Are the Bonds in Your Portfolio Funding Government Evil?

Tax resistance is an important way to stop supporting the government and its activities, but seeing as how these days so many of the government’s activities are financed not by taxpayer dollars but by borrowed ones, it’s worth saying that it’s equally important not to loan the government your money.

Thomas R. Eddlem makes this case over at Do you have “bonds” in your retirement fund? Do you know what kind of bonds they are? Might you be inadvertently letting Congress use your money?

I’ve joined Elvis, Thich Nhat Hanh, and Dereck Coatne to be the fourth of Orna Ross’s “Inspiring Lives.” Whaddya know?

David is one of the many Americans who opposes his country’s warmaking in Iraq. What makes him different is how he decided to register his protest. Not by taking to the streets, but by withdrawing the dollars and cents support that was his taxes.

“I think many of the people who are out on the streets with their signs and chants are fooling themselves if they think they oppose the war,” he says. “Their chants don’t take a nickel from the bottom line of their actual support.”

David has quit his job and deliberately reduced his income to where he no longer owes tax. “I’m learning how to live within my means without paying federal income tax — honestly, peacefully, and legally, working for my values instead of against them.”

This has meant a change of life — and lifestyle. He says it has made him concentrate on what really matters to him, so that he can live well and securely on a lower income. “I take a practical approach, learning about the tax laws and about how to live well by being down-to-earth and sensibly frugal.

“I think we have to earn a country that we can be proud of through hard work and practical changes, and not with complaints or wishful thinking. This has to start with each one of us putting all of our effort on the side of our values, instead of allowing so much of our effort to be stolen by the tax collector and used against us and what we believe in.”

David writes a blog, On The Picket Line, where he writes about his experiment in living his beliefs — why he chose this path and what he’s learning along the way. And a How-To Guide for those who’d like to do something similar.

Even if his way of protest is not yours (I know it’s not mine), his blog certainly sparks lots of freethinking about how we might align our money activities — earning and spending — with our deepest values.

And that’s the only true escape hatch from the financial crisis (opportunity?) now rocking our world.