War Tax Resisters and TEA Partiers Protesting Together?

Our local war tax resistance group is still trying to come up with a game plan for . We may try to come up with an action of our own and then invite some other local groups in the anti-war/militarism milieu to join us. Or we may try to piggyback on some other group’s tax day protest.

I suggested that maybe we could try joining up with the local incarnation of the Tax Day “Tea Party” protest. Those protests are happening nationwide this year, and are being egged on by the usual megaphone-wielding suspects in the American right-wing. The protests are meant to be a way for citizens like you and me to express our outrage at the government’s waste of our money in the bailout boondoggle (and in general), and at the tax increases that are bound to follow.

Here’s how our local group is putting it:

Together with Tea Parties taking place in hundreds of cities across the country, concerned taxpayers will gather on in Civic Center Park in San Francisco to send the following message to President Obama and the Congress:

  • No You Can’t! spend taxpayers’ hard-earned money on reckless stimulus packages loaded with pork.
  • No You Can’t! implement a pork-laden budget that can only lead to increased taxes and further debt.
  • No You Can’t! put a stranglehold on our economy.
  • No You Can’t! take our money and limit our freedoms.

The consequences of such profligate spending are far-reaching and will affect the economic well-being of future generations while thwarting the basic liberties entrusted to the people by our Constitution.

When, in , the colonists were not heard or respected, the Boston Tea Party was born and the Sons of Liberty dumped tons of tea into the Harbor as a protest against the British government. Tax Day Tea Party protesters are gathering across this great nation in the spirit of those patriots, demanding to be heard.

The winds of change are blowing but this isn’t change any of us can believe in. The irresponsible behavior of Washington’s politicians has prompted taxpayers to action. Hard-working Americans throughout the country and across the economic and political spectra are joining forces to send a message to their politicians: America is going to party like it’s !

While protesting shoulder-to-shoulder with folks who get their news from Fox would be a big step out of the traditional comfort zone for our local war tax resistance group, I think it might be productive. We’d be introducing conscientious tax resistance to a group of people who may never have encountered it before. And we could point out that most of the pork and waste in Washington is pentagonal in shape — a message the dittoheads may not have yet been exposed to.

My proposal has gotten a lukewarm reception so far. One person emailed me saying that she wasn’t sure she wanted to join a protest against the government’s spending priorities since she’d just gotten an email from the American Friends Service Committee declaring its enthusiastic support for the budget!

Sad to say, it’s true. Read it and weep. The email message was even worse than what you find on the web site. Dozens of liberal groups, including the American Friends Service Committee, signed on to support “President Obama’s budget priorities” and urge passage of his budget, claiming:

His budget commits major investments in health care reform, education, and clean energy, while restoring fairness to our tax system and reducing military expenditures over time in a responsible manner. [Emphasis mine — ♇]

This is an incredible distortion. Over the last decade, in real, inflation-adjusted dollars, U.S. military spending has just about doubled. Is Obama reversing this cancerous growth? Hardly. Obama’s budget allocates more to military spending than any of the Dubya Squad’s budgets did. And the American Friends Service Committee and the Friends Committee on National Legislation are doing their part to make sure it passes.