Letter from Vietnam War Tax Redirectors

A letter to the editor from the New Paltz [New York] Independent and Times:

Dear Sir:

There are many of us in the Mid-Hudson area who are appalled at the way the federal government spends our tax dollars. It spends 60 per cent of its national budget on military programs while many other social needs are ignored. We disagree with this ordering of priorities. We feel human beings are more important than the electronic battlefield over Vietnam. We believe the money spent on military equipment and research could be put to better use for health care, housing, and the other needs of our communities. In this way lasting peace and understanding will be established.

To publicly state our disagreement with the government’s spending policies we have formed a group called Mid-HUDSON War Tax Resistance, and we maintain close contact with National War Tax Resistance in New York City. Our local program falls into three parts: 1. advocating resistance to the 10 per cent federal excise tax on phone service, 2. advocating resistance to federal income taxes, and 3. advocating that people use the money that they are refusing to give the government by joining together with other resistors in their community and forming an alternative fund. Through this fund the refused war taxes will be rechanneled to meet community needs.

On , we met at the Asylum Coffee House in New Paltz to collectively decide how the money donated during was to be used. [T]here was over $200 to allocate. It was decided to give $65 to the Emergency Food Fund of the Ulster County Friends of the Farmworker, a group concerned with the rights and welfare of farm workers. $75 will be given to the Asylum Coffee House which exists on donations and is a gathering place for those who seek an alternative to the “local bar scene.” $25 is going to National War Tax Resistance for pamphlets and other literature. And finally we are giving $50 to Karl Meyer and his family out in Chicago. Karl was one of the early tax refusers and through his commitment gave encouragement to all of us in our struggle to resist. He is now on parole and does volunteer work. His family needs financial help since the IRS is trying to collect back taxes.

War tax resistance will not end with a truce or ceasefire in Indochina. Our struggle will end only with a change in this government’s policies toward people, This country does not have a right to determine the future of others. People want to live, have enough to eat, and see their children grow into adults. Vietnamese do not ask to be napalmed nor do the Blacks of this country happily live In their ghettos. Please join us in this movement of love and responsibility for our brothers and sisters throughout the world.

Debbie Loewe
Anne Costello