A Status Report on the 2008 War Tax Boycott

How’s the War Tax Boycott coming along?

Well, funny you should ask. A list of those boycott participants who agreed to make their names public has just been released. This represents 162 of the 213 total who have signed up for the boycott.

I mentioned figures like these to a local war tax resister when he asked me about how the boycott was coming along and he said, “and what are the national numbers,” thinking that I’d quoted him just the figures for our area.

Fact is, the campaign has had a hard time getting much momentum. It has little-to-no funding for publicity, and so has to rely mostly on the energetic efforts of campaign volunteers to spread the word. We’re much too easy to ignore at this stage — disappearing into the same hole as so many frequently-forwarded emails about “what everybody should do.”

What would really get things moving would be if some big name folks — celebs or well-known anti-war movement movers-and-shakers — were to sign on, or if some of the more well-known anti-war action groups were to adopt the campaign.

NWTRCC is a great resource for war tax resisters, and is full of the kind of experience that a tax resistance campaign needs, but it seems to lack the power — in terms of personnel, resources, energy, and influence — to actually launch a big campaign.

When the preliminary tax resistance survey results were first being discussed, at ’s NWTRCC national meeting in Las Vegas, they showed that there was a lot of potential support for a large-scale tax resistance campaign among anti-war activists. I remarked :

[E]ven if we find a potential for this sort of tax resistance avalanche, NWTRCC alone doesn’t really have the resources to organize and launch it. My hope is that we can package these persuasive survey results along with offers of our own specialized expertise and sell the idea of such a campaign to one of the larger national anti-war groups who could launch a campaign like this in a heartbeat if they cared to. My own feeling is that this sort of thing is exactly the sort of sustained nationwide civil disobedience campaign the peace movement has been looking for; they just don’t know it yet.

For reasons that will become clear to Picket Line readers soon, I have had reason in recent days to revisit these reflections. And that, y’all, is a good tease. Stay tuned.

My bank has finally gotten around to writing me a letter explaining what happened to my old checking account. The upshot is that the IRS seized $5.16 in a levy (which was all I had in the account at the time), and Wells Fargo charged me $75 to reimburse them for the trouble. This put my account into negative territory, so they’ve since charged me another $31.50 in overdraft fees.

(Do these charges seem high to you? Me too. That’s a big reason why I decided to leave Wells Fargo behind. They seem to have adopted a “squeeze every penny you can out of your customer” business model.)

So add these to the “costs” in my cost/benefit analysis of this tax resistance method.