Let’s Do a “Taxation is Theft” Campaign [FMP Op]


Taxation is theft. It’s not a new concept for me or probably for many of you, but it is a game-changing connection to make for those not familiar with liberty. So when FSK suggested a campaign to put “taxation is theft” stickers on all those political lawn sign eyesores that are polluting the public spaces these days, I thought, “Brilliant.”

Taking it to the Next Level

Let’s take this idea to the next level. How about bumper stickers, lawn signs, door hangers, talking points and a website? We can use the 2009 elections as practice for the 2010, 11 and 12 elections. We can take this thing not only nationwide but worldwide. We can ask to participate in debates. We can ask for airtime to rebut the politicians with the message that taxation is theft.

The Website

I’ve reserved the domain All of our media can direct people here, where they can find additional media and learning and discussion opportunities. In fact, we need to mentor them.

Getting Started

How to get started? I’m going to start with the door hangers and the website. I can get the former for about 6 cents each so you can place an order by email to [email protected]. The sooner I get your order, the sooner this can happen. If you have ideas for the website and/or want to work on it, please comment below. If you’re an artist, I really need your help with the door hangers.

Photo credit: ColumbusCameraOp. Photo license.

By George Donnelly

I'm building a tribe of radical libertarians to voluntarize the world by 2064. Join me.

41 replies on “Let’s Do a “Taxation is Theft” Campaign [FMP Op]”

“Taxation is Extortion” is probably more appropriate, but doesn’t fit so well as a catch phrase.

“Theft” is just one of the (early) steps they will try to take if you don’t comply with the demand. The extorters will use battery, kidnapping, or killing, too, if you ultimately do not comply with the demand.

I’m actually in the process of getting rid of my current hosting and going to a variety of free services for my sites. So I would need space. Since initially we would just need to give a place to provide information and create some discussions, I think that hosting a WordPress blog might be the way to go. I see that you are already using one, so I’m sure you understand the ease of use.

I have no problem taking it on, just need the space. Unfortunately, I am not a graphics guy so I would need some help in that area.


That bumper sticker isn’t bad. It’s very confrontational however, which I think may turn people off and make them less inclined to look further into the issue, visit an associated website, or etc. it works fine as a bumper sticker because there’s not really any reasoned debate involved with bumper stickers.

The gun, while I understand that it’s the gun of government pointing at all tax payers, it’s a gun that will be pointing out of our propaganda at people we want to convince. If someone points a gun at you and tells you something, even if it’s true, you’re going to be less inclined to (truly) agree with them because of the threat involved.

I think we should go for something less scary and a little more friendly and inviting of reasoned discourse and further investigation with our design.

What are your thoughts? Am I way off on this?

No clue as of yet. Let me play with some ideas the next few days and see what I can come up with. I liked FSK’s idea of using red to stand out. maybe a reverse bold white type on a field of red. Alarming, but not necessarily confrontational.

Any other ideas are welcome of course.

I think having the gun on it is good. It gets people’s attention. I also think “taxation is extortion” is closer to the truth than “taxation is theft”. Taxation is theft is probably easier to fit on a bumper sticker though and you already have the website. It is just that I hate the arguments against it being theft. People get hung up on the semantics.

BTW, I find this very exciting. I would love a shirt and jacket that says taxation is extortion.

I think Matt is right that it’s scary and you don’t want to scare people right off the bat. It still needs to be edgy tho. Care Bears are out. Hehe.

What about a less intimidating gun? Smaller in size and all.

I like “theft” because it’s a less complex concept than “extortion”.

What are the arguments against it? That people give it willingly? They’re still funding the theft of the unwilling.

Thanks all for your ideas and comments.

Statists get hung up on the fact that the government is not entering your bank and taking it. They claim that because it is taken out of your check, that it is not theft. Again, it is just semantics.

If it’s not theft, then why don’t you (addressed to the statist) ask for that money back, just once, as an experiment. You can say that in these hard economic times you need it for your child’s health care, or to donate to a charity that funds urgent health care for children. Just to see what happens. If nothing else, you will be entertained and have a new story to tell folks.

That argument makes no sense.

A gun could be incorporated. If it wasn’t pointed at the reader, it wouldn’t feel like we’re pointing a gun and telling someone that taxation is theft.

Matt, this is great! I like the font you’re using for “theft” better than the other one and I like how you have the gun behind the word “theft”. I really like that. How about some color tho? Maybe red, yellow or orange? Something to grab attention? Really, this is great work. Thank you!

Thanks, George!

I also prefer the option with the gun behind “theft” than the other way around but I thought I’d put them both to see what others thought. I started in B/W because you always want your logo to be able to work effectively in that color scheme, but I’ll try injecting some color and some other font options for “taxation is”

Hey that is looking good. I like the colors on the first one, the font of “taxation is” not so much. Seems thin/weak.

We probably won’t be ready in time for this election season but we can still disseminate the lit and have it ready for 2010.

Interstate is a good font, one of my favorites actually. I also like the white gun, it stands out better on the red background.

What’s the next step? need a wordpress theme?

WordPress is the easiest. I have new webspace that will at least work for now. I’ll try and start this weekend getting everything in place. Would you plan to create the theme from scratch or use an existing theme?

Best to use an existing theme, such as Thesis, which I already bought an unlimited license for and is very adaptable.

Can you produce high quality versions of the logo in possibly several variations?

I think after the logo, and then the website is up, we need to write stuff for the site (best to keep it simple with a declaration and a blog?). Then we can look into what other media to produce? For example, paper, video, ads, etc.

What do you guys think?

Also, we should probably make our goal, vision, strategy and tactics explicit in there before spending much money.

Sounds good George. I’ll put together some high res versions of the logo in various formations and color options. If you can you send me the thesis theme files I can get started adapting it to the color scheme and logo.

I’m conflicted. I like making the moral argument and talking about the gun is certainly not new. (The first time I heard it was years ago when I read Harry Browne’s book.)

I prefer messages that let each individual create their own imagery that makes sense in reference to their own life. Adding imagery doesn’t let one do that and you risk contaminating the message as a result.

It seems to me that the three words themselves are powerful enough without adding the gun imagery.

So George, what’s the latest on this? I must say, a global campaign against taxation (and I guess by corollary the rest of the State) sounds great!

OK ic. Do you know what image you want to use?
Also, myself, I’d prefer to put up stickers in my city, than hand out paper to people. For that, I guess we’ll need a place where we can get these stickers cheaply from. I’m not sure where yet…CafePress and Zazzle seem to just sell ‘bumper stickers’ which are fairly expensive.

Ah, that’s a good point. If it’s very decentralized (like the Ron Paul campaign was), then people can just do as they see fit (ie. what type of image they want to use, what type of medium…sticker vs. poster for ex, etc).
That sounds good to me!

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