"But when taxpayers suffer a long train of abuses and
usurpations ... it is their right, it is their duty, to revolt."
Barbara Anderson, with apologies to Thomas Jefferson and the
Declaration of Independence.
"Taxpayers of Massachusetts, lend me your ears. I come to bury
the new tax proposals, not to pay them."
Ibid., with apologies to Mark Anthony and Shakespeare.
"What a revoltin' development this is!"
Chester A. Riley, "The Life of Riley"
years, whenever a new tax was proposed, I would send a news release
or a memo to the Legislature, strenuously objecting. But this time,
I found myself smiling and imagining this could be fun.
I'm not the only one who's been feeling helpless, as the state and
federal governments spiral out of fiscal control. As Congress passes
pork-laden, welfare-state, fat-cat-bonus-filled bailouts that drive
the national debt into the stratosphere, and calls them "economic
stimulus," what am I supposed to do, call my congressman? All the
Massachusetts congressmen voted for the last giant joke, so what do
we do now, call our U.S. senators?
their constituents clamoring for them to confirm tax-evader Tim
Geithner, President Obama's pick to run the IRS? Did citizens call
in support of another known tax evader, Tom Daschle, becoming
health-care czar before the senator-turned-lobbyist asked that his
name be withdrawn this week?
no one listening at the federal level; is there anything we can do
to assert ourselves at the state level?
Patrick's new budget contains increased Registry fees. He wants to
"close the exemption" to the sales tax for alcohol, soda,
fruit-flavored drinks, bottled water and candy. He is still trying
to get the meals-tax hike that he calls, for some reason, "property
are three possible responses if this tax package passes and we'll
cover them with three prototype taxpayers.
One, the Enabler, cheerfully pays the new taxes, happy that we
peasants are supporting higher pay and benefits for the state's
upper class, the politicians and the public employee unions.
B will make a game of not paying the taxes. He will have to pay the
increased Registry fees on his car, but will then get in that
vehicle and drive to New Hampshire once a month or so, where he will
load up on alcohol, soda, fruit-flavored drinks and candy — along
with cigarettes for himself, family and friends. He will pay with
cash, just in case some New Hampshire businesses are pressured to
inform Massachusetts about his hobby of avoiding taxes.
is there, he will have lunch, then go shopping at the mall, again
using cash, and fill the car's tank before he crosses the border on
his way home.
enjoying this fantasy, I cannot publicly endorse all Taxpayer B's
activities because Massachusetts expects us to pay a tax on some of
the things we went to New Hampshire to avoid paying taxes on. We
must carefully obey the tax laws; we don't want to end up like tax
cheats Geithner and Daschle, embarrassing the Change Administration
and the U.S. Senate.
I predict that if enough taxpayers follow B's example, there will
soon be both tolls and border guards on Routes 3, 93 and 95.
can certainly, in clear conscience, follow the example of Taxpayer
C, who will make a game of not paying the taxes by not purchasing
lunch in a community that doesn't adopt the new meals tax, at least
until it is made universal. She will stop smoking, drinking soda and
sweet drinks, and eating candy bars. She'll sip iced tap water from
a Thermos hydration bottle, and make her desserts from still-untaxed
grocery items. She might even join the hobbyists who brew their own
beer! (Pure juice, by the way, especially grape juice, makes a nice
substitute for wine if you use the proper glass.)
of bottles, if the governor gets his way on expanding the bottle
bill, she will definitely return all the containers in order to deny
Beacon Hill the deposit money it gets when people don't return them.
Or she can leave the containers someplace where street people can
find and redeem them — a charitable contribution that sticks it to
that we taxpayers who are not enablers have a right, have a duty, to
follow Taxpayer C's example. What may have looked like a tiresome
New Year's resolution or a suggestion from our doctor, can become a
revolutionary act of defiance. Governor Patrick's new taxes are
perfect for a new battle cry: "No taxation without cooperation."
government likes to say it is taxing us for our own good, to help us
break bad habits. Here is the truth: The government depends on our
bad habits, our often deadly habits, to fund its wasteful self. The
new alcohol sales tax will be collected on the price of the bottle,
which includes the existing excise. What fun it would be to watch
those excise revenues drop if we all stop drinking alcohol.
of the commonwealth, unite! You have nothing to lose and better
health to gain, along with the satisfaction of being a revoltin'