Steve G.

Taxes of Evil

In Libertarian, Media, Middle East, Personal Responsibility, Politics, Taxation, War on January 17, 2007 at 3:03 am

Over at Ground Up Libs Andy mentioned and idea he had which we have been kicking around for years to make a flier to distribute at antiwar rallies and April 15th demonstrations about how taxes fund the war machine.

This time, Susan Hogarth of LP Radicals picked up on the idea and come up with a cool flyer that we are hoping to actually print and distribute. This is her second edit and there might be more changes coming.

Your ideas, as always, are welcome on any changes that could improve the flyer.





You can use this file with added contact information for your LP local group or campaign, but Susan asks that you contact her for the source files to alter the file, rather than editing the .jpg, and she will be making it available in a variety of formats.

She is also trying to raise a couple of hundred dollars for a print run.

This post also appears at

  1. This flyer is OK but it is not what I had in mind. I’d still like to design this concept in the way that I envisioned it. Of course there is nothing wrong with having different versions of the same theme.

  2. Nice concept! I particularly love the background on the reverse of the flier. Here are a few suggestions:

    -Print the phrase “AXIS OF EVIL” horizontally on the same line, in the same font and point size, and same color (black) type. Have the word “AXIS” overlaid with the handwritten word “taxes” in red instead of black. Position these words to fall across the underbelly of the plane in the graphic.

    -Position one of the square boxes next to each falling bomb, making the symbolism stronger of the plane (taxes) being the delivery vehicle for these bombs (injustices). Ideally, move the third falling bomb up higher on the page with Photoshop, so that the three boxes can still be above the “TAX=DRAFT” text.

    -Create nicer looking text along the lines of the “DOMESTIC SPYING” text to go inside each of the graphic boxes rather than appearing alongside it; for the first box I would suggest the words “MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX” overlaying a photo of Halliburton corporate headquarters, with the company sign visible; for the second box I would suggest the words “WAR”; the third box is good as is.

    -Create a fourth graphics box with a picture of a nuclear weapon and text reading “WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION”

    -Change the question at the bottom to “Did you volunteer to pay for theft, murder, and tyranny?”

    -Replace the second quotation (from A.N. Whitehead) with the following:

    “When violence is covert, legal, and approved by a majority, it is more deadly by reason of its disguises. It works stealthily to increase friction in society and to erode and corrupt social bonds. The shadow lengthens, political intervention and control increases, men rely more and more on violence to gain their ends. We careen, unwittingly, toward the servile state. This eventually is not being forced upon us; we are doing it to ourselves, largely in ignorance of what it is we are really doing.”

    -Rev. Edmund A. Opitz
    (see for an obituary of this long-time libertarian who died in 2006 at age 92)

    -Add the following citation for the text at the bottom of the back side:

    “-from the Preamble to the Platform of the Libertarian Party of the United States”

  3. Starchild’s comments sum up everything I was going to say, so I’ll just second them.

  4. Starchild’s comments are exactly the sort of detailed critique that is most appreciated. Not saying they will all happen, but they’re appreciated!!!

  5. I should mention that FLYER may be a bit misleading – this will be a glossy 4×6 club card (postcard to us 40-somethings:).

  6. Susan, nothing wrong with what you are doing, but I was thinking along the lines of a flyer that would be cheap to copy. Also, if I were you I’d include the 800-ELECTUS phone number because there are still a lot of people out there who don’t go on-line and we want those people to contact us as well.

    Here’s what I would have on the top of the flyer.


    That’s right, your taxes dollars are being used to murder innocent people in other countries. Many of you probably don’t mind paying taxes because you want the money to go for helping poor people, educating children, preserving the environment, and other worthy causes. However, once that tax money gets to Washington DC it falls under the control of warmongering politicians. You may think,
    “We just need to elect the right people to office.” Anwser this question, who has more influence over politicians, people like you or rich corporate fat cats in defense contracting, oil companies, and banks, all of whom profit off of war? It doesn’t matter if there is a Democrat or a Republican in office because both of the major political parties are controlled by the military industrial complex. Both major parties have gotten us into war after war and there is no end in sight. If you are serious about wanting peace over war the best thing that you can do is to cut off the funding and the only way to do that is to drastically cut or eliminate taxes. Instead of sending money to the government to help the poor or the environment you should donate the money to private charities, because unlike government, private charities don’t drop bombs on innocent people.


    The Libertarian Party wants to eliminate the income tax and reduce or eliminate as many other taxes as possible. Libertarians believe in peace. Libertarians want to take power away from politicians and put it back into the hands of individuals. If you are sick and tired of politicians taxing your income and using that money to fund wars of aggression and to violate your rights then you ought to VOTE LIBERTARIAN! For more information please visit http://www.LP.ORG or call 800-ELECTUS.

    Throw in some compelling graphics (like an American tank next to some dead bodies) and you’ve got yourself a flyer.

  7. Andy,

    That’s great, and I hope you go ahead with it – in fact I would be interested in helping work on such a thing. But I had been wanting to do a ‘postcard’ antiwar piece for some time, and the challenge on a 4×6 piece is to get a concept across with minimal text – a real challenge to a wordy type like myself!

    Your piece contains an entire argument – a GOOD argument, and one I often make when talking to my leftish friends – but an entire argument. I wanted to get accross a single IDEA – that taxation is a sort of draft. I wanted to provide people with food-for-thought, but mroe fo an appetizer than an entire meal 🙂 (can you tell it’s dinner-time!?)

    I probably will do the phone number; I’m not as opposed to it as I was yesterday 🙂

  8. I think different versions are defintely a good idea.

  9. Bring on the competition.

  10. Your Tax Dollars at Work: DU Babies

  11. I think the postcard is a great idea, as is the longer argument flyer. What we’d love to have here in Boulder (where I am the chair of the local Libertarian Party affiliate) is something we can put up on our (already pretty full, and in the process of being overhauled) website, that our members can go ahead and print up and mail/distribute in any location they think will work. PDFs are great for that. One of the problems of working with tiny budgets is having to centralize the printing. Since Libs believe strongly in individual initiative, I’d be up for recommending formats, types of paper for best presentation, and general tips on printing and letting anyone who comes to the website have at it. The “polished” quality of the final result, for many of us, is less critical than getting the concept out into the public, but with a little bit of documentation, we can still get a good polished result.

  12. Heya, Eva – Seth Anthony, who is with you guys in CO, had designed some flyers to post on campuses and such. You shoudl ask him to do the same thign for the county 9and state) affiliate.

  13. A few years ago one of the Libertarian Party affiliates in Los Angeles County (I think it was central LA), California had a couple of cool flyers on their website that were available for download.

    One of them was an anti-drug war flyer and it had a picture of Al Gore with a bong and a picture of George W. Bush with a bag of coke and then it said something like, “Do these guys think that they’d be better people today if they had spent 10 years in prison for their youthful indescretions? They don’t think so, but that doesn’t stop them from locking other people’s kids in jail.” and then it went on to explain the Libertarian Party’s position on the drug war.

    The other one was an anti-corporate welfare flyer and it had a picture of Ronald McDonald on it recieving corporate welfare in the form of bag of money and saying saying “Suckers!” and then it went on to explain how Libertarians oppose corporate welfare.

    I handed out a bunch of these flyers and they were a big hit.

  14. If him or anyone else makes other versions of this, let’s throw them up here and let everyone make whatever we can of them.

    I’m hoping we’ll have lots of product to distribute by 1/27 and lots of people willing to actually distribute it at the rallies.

    I hope it will be on bulletin boards at colleges and on light posts and other places where fliers are put up in towns all over America, and I hope local LPs all over the country will be handing stuff like this out at post offices on 4/15.

  15. That was referring to Susan’s comment about Anthony. Andy posted in the meantime while I was typing that.

    Sorry, not used to that around here yet 🙂

  16. Seth, not Anthony. Seth Anthony, to be precise 🙂

  17. Well, I’d say Starchild’s comments are on the mark… as far as that goes.

    I dunno, it still seems too radical for the average American but you guys are called the Radical Caucus for a reason I suppose.

  18. You forgot something very important,
    possibly the most important bit of all.

  19. and on the reverse side,
    use the same bomber foto instead of a generic background.

    But photoshop reclining dollar signs in place of the dropped hardware

  20. “I dunno, it still seems too radical for the average American but you guys are called the Radical Caucus for a reason I suppose.”

    I call it confronting people with the truth about where their tax dollars are going. People need a wake up call and this is like pouring a bucket of ice water on somebody that is sleeping.

  21. I’m just worried that the average American will consider it too radical to take seriously. I might be wrong, I hope I am. I’ve been wrong before. But that’s how it seems to me.

    Please prove me wrong though! I love the flurry of activity going on within the Radical Caucus to provide supplementary media to the LP and it can only help in the long run.

  22. How about be just abolish the federal government altogether. I’m all for it ,but I bet the Liberal “tarians” (joke) that came up with this tripe would beg to differ.

  23. Actually, JB, we’re all for it too, so you lose your bet, and your characterization of it as tripe says more about you than it does about us.

    But, feel free to shoot us some fliers when you have some made.

    Peace and Liberty,


  24. I hope your right Paulie, and I’ll trust you on that for now. I’ll suspend final judgement until a democrat is in the whitehouse which should be Jan 2009 and hopefully I see the same vigilance. W has nothing on Billie boy when it comes to heavy handed government. Pardon me if I’m skeptical about the libertarian status but as I said, we will see.

  25. Hmmm well none of us were fans of Clinton by any means, but dubai-ya has been even worse from any sane libertarian perspective. Spending has grown at the fastest rate since FDR or possibly Wilson, for starters.

    From stealing both elections, to the massive new Department of Homeland Security, to Operations TIPS and Total Information Awareness, illegal wiretapping, signing statements, invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, secret prisons, indefinite detentions without lawyers or charges, “rendition,” depleted uranium, destruction of habeas corpus (Military Commissions Act), “Use-A-Patriot” Acts I and II, massive militarization of police departments, and the list keeps getting worse…

    Clinton was nothing compared to this. Not that we liked him – I spoke out vociferously against him from his first day in office, and I’ll speak out against any Democrat who takes the white house, unless of course dubai-ya calls off the election altogether and just declares himself dictator, as he has already signed legislation authorizing himself to do, and said would be a good idea.

    Anyway, you are pardoned, or should I say excused – this thread is not about us proving to you that we are libertarians, it’s about working on the design of specific outreach materials, so either contribute to the topic at hand or move on.

  26. That’s fine Paulie, I would just like to to see some perspective on things. Taxes of “Evil”? An end to “Evil”? I mean, I’m sorry but are these slogans supposed to gain popular support. Making the case that the good that would come from eliminating the federal goverment far outways the bad only requires some pretty basic logical arguments and not necessarily all of this hyperbole. I’m not going to get an argument about who was the worst authoritarian president but I think you have already acknowledged that everything in the world wasn’t butterflies, rainbows, and unicorns pre-W, and I would certainly acknowledge W has whole heartingly continued down the big brother path. But making this about Bush or Halliburton or whatver the current situation is doesn’t carry the long-term, big picture impact that is necessary to achieve the less government, more liberty endgame that is needed. Quite frankly Paulie, these tired old 60’s slogans probably hurt more then they help since they really only fire up “the choir” but make the intended “converts” just cringe.

  27. Whatever. I’ve already told you that you are in the wrong thread. You can have your opinions, and I can have mine. This thread is about design ideas.

    If you persist in contributing comments that are not related to the design of these flyers, post cards, club cards, or whatever they are, to this thread, they will be treated as spam.

    However, please feel free to contribute on topic comments to this or any of the other threads at Last Free Voice.

  28. Well. actually Paulie I thought I that I was commenting on design when I suggested that the outdated hyperbole expressed on the flyers accomplish nothing except maybe making the designer and producer of the flyer appear to be “cool” to people that already think exactly like they do. If that is the intent of your flyer then I believe it is perfect exactly the way it is. Feel free to disregard my comments at your discretion. Good Luck.

  29. JB or anyone else wishing to discuss issues JB brought up, this thread would be more appropriate:

  30. Uh, no, JB, it is supposed to reach out to people who don’t think like we do – they understand what the evil is, but they still support taxes and big government and the whole point here is that the taxes they pay and support are going for things both they and we agree are evil.

    This thread is for those who understand and agree with this premise and that this type of outreach needs to take place. It is for discussing how to best accomplish that with design ideas. If you have a more fundamental issue, such as whether we should be trying to sell libertarianism to the left at all, there’s other threads for that, like the one linked in my last post.

    You are free to post your thoughts there. If you choose to spam this thread, spam will be deleted. You are free to express your opinions here, just do it in a different thread.
    Last time I’m saying this.

  31. I have nothing to add regarding design, but I would like to offer encouragement. We need a number of pieces on this issue. Most Americans have no idea how many troops we have abroad, what it costs, or what the implications are. The LPUS is AWOL on this issue in my holy opinion.
    In the early 1990s I went to a discussion on war in the MiddleEast and set up a table with Libertarian stuff on it, made a map showing U.S. troop deployment abroad and ran off about 100 poorly made fliers. At the end of the night all my poorly made fliers were gone, but little of anything else. And this mostly left group was impressed.
    I hit a nerve. JUST DO IT!

  32. We’ve got less than one week before the peace demonstrations 1/27 in
    DC, among other cities.

    Does anyone want to contribute the $200 or so that Susan would need to
    print what she has so far?

    Is there a newer revised version that incorporates some of the changes
    we have talked about in the discussion or do we go with the last edit?

    Has anyone besides Susan tried to come up with their own version(s) in
    a graphical format? If so, I can post them at Last Free Voice.

    Or, does anyone want to take a stab at actually graphically creating
    the cheaper 8.5×11 black and white flyers also discussed in the
    comment section above?

  33. I think the flyer/card looks pretty good and the message is right on the money. Like Andy, I also like things that are cheap to copy (basic black & white) though.

    I wonder what this flyer would look like grayscaled for b&w reproduction on a copier.

    As usual, I am bewildered and amused by some of the comments made here by those who only see life through the prism of liberal/conservative or radical/moderate.

    There’s not much that is “conservative” about Bush, other than some of his rhetoric and traditionalist posturing. There surely isn’t anything moderate about a preventive war of choice against a nation that posed no threat. The idea that slogans such as “taxes of evil” or “tax = draft” are “liberal” doesn’t make much sense when most liberals get pretty upset about the notion of ending or even reducing taxes.

    Anyway, this flyer espouses viewpoints that I accept as truth and telling the truth is the only honest thing to do. The problem is that this is coming from a relatively small group of libertarians and not the LPHQ or the LNC. The sad truth may be that the sentiments expressed in the flyer do not in fact represent the views of the majority of Libertarians anymore. So, is it honest to tag this flyer with the LP.Org ID?

  34. I think the flyer/card looks pretty good and the message is right on the money. Like Andy, I also like things that are cheap to copy (basic black & white) though.

    I’m in the same boat – I’d like to have product by 2007.1.27 or preferrably a day or two earlier and ready to hand out. I don’t have $200 to spend on copies of the postcard, neither does Susan or anyone else we know of.

    I’d prefer 8.5×11 B/W, which is affordable – $20 for 1,000 at officemax or $100 for 5,000 – although I haven’t heard anyone announce they’ll help us distribute, so 5,000 might be overkill – I’m not sure how I would even transport that many to DC or even Mobile. not having my own car I don’t see taking over 1,000 regardless.

    Of course, IF someone wants to pony up $200 and IF there is someone who wants to drive 5,000 of them to DC and IF we have enough (wo)manpower on the ground to distribute that many, I’m all for Susan’s postcard being distributed – whether with or without the flyer. If Starchild’s suggestions are incorporated, all the better – if not, we’ll have something cool nevertheless.

    But I don’t want to count on a bunch of ifs coming true. The advantage of Susan’s piece is that we at least have a design, which is pretty cool whether or not further improvements are made. The disadvantage is in getting from that design to product we can distribute Jan. 27.

    The advantage of 8.5×11 B/W is that it would be cheaper and easier to make and distribute, but the disadvantage is that no one with design skills has come through with an actual design.

    As usual, I am bewildered and amused by some of the comments made here by those who only see life through the prism of liberal/conservative or radical/moderate.

    There’s not much that is “conservative” about Bush, other than some of his rhetoric and traditionalist posturing. There surely isn’t anything moderate about a preventive war of choice against a nation that posed no threat. The idea that slogans such as “taxes of evil” or “tax = draft” are “liberal” doesn’t make much sense when most liberals get pretty upset about the notion of ending or even reducing taxes.

    Naturally, I agree with you. But I would prefer that debate not take place in this particular thread. I’d like to focus on putting out a useful product I (and, hopefully, others) can distribute Jan. 27, which is a pretty short time frame.

    As a secondary issue, I would like to work on designs we can use long term.

    I’m all for having the other debate. Just in other threads. We can go to “Denver 2008” or for those of you who are non-LP, “liberaltarian” (no longer on the front page, but the comment section still works). Failing that I can start a new thread and/or add one or more of you as editors here with Stuart’s approval, or at paulie cannoli’s (click my name to see it) if Stuart objects – although so far, he has seconded my invitation to everyone I’ve invited.

    But I’d like to keep this one focused.

    Anyway, this flyer espouses viewpoints that I accept as truth and telling the truth is the only honest thing to do. The problem is that this is coming from a relatively small group of libertarians and not the LPHQ or the LNC. The sad truth may be that the sentiments expressed in the flyer do not in fact represent the views of the majority of Libertarians anymore. So, is it honest to tag this flyer with the LP.Org ID?

    Our designs and ideas are meant to be open source. If you don’t like the LP, put the name of any organization you want – or none – on them.

    Me, I’m not giving up on the LP, on the contrary – I’m redoubling my efforts to expand it and outcompete the Republitarians for leadership by bringing in more members who agree with us. So the overall aim is two-fold:

    1. Bring in more non-Republitarians into the LP and vote in candidates and party leadership more to our liking

    2. Convert more libertarian leaning liberals into libertarians, small l or large.

    Also, I don’t necessarily accept that we are a minority in the LP, even at present. The LP is not nearly as antiwar, or for that matter antitax, as I would like – but we are certainly more so than the Democrats and Republicans. If we abandon the LP, it simply allows the Republitarians to gain greater control of it and sully the libertarian label in the public mind for all non-LP libertarians further. At that point, we have to spend a great deal of additional energy to make other words for what we believe as recognizable, thus throwing away what effort has been used in the last few decades to promote “libertarian.”

    As we have so far learned with the BTP, starting from scratch is not easy by any means.

    At this time I would prefer to remain in the LP with an eye towards becoming the dominant faction. Some of the vehicles for this are the Radical and Grassroots Caucuses and the Kubby for President campaign, as well as our work on outreach materials like this and inreach materials like the Open Letter and Press Release (see previous threads at Last Free Voice).

  35. The reason that I posted this idea on the net to begin with is because I have never designed a flyer in my life. If I knew how to make a flyer I would have already done this myself.

    Anyway, if I knew how to make the freakin’ flyer that I want to make I’d make it this week and I’d print up 1,000 copies (or more) and pay for it out of my own pocket and I’d hand them out at an anti-war ralley myself.

    Yes, I want the flyer to be “open source” so everyone can use it and if anybody wants to make there own version of it (like Susan or whoever else) then that is fine by me, but I’d still like to do my version.

    Anyone know of a “Designing Flyers For Dummies” book or site?

  36. Yeah, you guys should tag it Just because I don’t agree with the methodology doesn’t mean I don’t agree with the message, or that you don’t have any less of a right to call yourselves Libertarians than I do.

  37. Tom,

    Thanks so much for your comments; our thoughts seem to be very much in accord on this. I do think it’s important to attach the label because *I AM THE LP*. Am I *all* of the LP? No! (not that fat, yet!:) But I do feel that as long as my message has nothing antilibertarian in it, I am perfectly right to put the address as a further information resource. I know that at least the LP site will be there for a long while 🙂

    People who agree with what is on the card ARE libertarians. Not all LP members, as you point out, will agree with it (sadly). I want to make sure that in our zeal to reach out to the Boortz-type on-the-way-there libertarians, we don’t neglect the people who are seriously starting to rethink what government is for if all the good it is meant to do turns to dust. That’s how *I* got to the LP, and I want to share that.

    And of course I hope to have an added benefit of pulling the LP more toward strong stances against the war(s), interventionism, taxation, etc. What I want to happen is for LP folks to be calling the LP HQ and asking for more copies of this handout. And of course the LP HQ is perfectly welcome to use it, or any variant of it.

    Paulie: $20/1K at officemax? Really? I’ll check that out; a full-sheet B/W would be great, too; then I could let me tendency to be too wordy have ful reign 🙂

    But don’t despair, Paulie! I WILL finalize the design tonight, and I WILL order 2,500-5,000 postcards. I have $50 in hand already, and would appreciate more pledges or donations. Email me at (or just Paylpal me the money if you like) to pledge some support. Any excess will go into the next two publications – one for LP activists on ‘answering tough questions’ and another for the general public on ‘making government smaller’.

  38. Susan & Pauli: I must say I admire your perseverance in re-reforming the LP. I hope your efforts are successful. I would love to see a strong LP candidate for President in 2008 (assuming Ron Paul won’t win the GOP nomination) that the virtual BTP could endorse.

    I’m mostly now trying to keep libertarians and others informed through news links and with good opinion pieces by libertarian (and other) writers. Hopefully, this will help to create more libertarians – especially in my area of Virginia where libertarianism is too often about gun rights and the Fair Tax (and where a lot of libertarians don’t want much to do with the LP).

    Recently a big website linked up an article I wrote about politics and art (, and I got 5,500 page views in 2 days. Since then, traffic has been way up – presumably not just libertarians.

    Oh yeah, if you reduce a flyer that is 8 1/2 x 11 to 65% or 66%, you can fit two on one 8 1/2 x 11 page and cut them in half. This usually does not reduce the quality by much and you can get twice the bang for the buck. I’ve been doing this for years at Kinko’s where they have fancy paper cutters.

    Y’all keep up the good work.

  39. Final draft of Version1:

    Send your contributions to help print this to my Paypal account!!! Please!

    Copies will be sent to all local LPs who request it – courtesy of the LP Radicals.

  40. By the way, I have no problems with anyone using any of these in any form, modifying them, whatever. No credit neccessary. But PLEASE ask me for the source files. I did the layout in an excellent open source program called Scribus, but can provide the idles as EPS and other formats.

    I suggest those looking into working on layout and design look into Scribus.

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