A Fortuitously Timed Tax-Denying Conference Comes To Our Tax-Hating County

Categories: Politics
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Man met bril / Flickr / Creative Commons
Spotted on the commute to Weekly world headquarters today: a brown Dodge pickup whose back window read, in blue electricians-tape lettering, "TAX REVOLT!"

Spotted on Red County and Orange Juice Blog: recall fever against all the Republicans who supported the state's recently passed tax-hiking budget.

Spotted at Irvine's Atrium Hotel from March 13 to 16: Freedom Law School's 2009 Health & Freedom Conference. The conference, which has been held in Orange County since 1988 according to outreach coordinator Max Hawthorn, features a diverse slate of speakers who will address topics ranging from "Cure for Tooth Decay" to "What Really Happened On 9/11? But bread and butter of the conference, and the "law school," is tax protest. As defined by the Anti-Defamation League:

The tax protest movement is a relatively long-lived anti-government movement rising out of opposition to federal income taxes. Tax protesters generally believe that either the income tax laws are in some way invalid or that they do not apply to most citizens; therefore, they believe they have a legal and moral right not to pay taxes. Many tax protesters suspect that the government covers up the "truth" about the income tax in order to continue oppressing the people and taking their money. Tax protesters engage in a wide variety of tax evasion strategies that range from simple refusal to pay taxes to complicated schemes using onshore and offshore trusts in order to hide income from the government. Tax protesters are also violent on occasion, attacking IRS agents or property or others charged with enforcing the law. 

Hawthorne told me a few weeks ago that the conference generally attracts between 200 and 400 participants. Perhaps those numbers will swell with a few at-wit's-end converts from the new ranks of GOP-ers who want to see Abel Maldonado's head on a pike and who don't read Steve Lopez.


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