Tax Day Quotes from War Tax Resisters

Some quotes from tax resisters this year:

“I just celebrated Jesus’s Easter victory over death, so I won’t pay for killing. Religious freedom is at the very foundation of our nation and it’s against the law to love your enemies and make a living. I love America, but I love Jesus and humanity more.” ―Thad Crouch

“Nobody should undertake tax resistance without understanding the risks. But there are also risks involved in passively cooperating with our own fleecing, or our own demise. And it’s simply amazing that more of us don’t look closely at which risk is greater.” ―Geov Parrish

“We are war tax resisters because we have discovered some doubt as to what belongs to Cæsar and what belongs to God, and have decided to give the benefit of the doubt to God.” ―John K. Stoner

“I knew my relationship with my soul and my God was not going to be okay if I was paying for the military budget.”Rev. Thaddeus Bennett

The Tao of Tax Avoiding:

Chuck Hosking and Mary Ann Fiske won’t be paying personal income taxes . In fact, it’s been two decades since they’ve had to. The couple married in after meeting in New York City’s lower east side, and a deliberate process of downward mobility has been a part of their life together from the beginning. Their annual income is well below the $15,800 taxable minimum for a married couple, and every year they donate over half of what they earn to charities in impoverished nations, such as giving thousands of dollars annually to a health clinic in Nicaragua.

They have lived on approximately $6000 for several decades, simplifying, without meaning to, in fairly exact proportions with inflation. They are pacifists, so a refusal to pay for war has contributed to their lifestyle choices, but a desire for global equity drives their decisions more than tax concerns. The couple maintains that the values you live have more meaning than those you profess, and their lives humbly support this philosophy.

Chuck Hosking also says:

“[W]e don’t see that there’s any sacrifices in what we’re doing. We are absolutely living the good life. This is the good life. It’s just a different set of values to define what’s good. I’ve always said that it seems to me that people want to strive for what’s best. And that’s exactly what we’re doing, we’re shooting for what’s best. I’m a very selfish person. I don’t want anything but the best for myself. I don’t want to settle for any second-best thing that Wal-Mart puts up there. Like Thoreau said, you get a hold of life and suck the marrow out of it, really live it. When there’s an attempt to live a life in solidarity with the average folk of the world that to me is the fullest way you can live. You really get a hold of what life means. It’s hard to explain it to people, that’s the most difficult part of it.

“I hear a lot of people talk about stress and tension and all that stuff in their life. I think a lot of that has to do with not living the kind of life they want to live in their heart, and that would cause them to respect themselves more. And so in many people’s vocabulary, there’s always a whole long list of shoulds: I should be doing this, I should be doing that. And if you’re simply doing it, instead of feeling guilty about not doing it, then you don’t have so much in the way of this tension that’s always there about well, you know, I know there’s people starving in Africa, and I shouldn’t be going out to the restaurant and eating… but now I feel terrible. I just had this big meal and I spent $50 bucks and I feel worse than I did when I went in. You know, to me that’s crazy.

“Same thing with Christmas. You spend all this money on Christmas and people don’t end up happy from it. They end up either guilty or feeling in debt. It’s like all this pressure. It’s a time when you should relax and concentrate on who it is that has a birthday on that day. You know, people lose track of this sort of thing. I’ve thought about life in the United States as living in a fantasy world. We are so insulated from what it really means to live. Most of the people in the world spend up to half their day hauling water and hauling wood. We don’t do any of that. We just push a button and the heat goes on, we turn our tap and the water comes. I mean, we, including Marianne and I, are part of the global elite. We live in a way that’s just off the charts by anybody’s imagination 50 years ago.”

(There’s also a section on the same page called Thoreau’s Army: Local peace activists share expertise on the IRS).