Joan Baez Explains Her War Tax Resistance

On , Joan Baez was interviewed on the Belgian television station RTBF and asked about her war tax resistance.

Q: Why don’t you pay your income tax?

JB: I pay 40%, which goes to highways and things like that, and I won’t pay…

Q: Medicare perhaps?

JB: I hope so [laughs]. And I won’t pay 60% because it goes to armaments and armaments are wrong.

Q: And you’ll not have any problem with not paying?

JB: Oh, I have plenty of problems with not paying.

Q: And… what’s going to happen?

JB: Well, every year the same thing happens: they… you see, the government has the power to take the money from me. What I’m saying is I won’t give it, I won’t offer it anymore. And they fine me and they do this and do that. But, um… it’s their problem.


Each year, the Tax Foundation divides the amount of taxes collected by American governments during the year by the amount of money earned in America over the course of a year.

The group then takes the resulting number and says this is the proportion of our income-earning activities that we must do just to pay for the cost of government. If you were to take that proportion and multiply it by the number of days in the year, you’d get the number of days the “average American” must work to support government spending.

The Tax Foundation then says: let’s pretend all those days come at the beginning of the year, so that when they’re over, we’re finally working for ourselves and our families again. They name the day of this liberation “Tax Freedom Day,” and, according to their calculations, is that day this year.

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