Taxes are seized at the point of a gun II

Reader mikem asks me why I continue to stress that taxes are seized using the threat of lethal force. Well, I think that it helps bolster the point. When it comes to taxes, a lot of people don't even think about how much we pay to the government. Sales taxes, excise taxes, gas taxes, etc are all rolled into the price of goods so that we no longer see them. Even payroll taxes are seized before your paycheck is even deposited to your account.

That has desensitized people to just how much money is grabbed by the different levels of government. Ask someone how much income tax they paid last year, and they aren't likely to know. Or worse, they'll say something asinine like "I didn't pay anything, I got money back!"

So when discussing taxes, I like to remind people that they aren't voluntary. Whether it be a 10-cent latte tax, or a diaper tax, or the fees they pay when they register their car, taxes are collected using the threat of lethal force.

You may consider them voluntary. You may say, I just wont buy a latte or drive a car if I don't want to pay the tax. But then you've sacrificed your freedom to avoid action taken by the government. That's a form of tyranny. And if you tried to buy a latte or diapers or use your car without paying the proper tribute, the government would come and put you in jail. They are saying to the American taxpayer, that the money you've earned is better spent by politicians than by the person who's earned it. Not only that, but they feel so strongly that they deserve your money more than you, they are prepared to kill you should you try to avoid paying it.

I'm not advocating violence, but it wasn't long ago that the tax man faced being tarred and feathered for unreasonable taxation, or that Americans would rather dump tea into Boston Harbor than pay a tax on it. Now-a-days people just shrug it off, especially when it's a tax on somebody else and not them.

Taxation should be a rare event, reserved to pay for core services that the government has been authorized by the citizenry to provide. What's more, people should not be able to use their vote to take money out of their neighbor's pocket. I'm not promoting anarchy, simply smaller, less intrusive, government.

That 40% of all economic output of the United States is seized by the government should be appalling. Much more so than my rhetorical reminders that they aren't taking it willingly.

UPDATE: See here for more.

UPDATE2: Speaking of collecting taxes at the point of a gun, the IRS raided the Jewish Mother Restaurant in Virginia Beach on the word of a disgruntled employee with a history of embezzlement. Men in black uniforms with machine guns took forks out of people's mouths, arrested the owners, and closed their business for 6 months. The claim turned out to be groundless, and no charges were filed.


Thanks for the reply. I'm still trying to figure out how it is that the US threatens me with lethal force to pay taxes. If tax collection methods are backed up by lethal force, then so are 'your' bills to me for the services I contracted you for and for which you eventually use the same methods that the government does to collect. I have had troubles with the IRS, enough to consult a CPA. No one even goes to jail for not paying taxes, they just have their income (above survival needs) confiscated. You have to falsify tax returns to go to jail, or falsely claim that you are not required to file.
Anyway, where is the lethel force? And are you using lethel force when you dun me, or sue me in court? Just what are we talking about here?

Posted by: mikem at October 12, 2005 9:31 AM


There is no debtors prison. If you default on a private loan or have a private financial suit, you meet in civil court, and you may end up with a civil judgement against you. Even if this is enforced using police or government resources, it started out as an economic transaction that was entered into willingly.

Taxes are enforced in criminal courts. If you refuse to pay taxes, you WILL face criminal punishment. The criminal punishment starts out soft with garnishment of wages, but it can escalate to jail time or even death if you refuse to cooperate.

All laws, no matter how trivial they seem, are enforced at the point of a gun. For instance go down to the mall and try to buy something without paying taxes on it. Tell the cashier that you no longer pay taxes and demand that they take them off your bill. If you insist, it's only a matter of time before the guys with guns are called.

When your cable bill arrives add up all those taxes and fees on your statement. Then go down to the cable company and demand that they remove them from your bill. Tell them that you'll wait while they re-tally your bill. Or if you've already paid, demand a refund. Like I said, you'd better have the number for that lawyer handy because you're going to need it.

Next time you're looking for work, try to find a boss that will hire you "under the table". There might be such a job out there, but if you get caught you'll wind up talking to the guys with guns again. Or if you already have a job, next payday take your stub over to the payroll department and demand that they fork over the tax that they withheld. Tell them that you aren't paying taxes this month and demand a check for the difference. Pound on the desk until you get satisfaction.

Next time you're driving through New Jersey, tell the attendant at the toll booth that you're not paying taxes this week and drive on through. See how long it takes for the guys in blue to show up and extract payment.

Posted by: Ravenwood at October 12, 2005 10:05 AM

Good post. Very good points.

Posted by: Mays at October 12, 2005 10:07 AM

Havnig lived overseas one part of me says, "We don't pay taxes. The Germans and the Brits, now THEY pay some taxes."

Staring at how much comes out of my check each month and getting slammed with the sales tax whenI bought a new car and it didn't get charged until I went to get my plates...OUTRAGEOUS.

Posted by: Timmer at October 12, 2005 12:20 PM

The federal goverment is now commiting armed robbery isnt armed robbery a crime punishible of up to 50 years in prison? why dont we start prosicuting these crooks?

Posted by: screaming eagle at October 12, 2005 2:49 PM

Hmm, not collected at the point of a gun?

Well I was on one ride-along with a very decent officer and we were called out to evict someone. Don't pay the landlord and the landlord goes through the civil process. When he is done the police are called in to remove you by whatever is reasonable on the ladder of force that is neccesary. Walk out your door we talk you off the property. Board it up we kick down the door. Have a gun in hand, well.... It is all a mattter of how defiant you are which relates to what effort the goverment takes on you. And if the officer or fed doesn't do it they'll fire that person and get someone much more cruel-hearted to do it.

Posted by: Rhett at October 12, 2005 4:33 PM

Total agreement here.

A story from work: Seattle recently started "requiring" recycling. I commented to a coworker that it was a hell of a thing to threaten to kill someone if he did not separate his garbage. He looked at me like I was more than a little off my rocker and said, "They won't kill you; you might get fined."

Me: "How about I just throw the fine citation in the garbage -- NOT the recycle bin."

Him: "Well, then they will arrest you."

Me: "Well, I'm not interested in the fine facilities with the steel bars, so how about I just decline to go with them. At this point they will escalate the amount of force being used. I will resist with only as much as required to NOT end up in the jail. At some point they will attempt to point a gun at me and SOMEONE is going to die. QED."

He still thought I was off my rocker. I still claim that the only reason they get anything out of me is that they have demonstrated a willingness and an ability to kill me if I don't comply.

Posted by: Bob at October 12, 2005 9:09 PM

There is plenty of room for reasonable argument about what constitutes a minimal effective government, although I am sure your version, which seems to be defense only, would result in an America few of us would be proud of or want to live in. But this "rhetorical" that you defend, as in "taxes are collected using the threat of lethal force; that is, with the barrel of a gun. A lot of people think I'm over-dramatizing that but it's true", is just false. Since you have not pointed out a law or practice that involves lethal force in the collection of taxes, I'll assume that you are using the fact that cops carry guns, cops are government agents, therefore the government threats with lethal force in all things. If that is your fallback evidence, then as a gun owning property owner, 'you' threaten my children with lethal force by owning a gun and having a property line that they could cross. Regardless of your actual intentions and protests, (regardless that there are no laws that invoke killing to collect taxes), 'you' own a gun, you have a property line, therefore you threaten to kill my children if they cross it. Seems quite outrageously ridiculous, doesn't it? What is good for the goose...
One of the reasons your blog is a daily visit is that you seem like a common sense type person. That is why I have beat my brain trying to figure out just what the hell you are referring to. If it isn't the 'cops have guns' logic, then please explain how I went from owing taxes to death row (or summary execution).

Posted by: mikem at October 12, 2005 9:16 PM


It's an illustration to bolster a point. Taxes are collected using the threat of lethal force. That is not always the endgame, but the threat is real and it is there. At the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, 76 people were killed because they refused to pay taxes to the ATF. Sure, officers were originally just going to arrest them, but the situation escalated and people died. And it was all over taxes.

As for getting rid of the income tax, that is the America of less than 100 years ago. Income taxes did not start until 1913, and even then it was at a very low percentage. Before we had a strong central government, there were strong state governments. All that went out with the Civil War.

Posted by: Ravenwood at October 12, 2005 9:42 PM

Yeah, sure. Waco was about collecting taxes, not serving a long ignored warrant, not about the rampant sexual abuse of little children that Koresh was inflicting on his charges. What a crock. I can't believe that there are still people claiming that dozens of fires sprouted up from a single thrust of a tanks tear gas dispenser into a wall. It is bad enough that you, (yes YOU, not 'you') claim that the ATF deliberately murdered the Waco dead. But you also have to pretend that Koresch and his followers had nothing to do with the deaths. Un f*cking believable.
I can see by your update that you are still trying to salvage your 'taxes by threat of lethal force' tune, so lets see it. Tell me how the IRS threatens to execute citizens who don't pay their taxes.
(Is that what the IRS agents were doing when they executed their warrant? Were they there to collect taxes, or to collect evidence of fraud? The article says it was about fraud, but that doesn't quite illustrate your claim, does it?) Come on guy. Put this all to rest. Open our eyes to the hidden Star Chamber proceedings that result in executions of tax protesters. Or just give it up.

Posted by: mikem at October 12, 2005 11:15 PM

Whatever dude. I think we are at an impasse. At this point we will just have to agree to disagree.

Posted by: Ravenwood at October 13, 2005 5:51 AM

I remember maybe 15 years ago I would hear about those militias here and there across the country, you know, stockpiling weapons, declaring their property to be sovereign states, refusing to pay taxes, etc, and I would think to myself, "Man, what total whackos".

Fast-forward to today, and it seems that I understand and agree with them more and more as time passes. Although that could mean that I am fast becoming a whacko myself, I prefer to believe that they weren't nearly as nuts as I originally thought.

More directly on-topic, though, I seem to recall that Al Capone was wanted for not paying his taxes, either. They sure as hell came after him with the guns.

Posted by: roger at October 13, 2005 8:07 AM

1. The likelihood of someone dying from a confrontation resulting from failure to pay taxes is incredibly slim.

2. The likelihood of someone dying from a botched tummy-tuck is also incredibly slim.

Yet both happen.

Ravenwood's point stands, IMHO. If you refuse to pay taxes, you will face men with guns. That is not debatable.

Now... I'll have to differ somewhat on the lethal aspect. If you resist the men with guns, that is a completely separate offense other than the taxes. That's resisting arrest, not tax evasion.

They do, indeed, collect taxes at gunpoint. But the "lethal" aspect does not enter into the equation without a second unique offense.

And just a parting shot on Koresh/Waco. Remember that the same government that lied for six years about the use of flash-bangs and incendiary devices is telling us about the molestations. They also claimed that the Branch Davidians were making and selling drugs, which was also a lie.

Posted by: Jay G at October 13, 2005 8:58 AM

A fewstatistics.

There were less than 50 militia groups in 1992.

By 1886 there were over 2,000.

Could the killing citizens and covering it up in Waco and Ruby Ridge have changed the mind of a large percentage of Americans?

FYI about Waco: The ATF used a chemical compound the U.S. military like to use in the Vietnam war. The military would spray the stuff inside a cave or tunnel complex and then light it up killing everything inside. The same stuff was used at Waco and has the same effect as filling the building up with propane. As a matter of fact the substance (which name escapes me now) was banned by the Geneva Convention 6 months before Waco happened.

Posted by: Rhett at October 13, 2005 9:27 AM


It was CS gas, which when burned forms deadly hydrogen cyanide. So if the fire doesn't get you...

Posted by: Ravenwood at October 13, 2005 10:48 AM

Wow, just...WOW.

"The same stuff was used at Waco and has the same effect as filling the building up with propane."

That explains the massive explosion we witnessed on TV. Oh..wait...

The fires started in several different locations. Even a simple TV viewer could see that.

"There were less than 50 militia groups in 1992.
By 1886 there were over 2,000."

(snort) To be fair, I figure there is a typo here, but no matter where I substitute a number, it doesn't make sense.

The child molestation charges did not come from guvment agents, it came from several of Koresh's 'church' members who left out of disgust and fearing for their children's welfare. But of course, THEY are government agents too!!!

You know, most of you guys are law and order types, like myself. But here you have a wacko cult leader with a "church" compound loaded with heavy weapons, church members complaining about him screwing little girls, him threatening mass suicide for his flock....And you guys are assuming he didn't actually do what he said he would do and that the government murdered the Waco dead. I don't know what to make of it all. Is this a militia site? Is that where the paranoia springs from?

Posted by: mikem at October 13, 2005 1:09 PM

Mikem: If Waco was about child molestation, please tell me what jurisdiction the BATF has over that? Or any other federal agency?

If that was happening, it was under Texas jurisdiction. Texas Rangers were investigating, and had been in the compound for a look around, but so far had not found solid evidence. They got in peacefully, using an old-fashioned law enforcement process known as "knocking on the door in the daytime". Apparently this wasn't enough fun for the BATF; they had to lie about drugs to get a no-knock warrant and get other agencies involved, then went sneaking around in the dark. In Texas, sneaking around where someone else lives after dark is likely to get you shot...

Posted by: markm at October 13, 2005 3:10 PM

markum: Isn't it a bit unfair to claim that the molestation charge had no bearing on the governments decision to go in because the ATF has no interest, and at the same time complain that other law enforcement agencies were involved? Doesn't your second complaint kind of defeat your first complaint?
If you are up on the Waco story, then you must be aware that child molestation complaints were why they decided they could not simply camp outside the compound and wait weeks for your precious Koresh to so graciously allow law enforcement to arrest him. It is NOT why he was originally to be arrested, so don't try to spin the story to meet this ATF paranoid fantasy.
Koresh was a coward. If he was even 10% a man or human being, he would have sent out all the children before he started firing at the ATF etc. agents. But no, he used them as shields as much as possible, and then he burned them to death. Great fucking hero you guys have here. I guess anybody that shoots at the ATF has to be defended by you guys, no matter how bad a scumbag he is.

Posted by: mikem at October 13, 2005 4:06 PM

(c) Ravenwood and Associates, 1990 - 2014

About Ravenwood
Libertarian Quiz
Secrets o' the Universe
Email Ravenwood

<Blogroll Me>

Bitch Girls
Bogie Blog
Countertop Chronicles
DC Thornton
Dean's World
Dumb Criminals
Gallery Clastic
Geek with a .45
Gut Rumbles
Hokie Pundit
Lone Star Times
Other Side of Kim
Right Wing News
Say Uncle
Silflay Hraka
Smallest Minority
The Command Post
Venomous Kate



search the universe

rings etc

Gun Blogs

rss feeds
[All Versions]
[PDA Version]
[Non-CSS Version]
XML 0.91
RSS 1.0 (blurb)
RSS 2.0 (full feed)

Design by:

Powered by: Movable Type 3.34
Encryption by: Deltus
Hosted by: Bluehost

Ravenwood's Universe:
Established 1990