Rabbis Vote To Withhold Tax On Phones
Grossinger, N.Y. (AP) — The first major Jewish religious organization in the nation to take such action on voted to engage in a collective act of civil disobedience to protest their opposition to the war in Vietnam.
The Central Conference of American Rabbis, an organization of 1,000 Reform rabbis, approved a resolution to withhold payment of the organization’s telephone excise tax.
The special excise tax on telephone service is designated for the financial support of the war in Vietnam.
By a voice vote at their final business meeting after a four-day convention here, about 200 rabbis directed Rabbi Joseph Glaser, the executive vice president of the converence to “communicate to the federal government our reasons for taking this action.”
Rabbi Glaser said afterwards that the action would go into effect “as soon as proper legal arrangements can be made.”
The conference was the first group of rabbis to publicly denounce the war in Vietnam in . The current resolution also urged the 1,100 members to “express resistance to the devistation of Vietnam by withholding payment of the telephone excise tax.”
The resolution also called upon the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, with which the Reform rabbis are affiliated, to withhold payment of the telephone excise tax.
The number of people who are renouncing their U.S. citizenship or giving up on their long-term residency continues to rise, extending a trend that began .
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- How you can resist funding the government → a survey of tactics of historical tax resistance campaigns → choose a small, easy, high-participation tax to resist → phone tax resistance
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- Everything you wanted to know about the “phone tax” and how and why it is resisted.
- Cindy Sheehan responds to the internet hawk on-line petition begging the I.R.S. to audit her: “I am thinking of signing it myself.”
- A Quaker posits an alternative future challenge about a hypothetical gasoline war tax. Also: a barter loophole that you can use to put off capital gains taxes. And: what happens when liberals first start thinking about war tax resistance?
- Phone tax resistance goes mainstream, with an article in today’s Smartmoney.com advocating it. Also: Just how big is the defense budget? It isn’t easy to tell, but one intrepid budget-watcher crunches the numbers for us and tells us what he found.
- The Dubya Squad went from the attacks on 9/11 to capitalizing on them by bringing the government and the media and the people on-board with their Iraq War agenda in a year and a half flat. Three years after that, the anti-war movement is still gathering massive committees to draft statements of purpose and plan more meetings to consider proposals.
- More news from NWTRCC’s national meeting in Las Vegas last weekend. Also: Dave Ridley gets cited for “Distribution of Handbills” after leafletting the I.R.S. office in Nashua, New Hampshire.
- Google has added more text-searchable newspaper archives to the Web, and I go hunting for more information on the history of tax resistance.
- Today, it’s almost embarrassing how little attention the government pays to war tax resisters. Things were much different in 1971, when the government might send out a team of threatening agents to collect a $5.50 tax debt. Also: Aristotle begins to discuss the intellectual virtues, which might help him next time he goes out for breakfast.
- In a 1971 article for The Progressive, Milton Mayer asks anti-war liberals why they’re still buying My Lai. Also: Aristotle discusses Art as a method for discerning a variety of truth via creation.
- Arnold Cuba, an undergrad at the University of Texas, started resisting the federal telephone service excise tax during the Vietnam War, and in 1972 had his VW seized by the I.R.S. to be auctioned off to cover $2.44 in resisted taxes. Also: the greatest value of Wikileaks may be measured not in any specific piece of leaked information, but in the disproportionate damage that leakage in general induces unjust, secretive conspiracies to inflict upon themselves.
- How to resist the federal excise tax on your Verizon phone bill. Also: signs of moral engagement and disengagement, and how to encourage the former. And: Uri, Switzerland tried to tax “bobbed hair” in 1929, but women laughed it off.
- Maurice McCrackin fasts while in jail for war tax resistance in 1958. Also: some notes on phone tax resistance from this date in 2005 and 1998.
- Maurice McCrackin fasts while in jail for war tax resistance in 1958. Also: some notes on phone tax resistance from this date in 2005 and 1998.
- The federal excise tax on telephone service has been a frequent target of war tax resisters. Here is an overview of the tax and the resistance strategy. Also: on this date in 1958, war tax resister Maurice McCrackin told the press that his lawyers were defending him against his wishes: “I do not recognize any appeal on my behalf… This is a moral, not a legal, struggle.”
- It took some guts to be a Japanese-American conscientious objector and tax resister in the years around World War II. Also: how the organized war tax resistance movement morphed in the time between the Cold War-era Peacemakers and the founding of NWTRCC in 1982.
- Did you get me anything for “Support the Pentagon Day”? Also: the Irish resistance refuses to pay the “police tax” in 1884. And: the I.R.S. cracks down on phone tax resisters in 1968.
- A feature on the Vietnam War-era war tax resistance movement does a better than usual job of capturing the history and breadth of the movement.
- The New York Yearly Meeting of Friends rediscovered war tax resistance during the Vietnam War, and took strong stands both to resist as a body and to help individuals who were resisting. They still talk about conscientious objection to paying for war today, but in a much more vague and noncommittal way.
- The I.R.S. takes war tax resister Cindy Sheehan to court. Also: notes from war tax resisters Ed Agro and Paul Leatherman. And: the I.R.S. shed 5,000 employees over the last year, mostly from their tax enforcement division.
- Two magazine articles from 1985 focused on war tax resisters Larry Bassett and Karl Meyer.
- An article from an April 1974 D.C. Gazette gives a snapshot of the American war tax resistance movement of the mid-1970s.
- The Department of Justice loses 30% of its tax prosecutors. The federal government is bigger than you might think. Ed Agro on war tax resistance. And: a Mother Jones article from April 1989 on war tax resisters.
- A new issue of NWTRCC’s newsletter is on-line. Also: the Women’s Tax Resistance League marches in the opening ceremony of the London Olympics.
- Tax resistance campaigns sometimes choose a particular tax to resist, not because it is particularly offensive, but because it is easier to resist or the ramifications of resistance are less frightening. This is meant to encourage more people to begin resisting. Today I’ll give some examples.
- The December, 1968 edition of The Buddhist Third Class Junkmail Oracle promoted phone tax resistance as a Vietnam War protest, and gives some interesting details about the government (and telephone monopoly) response.
- Author Kennett Love described the war tax resistance movement of the late 1960s, and his own modest participation in it, in a December 1969 article for the Washington Monthly.
- War tax resister Richard Catlett, one of the few American war tax resisters to do time behind bars for his resistance.
- The lesser-known of two large public rosters of war tax resisters during the Vietnam War, and some other artifacts from the American war tax resistance movement circa 1967.
- Some examples of the rhetoric and demonstrations from when telephone excise tax resistance became a popular tactic in the movement opposing the U.S. war against Vietnam.
- By April, 1970, the American anti-war movement had really hit its stride, and war tax resistance had become a mainstream protest tactic.
- The new issue of NWTRCC’s newsletter is out, including a debate on whether or not to pay the “social security tax.” Also: 1984 brought the Friends Journal’s second special issue on war taxes, at a time when even its critics acknowledged war tax resistance as a mainstream practice in the Society of Friends.
- The third of Friends Journal’s special issues on war tax resistance came in 1988, and the topic came up in several other issues besides.
- There was a great deal about war tax resistance in the Friends Journal in 1992, in part because of the occupation of the Randy Kehler/Betsy Corner home which the I.R.S. was trying to auction off, and in part because of the I.R.S. suit against the Journal to try to force it to pay its editor’s resisted taxes, and in part because of the Peace Tax Fund bill’s first congressional hearing.
- With its quotes and paraphrases of unnamed “officials” and its furious handwaving, this 1968 newspaper article on war tax resistance reads to me as a desperate attempt by the government to throw water on a spreading brushfire by means of a cooperative and sympathetic reporter.
- A student paper’s report on a special Philadelphia Yearly Meeting session on war tax resistance in 1969. Also: an idiosyncratic phone tax resister from 1962.
- Some tales of Vietnam War-era war tax resister and activist Helen G. Alexander.
- A shoot-out involving black poll tax resisters in Georgia in 1921. War tax resister Arthur Evans. And another tale of phone tax resistance during the Vietnam War period.
- How you can resist funding the government → a survey of tactics of historical tax resistance campaigns → migrate or taxpatriate ahead of the tax collector → leave the country (“taxpatriatism”)
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- Frequently Asked Questions
- If I hate the government so much, why don’t I leave its country?
- “Taxpatriates” renounce their citizenship and leave the country to stop paying taxes. And: fragging returns to our national flashback.
- Daydreaming about living South of The Border, and of extraterritorial income exclusion rules.
- Help lay the groundwork for a “People Power”-style freedom movement in the U.S. by adding to the project’s strategic estimate. Also: Americans renouncing their citizenship to become “taxpatriates”, waste and pork in the military budget, and upscale dumpster-diving in Berkeley.
- A taxpatriate, who fled overseas rather than continue to support and be embarrassed by the U.S. government, tells her story. Also: frugalista living tips from Wendy McElroy. And: a new sales pitch for war tax resistance — of the effective things you could be doing, it’s one of the easiest.
- A Permanent Tourist, only Passing Through or Parked Temporarily, can become a Prior Taxpayer. Also: news from War Resisters International about its tax resistance and an upcoming international war tax resistance conference. And: more about John Buscaglia’s tax resistance in favor of legal recognition for same-sex marriages.
- The rules of taxpatriatism have changed (here are the details). Also: the news media were used by the military-industrial complex (wait… aren’t they part of the military-industrial complex?). And: yep, the Pentagon is wasting tons of your money. Also: Bureaucrash sponsors a Stop Wars project that’d be perfect for young war tax resister provocateurs. And: a new alternative currency system sprouts up, a sort of technologically-advanced Time Dollar.
- The lawyers of Delhi go on strike to protest a threatened tax on lawyering, bringing the local legal system to a standstill. Also: Guy Hands becomes a taxpatriate.
- Terry Gilliam tells how he renounced his American citizenship and became a taxpatriate because he “got tired of my taxes paying for exciting little wars around the world.” Also: is a tax resistance movement brewing among the American religious right? A look at the Manhattan Declaration leads me to conclude: who knows?
- Notes from the National Taxpayer Advocate’s Annual Report about social security levies, haphazard collection processes, rampant taxpatriatism, the undermining of the offer-in-compromise program, and increasing taxpayer noncompliance.
- David R. Henderson reports on the recent left/right/libertarian anti-war confab. Also: a huge spike in expatriates renouncing their U.S. citizenship (it’s because of taxes). And: about the Possibility Alliance community in Missouri.
- Taxpatriatism on the rise, says the Wall Street Journal. Also: details on the upcoming NWTRCC National Gathering, libertarian war tax resister Jose Roldan explains himself, tax resistance for animal welfare in Spain, and Cindy Sheehan reminds anti-war taxpayers that you get what you pay for.
- A practical guide to a very effective, if somewhat daunting, method of tax resistance: expatriate and renounce your citizenship.
- More information about how to renounce your citizenship and get out of Dodge. Also: Larry Dansinger on the Frank Donnelly case, Carl Kline on war tax resistance as an antidepressant for frustrated activists, and 1,295 prisoners got the first-time homebuyer tax credit during their stay in the big house. And: I get another letter from the I.R.S.
- Want to renounce your citizenship? The government taxes that too. And: the war tax resistance movement in the Canary Islands, Joan Baez sings of whiskey rebels and moonshiners, and announcing the November NWTRCC national in Boston in conjunction with the 25th Annual New England Gathering of War Tax Resisters and Supporters this November. Also: see you in August — we’re off to Mexico!
- Evan Reeves decides to become a war tax resister, and has an innovative protest idea. Also: A Quebec man tries to pay his taxes with 200,000 pennies. And: Americans renouncing their citizenship to avoid U.S. taxes. Also: Alcohol, tobacco, ammunition, and firearms federal excise tax receipts are way up. And: how the U.S. judiciary supplements the legislature’s revenue raising prerogatives in times of war.
- A list of Tax Day war tax resistance actions nationwide this year. Also: the new War Resisters League federal budget pie chart is out. And: it is becoming more popular for Americans to taxpatriate. Also: the government publishes a guide on how to evade the tobacco tax. And: A 1949 New York Times piece on the war tax resistance of Caroline Urie.
- Michael Sonnleitner on how war tax resistance helps him get a good night’s sleep. Also: Robert Wood on the history and current state of U.S. law regarding “taxpatriatism” — people who renounce their U.S. citizenship and move overseas to avoid paying U.S. taxes.
- Notes from the Social Justice Networking panel at the NWTRCC conference earlier this month, resolving a tangle of taxpatriatism, and a look back at the conviction of war tax resister Ellis Rece in 1972.
- Sign up to attend the NWTRCC National Gathering in Kansas City this November. And: Americans living and working overseas are renouncing their citizenship to get out of the grips of the I.R.S. Also: Robert Burrowes on war tax resistance in Australia. And: Anarchists and war tax resistance. Also: how the rich use government to get richer at your expense. And: contemporary council tax rebels in England… mostly just because they don’t think they’re getting their money’s worth.
- Italy’s tax resisters turn to letter and petrol bombs directed at the quasi-privatized national tax agency. Also: a Facebook co-founder renounces his U.S. citizenship soon before the Facebook I.P.O. makes him filthy rich with what would have been taxable capital gains. He joins a rising number of Americans who have decided that U.S. citizenship isn’t worth it.
- A good overview of the plusses and minuses of renouncing U.S. citizenship, from the Wall Street Journal. Also: how the London Yearly Meeting came to its conclusion about war tax resistance in 1987.
- One tactic tax resisters have used from time to time is to pack up and leave when the tax collector comes calling, or when arrest is imminent. Also: the tale of James F. Hathaway, who won tax concessions by threatening to go Galt in 1897.
- Ten things I think are probably true concerning ethics. Also: a round-up of recent international tax resistance news.
- There are a few, revealing mentions of war tax resistance in the “Friends Journal” from its first five years of publication, 1955 to 1959.
- While I was busy going through Friends Journal back issues, I didn’t attend much to American tax resistance news in the here-and-now, so I’ll try to give a recap today of some of the interesting items that caught my notice over the last couple of months.
- A rundown of recent tax resistance news: war tax resistance in the Friends Journal is all in the obituaries column these days; tax resistance news from Spain, Thailand, France, and Greece; I.R.S. ineptitude makes the news again; the impact of the shutdown on government revenue; and the rising trend of taxpatriatism in the (that is to say, out of the) U.S.
- The I.R.S. has been ramping up its use of criminal charges in tax cases. Also: a record number of people renounced their U.S. citizenship last year. And: another early account of the Rebeccaite movement.
- War tax resistance news from the U.S., American tax law news, tax resistance news from Spain, France, Greece, the Dominican Republic, Argentina, and the Isle of Man, and a couple of looks back at the poll tax resistance campaign in Britain.
- Venetian separatists advance their tax resistance campaign. American taxpatriates multiply. Scottish bedroom tax resisters chalk up a victory. Also: an earlier imperialist war in Afghanistan strikes some familiar notes.
- The War Tax Resisters Penalty Fund has sent out a new appeal to its subscribers. Also: the number of ex-U.S. taxpatriates continues to rise. And: what to do with this inconvenient Rebecca-informer?
- Fewest IRS enforcement officers since 1970s. Cost of renouncing U.S. citizenship goes up more than 500%. War tax resisters to gather in New England. ⅓ of filers will owe Obamacare overpayments in April. Banks liable if they fail to freeze levied accounts quickly. War tax resister at Seattle Anarchist Bookfair. New Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns released on-line.
- Notes from war tax resisters Erica Weiland, Peg Morton, John Lindsay-Poland, Frances Crowe, Joseph Olejak, and Henry Braun. Also: some news briefs of interest to tax resisters.
- Is war tax resistance elitist? Got any protest plans for Tax Day? Congress denounces black I.R.S. kettle. Colombia court protects conscientious objectors. New Mexico sheriff stands down I.R.S. and federal marshals attempting property seizure. Al Sharpton tries for tax evader hall-of-fame. And: a record number of Americans renounced their citizenship last year.
- News about American war tax resisters, troubles in the U.S. tax bureaucracy, and tax resistance campaigns in Spain, Israel, England, Hong Kong, and India.
- Simon Black, advocate of personal financial geographical diversification, explains how tax resistance was one motive that led him to expatriate to Chile and stop his money from being “squandered on waste, debt, and war.”
- Tax resistance news from Catalonia, the U.K., the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Spain, Greece, and elsewhere.
- I.R.S. follies, international tax resistance news, war tax resistance bits of note, and a couple of things about Bitcoin and nonprofits and people who renounce their U.S. citizenship — more links than you can shake a stick at.
- News from Catalonia, Mexico, India, and the United States highlight the variety of ways people are pushing back against tax collectors.
- War tax resistance news from the new NWTRCC newsletter, and from war tax resisters in Spain, Canada, and the U.K.
- Some historical and global examples of tax resistance → religious groups and the religious perspective → Central Conference of American Rabbis