Conscientious Tax Objection:
Why the Liberal State Must
Accommodate Tax Resisters
by Jason Brennan
On "Tax Day" (April 15) in 2009, Tea Party protestors held rallies in 750
different cities across the United States. Tea Partiers commonly believe
that the federal government is too big, too corrupt, and too willing to expropriate
resources from the many to pay off the well-connected few. They see the government
not as an engine of peace and social justice, but as an engine of exploitation.
On their view, Washington consists of powerful insiders who thwart the interests
of the common person.
Some (but not many) of these Tea Partiers are conscientious tax resisters. They
do not wish to pay taxes because they believe doing so would be deeply unjust.
Some of them advocate withholding taxes, and some of them actively practice tax
withholding. Some refuse to pay taxes because they do not wish to pay for Wall
Street bailouts. Others do not wish to pay for the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Still others refuse because they think "ObamaCare" will destroy American health
care and the American economy.