More War Tax Resisters in the News

More tax resisters in the news:

  • Janine and Ben Martin Horst ask readers of the Eugene, Oregon Register-Guard to just say no to funding war in Iraq.

    For some of us in the peace movement, however, it is not only Congress that holds the power of the purse. We believe it each individual’s right to say “not in my name and not with my money!” Some of us are willing to sacrifice security and comfort by refusing to pay for the war through our federal income taxes. We are war tax resisters, and here are some of our stories.

  • The New Jersey Star-Ledger profiles war tax resisters Bryan Nelson and Ed Hedemann.

    Nelson, who works as a union organizer, considers what he is doing an act of civil disobedience. He knows his decision could lead to penalties including fines or jail.

    “It’s a serious act to violate the law,” he said. “I respect the law and the tax system. I’m not trying to evade taxes. I’m just trying to minimize my complicity in what the government is doing. I want my money to go where it can help.”

Nadine Hoover reports on Dan Jenkins’s attempt to get the U.S. courts to recognize some form of conscientious objection to military taxation.

It’s a long shot, but Jenkins hopes to take advantage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and of his painstaking research into the history of American government accommodation of religious scruples to make an argument that will succeed where others have failed.

The Christian Science Monitor has this sobering news:

As Americans finish their annual tax-filing flurry to meet a deadline, it is true that tax rates are lower than they were a few years ago. But according to a different yardstick, the federal government’s reach is expanding.

Slightly over half of all Americans — 52.6 percent — now receive significant income from government programs, according to an analysis by Gary Shilling, an economist in Springfield, N.J. That’s up from 49.4 percent in and far above the 28.3 percent of Americans in . If the trend continues, the percentage could rise to pass 55 percent, where it stood in on the eve of President Reagan’s move to scale back the size of government.

Mr. Shilling’s analysis found that about 1 in 5 Americans hold a government job or a job reliant on federal spending. A similar number receive Social Security or a government pension. About 19 million others get food stamps, 2 million get subsidized housing, and 5 million get education grants. For all these categories, Mr. Shilling counted dependents as well as the direct recipients of government income.

One in five!

, a dozen war tax resisters from Northern California War Tax Resistance and Sonoma County Taxes for Peace handed out checks ranging from $500 to $1,500 to about a dozen community and activist organizations. The money came from the interest on redirected taxes that resisters have deposited in the People’s Life Fund .