Some bits and pieces from here and there:
War Tax Resistance
- Erica Weiland notes that while there may not be an ongoing military draft conscripting soldiers in the U.S., if you are a U.S. taxpayer, you have already been drafted.
- Peg Morton writes of the opportunity she had to help the war tax resistance of John Lindsay-Poland through her participation in the War Tax Resisters Penalty Fund.
- The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists published an interview with long-time anti-nuclear activist Frances Crowe.
In that interview, she touches on her war tax resistance:
I no longer pay federal taxes, but I do file. I set up a trust, and put everything in my children’s names, so I own nothing. But the government does take money out of my social security, and I donate a sum equivalent to my federal taxes to charity.
So, I try to put a third of my “tax money” into repairing the damages of war — I’ve been helping a woman go to school in Afghanistan, and I gave a thousand dollars for her to pay for tuition this year. I do things like that, and help this cancer clinic in Iraq. And a third goes to peace centers in this country. It costs me money, but it’s worth it for my conscience.
- American Quaker war tax resister Joseph Olejak explains how he came to take his stand, and how his Meeting supported him when he went to jail for it:
- Henry Braun, a poet and Vietnam-era war tax resister, died recently. “In , he organized poetry readings against the Vietnam war and participated in the War Tax Resistance movement. He was convicted of tax evasion because he chose to give a portion of his taxes to the Philadelphia Veterans Hospital and to the city’s public schools.”
- War tax resisters who hope to get some legal blessing for their stand have traditionally appealed either to the legislature (by lobbying for something like a “peace tax fund” bill), or to the courts (by trying to get conscientious objection to military taxation recognized as a protected right). But Leigh Osofsky, an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Miami, reminds us that the executive branch, too, has discretion in how it enforces the tax law — refusing to enforce some parts of it and enforcing other parts of it in selective or spotty ways.
Other Links of Interest
- Colin Donoghue’s meditation on “The Root Injustice, & A Real Way Forward to a Sustainable Society” tries to unravel the tangle that happens when people try to promote progressive ends by means of an inherently inegalitarian, coercive, privilege-entrenching institution like government.
- The latest numbers suggest that a record number of people will renounce their U.S. citizenship in .
- After a New York Times exposé about the IRS’s use of civil forfeiture to seize money from innocent people, the agency released a statement announcing that it would be reforming its use of the practice.