Conscientious Objector Status For Taxpayers?

Tim Starr has suggested that a conscientious objector status ought to be established for taxes that would allow individuals to opt out. He seems to be talking about something other than simply making contributions to government voluntary, but what?

I think what’s going on here is that Starr is engaging in a form of special pleading. There are people he respects who reject taxes on principle, and he would like to be able to grant them an exemption even though the thinks public action and thus public funding is necessary now in the War On Terror. But to whom would he deny conscientious objector status? And if he’s not going to deny anyone such status taxation is finished along with the entire public sphere of action because all actions are then private.

That would be fine, but it’s clearly not what he has in mind since he holds that private action will not now suffice in the War On Terror.

9 thoughts on “Conscientious Objector Status For Taxpayers?

  1. Andy Stedman says:

    Looks like you need to be a member of a particular Yahoo! group to follow the link. I’ll take the exemption, though. Do I get the form from the same office as the form to opt out of Social inSecurity?

  2. John T. Kennedy says:

    That’s Starr’s Yahoo Group: fightforliberty.

    As for taking the exemption, who wouldn’t? If people will voluntarily pay then obviously there’s no need or argument for taxes.

  3. John T. Kennedy says:

    “You just have to decide (or discover) that your aversion to funding the government is so great that you’re willing to make some changes in your life so you can stop being a collaborator. ”

    Paying taxes doesn’t make you a collaborator any more than handing your wallet over to a mugger does. One way to never hand money over to a mugger is not to have it, but instead I’m going to do things I want to do and pay the ransom for now.

  4. Dave Gross says:

    You don’t have to go to jail – you don’t even have to do anything illegal. You just have to decide (or discover) that your aversion to funding the government is so great that you’re willing to make some changes in your life so you can stop being a collaborator. What? That’s too hard for you? You want the government to change so you won’t have to? Dream on.

    You CAN stop paying the federal income tax. There are lots of ways to do it, and not all of them are illegal (and not all of the illegal ones put you at great risk of jail time).

  5. Andy Stedman says:

    Dave, I checked out your site and respect what you’re doing. I can’t honestly say I would do it, and at this point in my life I could not do it, but I see you’re not pushing a risky evasion scheme.

    Good luck, and I love the “banner ad” at the top.

  6. Dave Gross says:

    Conscientious objection to the federal income tax is possible today. I’m practicing it, and documenting how I’m doing it on my blog: http://www.sniggle.net/Experiment/ – if you have strong objections to the way the federal government is spending your money (and if you don’t, shame on you) you should consider joining me. It doesn’t require an act of Congress – it only requires that you match your actions to your conscience: true conscientious objection.

  7. John T. Kennedy says:

    “Conscientious objection to the federal income tax is possible today.”

    One may decline to pay taxes yes, but one may well go to jail for that. I have things I choose to do that require being outside of jail so I pay the taxes. Ransom.

  8. Tim Starr says:

    Indeed, there are people I respect who object to taxation on principle – like myself.

    What you can’t seem to understand is that it is a non-sequitur to object to any beneficial use of the existing institutions we already have which are currently funded via taxation.

    When it comes to emergency services which save lives, to object to those services on the grounds that they’re currently tax-funded is to objectively advocate that all the people whose lives would be saved by those services should die instead of being rescued. Firefighters should let buildings burn down, along with the people in them, because they’re paid with taxes. Cops should let murderers run amok, because they’re paid with taxes. The military should let evil dictators like Saddam Hussein sponsor all the anti-US terrorism they want, unmolested by a single bullet paid for with tax money.

    Such a position is immoral in the extreme, irresponsible, and bound to give a bad reputation to libertarianism.

  9. John T. Kennedy says:

    So Tim, would you deny anyone Contientious Objector statust to on taxes, and if so on what basis?

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