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Paying My Jailer

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Butler Shaffer wrote an excellent article for that I recommend you all read. If I were to summarize his article, I'd say it encapsulates the egregious failures of our government. But that's not why I point it out. You see, I'm in a bit of a moral dilemma. Mr. Shaffer points out, in the following paragraph, what I've known for quite some time:

Those who doubt this verdict on constitutional government need look no further than Washington, D.C. for confirmation. A president lies with impunity in order to rationalize his predetermined goal of attacking Iraq, a country that had neither harmed nor posed a threat to America. He has admitted violating a federal statute banning surveillance of American citizens, and expresses his intentions to abide by only those laws he regards as useful to his ends. He has violated international treaties, and his administration continues to defend the "right" to engage in torture or to hold people in prisons for months or even years without trial or other recourse to the courts. He rules by whims reflective of the interests of his masters, and justifies his actions in terms of the "inherent powers" of the presidency, authority that is nowhere spelled out in a constitution of supposedly "specifically-enumerated powers." At various times, Mr. Bush has expressed his preference for being a "dictator," comments that have generated almost no concern. In his allusions to being God's choice for the presidency, this man conflates Louis XIV's view "I am the state," and Hegel's proposition that "the State is god walking on the earth."

Can anyone here argue against the accusations Mr. Shaffer makes? I would say he has a very strong case. As a matter of fact, I have written a bit about this administration's spying program and, likewise, have reached the very same conclusions as Mr. Shaffer. His spying program is illegal and he needs to cease and desist. Anyone with half a brain can look at the overwhelming evidence that exists to know that we were lied into attacking Iraq. While I will wholeheartedly agree with anyone asserting Saddam Hussein was a bad man, I'll also refute their position that our government was justified in invading his country because we didn't like the way he ran his government. Our military is for the defense of this country, not offending others.

Here's my dilemma: I understand that taxes paid by me go to support the functions of government. They're a necessary evil that must be paid so that the machinery of government can function. But, what if you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the government you were helping to finance was not the same government you were led to believe existed? I've read many history books. I've read about the Constitutional Convention. I've read the history behind why that convention was called. I understand why we demanded separation of powers, checks and balances, of why the states demanded a Bill of Rights be amended to the new constitution, of the inherent mistrust of government, of why George Washington warned us that government is force. I could go on and on.

So, when my tax preparer informed me that, in addition to all the taxes that were siphoned off the top of every single paycheck I received last year, I still owed another $900.00 in taxes, I was a little upset. Let me set the record straight. I don't like paying taxes. But I will, because I understand that they are necessary for my government to function. But, I also want to buy as little government as I can get. Small is better, none would be best. So, imagine my frustration when I'm told that I still owe more. Especially when I know that this president thinks that our Constitution is "just a goddamned piece of paper!" How can I feel right about sending in even more money to a government that has run so far outside of it's constitutional boundaries?

At this point, I'm about ready to put that money in escrow. They can have it when Congress grows a pare of balls and brings impeachment charges against the president and anyone else who's connected with his spying program and the rest of the accusations cited by Butler Shaffer. In addition, they can have my money when they give the We the People Foundation the time and answers it seeks--instead of ignoring them.

What good is it to be a citizen in a constitutional republic where your government, created by you, treats you like one of it's subjects? The power of the purse means nothing in the face of violence committed by the state. We are most assuredly not a free people!


Blogger Mark said...

You said:

Here's my dilemma: I understand that taxes paid by me go to support the functions of government. They're a necessary evil that must be paid so that the machinery of government can function.

That's the root of the problem. Your tax money is not supporting the legitimate functions of government; it is serving the political desires of government and its special interest supporters.

If just the income tax were repealed, the government would not be able to do most of the terrible things it now does.


12:30 PM  
Blogger Don Bangert said...

I figured I'd work on at least getting our politicians to obey our basic laws first, then we could work on tougher issues, such as the income tax. Hell, I just want them to do the job they were elected to do.

Funny story: I was telling my co-worker about this and about my plan to escrow my tax payment. He stopped, thought about it for a moment, then responded, "You know, if everyone did that, they wouldn't be able to ignore you."

...and one more lightbulb goes on. Only 299,999,999 more to go.

7:09 PM  

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