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Taxes

April 15, 2009

SO WE FILED and paid our damn taxes today. Taken through coercion to be spent, in the main, on killing motherfuckers overseas and making interest payments on the vast amount of debt accrued, in the main, through vast amounts of investment in building and maintaining the capacity to kill motherfuckers overseas. Though I disapprove to the greatest extent possible, I also do not relish the idea of incarceration for tax evasion. So we pay.

William Godwin provides a comforting rationalization:

The greatest mischief that can arise in the progress of obedience is, where it shall lead us, in any degree, to depart from the independence of our understanding, a departure which general and unlimited confidence necessarily includes. In this view, the best advice that could be given to a person in a state of subjection is, ‘Comply, where the necessity of the case demands it; but criticise while you comply. Obey the unjust mandates of your governors; for this prudence and a consideration of the common safety may require; but treat them with no false lenity, regard them with no indulgence. Obey; this may be right; but beware of reverence. …’

Criticize while you comply. Blarg! Yes. Join a tea party with a bunch of craven, politically partisan yahoos? Thanks but no thanks. I mean, if we’re going to remain stuck with this massive state, stealing vast amounts of money from the people once a year, I’d rather they spend it on healthcare, social security and such, rather than some kind of bottom-up redistribution/killing motherfuckers scam. Besides, our rulers are unmoved by public protest, or haven’t you noticed?

As a post script, there’s a legal case I learned about once in a 100-level Business Law course I took. Read about it under the cut.

Here’s a synopsis of the case:

A San Diego software engineer, Robert Beken, bought a book at a Computer City outlet. On the back of his check he wrote the following contract:

Computer City agrees not to place Robert Beken on any mailing list or send him any advertisements or mailings. Computer City agrees that breach of this agreement by Computer City will damage Robert Beken and that these damages may be pursued in court, further, that these damages for the first breach are [$1,000]. The deposit of this check for payment is agreement with these terms and conditions.

Shortly after the store cashed his check, Mr. Beken received a number of advertisements from the chain. Mr. Beken sued the retailer in San Diego Municipal Court and was awarded $1,000 plus $21 in court costs.

[law.berkeley.edu: Footnotes]

As it turns out, personal checks are serious legal contracts under the law. So on April 15, I contemplate drafting a contract on the back of my tax check stipulating that the funds are not to be used directly or indirectly for the killing machine. I’d ask if any lawyers out there might offer some bulletproof language for such a contract, but I can’t help but think that our rulers would be unmoved by this as well.

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