM

Dave in SoCal said:

I will pay no higher rates next year, either to the Feds or the lunatics in Sacramento. I am fortunate to have the means to do exactly as you suggest and manage my taxable income to stay under the new thresholds where higher rates kick in. It's even good for me, as it's forced savings and will serve to accelerate my retirement and hasten the day when we can move to a free state.

Who is John Galt?

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 5:38 PM

William in Florida said:

If you where to listen to the government representatives "There are no legal ways to revolt and not pay taxes"! Although my whole life I refused to abide by many rules passed including the federal unemployment tax for business owners and share holders which requires us to pay on the first $8,000 of income with yet another rule that could put us in prison if we try to collect on unemployment!!! I stopped it by asking questions in writing like "Please send me a copy of my unemployment insurance policy". The simple truth was they refused in writing so I refused to pay for insurance I legally cannot use!
The only way to revolt is to start a organization of americans that want to be free and stick together. But this starts with understanding how are government body really works. First of all "The people in a free country is in fact the government which in turn hires representatives to manage there affairs by casting the peoples vote on issues" Not there or some lobbyist opinions". If we stop listening to the representatives we hire and realize we the people are being treasoned upon and question these representatives all the nonsense would slow down to crawl. Now on the other hand we are a "Country of Divide" already but refuse to realize the obvious that all free people have certain rights so if they want government healthcare then let them pay for it. If they want out of control debt "let them pay for it". I personally will never abide by obamacare or anymore tax increases. Slowly all they are doing is forcing us all to take ourselves away from the evil system many feel they are stuck with but refuse to see they have choices and if enough people make them there is no one to tax!

Friday, November 30, 2012 at 5:45 AM