Blogs Debate an Article about My Tax Resistance

an article about war tax resistance went out over the Associated Press wire, and it’s showing up in newspapers and on news websites all over the country today. I’m pictured, and featured in the opening paragraph, and as a result I’ve been getting fan mail and hate mail, which is all kind of fun.

The article itself is a pretty good overview that mostly follows what I’ve come to recognize as the standard template for these articles: quotes from a resister or two, the official estimate from NWTRCC about how many people do this sort of thing, some boilerplate from an IRS spokesperson about how it’s everybody’s duty to pay up, and maybe some historical context with Thoreau thrown in. This is the first of these articles I’ve seen that sought out a contrasting quote from a pro-war / pro-tax activist (“They’re showing the terrorists that America is not committed,” he said, of the war tax resisters).

The blog world, shamelessly following the baton of the “MSM”, is full of articles debating war tax resistance . It’s turning out to be an exciting day.

Some of these discussions are well-meant:

  • Pax Americana uses the article to relaunch a discussion of revenue refusal as a method of nonviolent struggle.
  • QuakerDave at The Quaker Agitator says: “We have some folks at our Meeting who are involved in this movement, and I’ve heard and read about it off and on for years. With The Suborner-In-Chief telling us yesterday that we need to be ‘patient’ with the war of empire now being fought in Iraq, to the tune of several years worth of ‘patience,’ maybe it’s time to look at it again.”
  • Scribe at Independent Christian Voice says “Even though I am opposed to the Iraq War, I could not support this method of protest for a few reasons” and then explains these reasons.
  • The hosts of the libertarian-oriented Free Talk Live radio show (mp3; the tax resistance segment starts an hour and 47 minutes in) engaged in a vigorous discussion about issues raised the article.

Every bit as enthusiastic are the denigrators from the jingo battalion:

  • The Free Republic message boards jumped on the news, and last I checked, some 50 Freepers were competing with each other for the honor of making the most ignorant and opinionated comment.
  • titles their discussion “Anti-war, hippies and deadbeats unite” and summarizes the article this way: “A group calling themselves the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee is urging Americans who oppose defending innocent Iraqis from being murdered by terrorists to stop paying any taxes in order to send a message to the government.”
  • Everyday Republican and The Lance Haynie Blog chip in.
  • Right News and Views says “It staggers the mind that someone would so tenaciously fight taxes to further the possibility of genocide in Iraq when there are plenty of real reasons for one to fight taxes.”
  • Texas Rainmaker joins the others in assuming that if I’m against the war and against paying taxes for it, I must be some sort of hypocritical lib’rul who’s happy to force other people to pay taxes so that transsexual Muslim illegal immigrants can collect welfare for aborting their children with a burning American flag.

François Tremblay at Check Your Premises reacts to my recent post about Daniel Jenkins’s attempt to get U.S. courts to recognize a legal right to conscientious objection to military taxation.

He’s skeptical (as am I) of “Peace Tax Fund”-like plans, whether judicially- or legislatively-enacted, that pretend to give citizens the ability to designate their tax dollars only for the good things that governments fund. “It’s all or nothing. Even if you pay only one cent in taxes, that cent will go to evil purposes.”

Tremblay expands on this argument, in video-blog style.