Gloria Steinem Ready to Try Tax Resistance Again

Gloria Steinem, who is among other things a veteran of the war tax resistance movement of the Vietnam War era, says that if the Trump administration and Republican Congress manage to strip public funding of Planned Parenthood, she plans to divert some of her taxes to the group:

“What I see in the streets and online and in all kinds of ways is that people are taking power unto themselves,” she said.

“There are a lot more of us than there are of him [Trump].”

Steinem also proposed a tax resistance movement similar to that used by opponents of the Vietnam War in the 1960s who refused to pay a percentage of their income taxes that would have gone toward funding the unpopular conflict.

“In this case, we can say ‘I’m sending the part of my income tax that should go to Planned Parenthood, I’m sending it directly to Planned Parenthood. Come and get me.’

“They come and collect eventually, but it costs them way more to go through the process.”


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Mark Weston penned a column for Time magazine, saying that voters for the Democratic presidential candidate should threaten to refuse to pay taxes if they win a popular vote majority but lose the presidency to the other party because of the electoral college again.

(Note that he says they should “threaten to refuse” not “refuse” — and not now, as this offense is taking place, but only if it happens one more time, say four years from now. This is because he’s being bold-timid about it. Bluffing, basically… and announcing he’s bluffing while he’s doing it. The sort of tactical genius that’s gotten progressives so far in politics.)

Is signing a pledge to not pay taxes legal? Yes, if no overt act of conspiracy is involved, and the pledge itself is hypothetical. No one knows when or if it would be carried out.

A national movement not to pay federal taxes in the future would put Republicans on notice: they do not have the right to impose a hard-right, second-place presidency on a moderate nation every dozen or so years. If the Republicans won’t help amend the Constitution so that America can resume being a democracy, then Democrats, lacking the representation that supporters of a future popular vote-winner ought to have in the executive branch, should not submit to paying taxes to the federal government.

How would the pledge work? First, an online group such as MoveOn.org, Change.org or both, should circulate a petition. The pledge is not just a powerful protest; it is also effortless, requiring no legal or financial sacrifice at all for years, possibly decades.

The beauty of a no-taxation pledge is that it almost certainly won’t have to be carried out. The mere threat could be enough to propel a Constitutional amendment. If millions sign now, Republicans will know that a third modern Republican runner-up presidency is impossible; Democrats will not be cooperative again.

We’re circulating a petition! Threatening to take action! In four years maybe! A threat that we don’t think we’ll actually have to make good on! Fear us!

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