Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance Launch

If you havn’t read about this already, I’d like to formally announce to all ALS supporters that I’m soon formally launching the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance, as a free-market grassroots activist/advocacy organisation. You can check out www.taxpayers.org.au for more information, including the business plan, constitution, Board of Advisers etc.

The official launch is in Sydney on 1 May, and I’d love to have as many freedom-fighters join us as possible! You can register to attend here, and if you use the code SUPPORTER, you will get a 33% discount!

8 thoughts on “Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance Launch

  1. WOW!!! Talk about quick work!! Tim announces this new get-together, and Bob Brown realises he has failed, and resigns as the Greens’ Leader! That’s what I call a result! What can we do to get the whole ALP to resign?

  2. I saw another interesting item in today’s The Australian. A meeting of European Treasurers had one member of note- the Swedish representative. Sweden has been lowering its’ taxes on the rich, and streamlining welfare, and Sweden has been doing very well as a result- its’ economy is actually growing! The Swedish conservatives actually won re-election because of their economy! Look up the name Anders Borg- a swedish libertarian in Government!

  3. Pingback: James down under – Counting Cats in Zanzibar

  4. Since there’s no ‘Discussion’ column, I’ll mention this here. In ‘The Australian’ today, they interview a British playwright who has a play, ‘The Heretic’, about a scientist who finds the facts don’t support global warming- his colleagues are not interested in the facts! It’s being staged in the Melbourne Theatre Company building. Page 15, for those with ‘the Australian.’ He really has a go at ‘catastrophiliacs’

  5. Great idea and I have an interesting idea for a project for the Australian Taxpayers Alliance; to defend a taxpayer against the ATO by arguing that tax is in breach of the Criminal Code against slavery and international human rights instruments.

    This is because tax arguably satisfies the definition of slavery because the state “intentionally possesses a slave or exercises over a slave any of the other powers attaching to the right of ownership”. These include:
    • Coerced taking of the fruits of the tax slave’s labour
    • Restricting his movements eg confiscating passport to secure payment of tax “debt”
    • And many other reasons.

    I was recently reading the judgment of the High Court in The Queen v Tang [2008]: http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/cth/HCA/2008/39.html?stem=0&synonyms=0&query=wei%20tang

    This was a case in which the owner of a Melbourne brothel was charged with “slavery” under the Commonwealth Criminal Code.

    The Court considered the meaning of slavery. Since it is illegal under Australian law, the Court decided that the question cannot be whether there was slavery as a matter of law, but must be whether there is slavery as a matter of fact.

    This means that the Court has left itself wide open to the libertarian argument that taxation is ethically and factually indistinguishable from slavery.

    In human rights law in general, if you opposed the state on the basis that it is based on taxation, and that taxation is the coerced taking of the fruits of one’s labour, and that the state is therefore guilty of slavery, the gubbas would plead that the taking is made a “right” by legislation, and therefore it’s not slavery as a matter of law.

    This is in fact how all governments get around the fact that they are based on human rights abuses such as slavery and torture: they simply exempt themselves.

    For example, the Convention against Torture defines “torture” to include: “severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental … intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as … intimidating or coercing him … or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind….”

    Imprisoning people for not paying tax therefore arguably constitutes severe mental or physical suffering intentionally inflicted to coerce the tax-slave into submitting to the non-consensual taking of the fruits of his labour. Moreover the progressive tax system is based on discrimination on the ground of income.

    This would arguably mean that the threat of imprisonment which underlies all taxation is in breach of the Convention against Torture, and other human rights instruments.

    So how do the state parties to these Conventions squirm out of this inconvenient fact? They add this rider to definition:
    “[Torture] does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.”

    In other words, so long as states declare their own actions legal, it doesn’t matter that those actions constitute human rights abuses, on which their entire existence is based.

    The great thing about Tang’s case is that at last the state has put its foot in it.

    “In its application to the de facto condition, as distinct from the de jure status, of slavery, the definition was addressing the exercise over a person of powers of the kind that attached to the right of ownership when the legal status was possible.”
    Gleeson CJ

    This lays the state open to an argument that Tang’s case has disallowed its usual trick of exempting its own actions from the definitions of human rights abuses. The line of attack would be to construe the actions of government against the definition of slavery, and argue that it’s the factual condition, not the legal status which defines it.

    For example, in the brothel case, the owners were said to be guilty of slavery because the sex workers were working off a debt. But the state is worse than that, because you can never work off the debt! Another of the incidents of ownership was restricting your movements. And? Doesn’t the state confiscate tax-slaves’ passports as a means to secure payment of a tax “debt”?

    Another of the incidents of ownership is preventing someone from making a livelihood. And? Doesn’t the state make payment of tax a precondition of accessing the fruits of one’s labour?

    In short, the state is in a far worse position vis-a-vis the tax-payer and the definition of slavery, than were the brothel owners in Tang’s case because
    a) there was no issue in that case that the relations between the workers and the owner were consensual, unlike relations between the state and its tax-slaves, and
    b) the owners’ restrictions on the freedom of the workers in Tang’s case WERE AS NOTHING compared to the extensive and intensive restrictions of the state on its tax-slaves and subjects.

    Now I don’t imagine that the High Court is going to declare tax illegal: obviously they are going to try to squirm out of it somehow.

    But I think it would be a great opportunity to put the libertarian argument in a serious national forum; and it would certainly make people take notice and generate discussion.

    What do you think?

  6. PS
    The idea would be to assemble a team of volunteers to comb through all the Acts, policies and departments of the Commonwealth government, and name them in terms of all the human rights abuses that they factually constitute under all the human rights instruments that Australia has signed.

    (The idea litigant would be one in the High Court’s original jurisdiction so he could appeal as of right, without having to seek leave so they couldn’t squirm out of it that way. He should also be broke so a costs order against him wouldn’t hurt.)

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