I’ve written an article promoting tax resistance for the latest edition of Simple Living News:
Your War Doesn’t Fit Into My Budget:
Frugal Living As A Form Of Tax Resistance
Since I adopted a frugal lifestyle , of all the dumb, harmful, and worthless things I don’t miss wasting my money on, I don’t miss the war on Iraq the most.
, I quit my job and deliberately reduced my income to the point where I no longer owe federal income tax. I transformed my life, concentrating on what really matters, so that I can live within my means without paying federal income tax — honestly, peacefully, and legally.
American households have, on average, spent more than $4,000 apiece on the Iraq war (so far), and that’s just the extra costs of that war above and beyond what they spend to keep the military going year after year (another $5,000 per year per household).
By and large, these households spend this money whether they want to or not, because they don’t think they have a choice. At most, they grumble about “death and taxes” and they wish the politicians were nobler and wiser while they watch their paychecks get whittled down by the I.R.S.
But the times call for more than complaining and wishful thinking. We have to put as much of our effort as we can on the side of our values, instead of allowing so much of our effort to be stolen by the tax man and used to promote the values of politicians and the military/industrial complex.
As it says in Your Money Or Your Life, “when we go to our jobs we are trading our life energy for money.” When we pay taxes, the government is taking our life energy from us. If you live frugally on a low income, the I.R.S. takes less from you — so you can dedicate more to your own priorities.
In fact, when it comes to the personal income tax, about two-in-five American households live “under the tax line” and pay nothing at all. Opponents of the Iraq war and other government priorities would be wise to ask if they should endeavor to become part of this two-in-five.
There’s a long history of frugality being used in the arsenal of groups opposed to government policy — including the American “Founding Fathers”. , John Adams wrote home to his wife, “Frugality, my Dear, Frugality, Œconomy, Parcimony must be our Refuge. I hope the Ladies are every day diminishing their ornaments, and the Gentlemen too. Let us Eat Potatoes and drink Water. Let us wear Canvass, and undressed Sheepskins, rather than submit to the unrighteous, and ignominious Domination that is prepared for Us.”
Maybe it’s not time for another American Revolution just yet, but it’s certainly time for more Americans to put their money and their life energy where their hearts are.