Some bits and pieces from here and there:
- Earlier this year I went through all the back issues of
Friends Journal to review how the practice of
Quaker war tax resistance underwent a revival and then retreated again in
the last half century or so. We’re at the bottom of the retreat trough
today. There has been almost nothing about war tax resistance in the
Journal this year. The latest issue does have some mentions,
but they’re pretty much all in the obituaries:
- The obituary notice for Mary Caroline Mendenhall notes that she was part of the Fairhope single-tax corporation — a “cooperative community that hoped to address the challenges to conscience that came through the payment of taxes” — and that she was one of those Quakers who emigrated to the Monteverde settlement in Costa Rica after she “became uncomfortable with the draft and with paying taxes that contributed to militarism.”
- The obituary notice for Edward Webster says that he and his wife Susan “stopped paying war taxes for a period [in ], started the Roxbury War Tax Scholarship Fund as a place for war tax resisters to redirect a portion of their taxes to, and counter-recruited at high schools.”
- Spanish war tax resister Paco Ortega has joined up with the Stop Evictions group from Granada’s 15M assembly and has expanded his war tax resistance so that now he also refuses to pay the portion of his taxes devoted to the state police and national guard, legislature, monarchy, prison, election and party financing, and interest on the debt — a bit over 31% of his tax bill. He’s redirecting the resisted portion of his taxes to the Stop Evictions project.
- IRS ineptitude is an evergreen news item. The latest example includes such fun facts as “the IRS sent at least 343 potentially fraudulent tax returns in to the same, single address in Shanghai, China, for a total of $156,533 in tax refunds” — “655 potentially fraudulent tax refunds totaling $220,489 were sent to the same address in Kaunas, Lithuania.”
- They’re not getting any help from Congress. The government estimates that as a result of the recent shutdown histrionics, “the IRS was unable to collect about $1-billion per week from its enforcement activities. In addition to delaying the start of the by up to two weeks, the shutdown will cost the federal government billions of dollars in interest on late IRS refunds and late payments to federal contractors…”
- The government of Thailand was contemplating a law that would have granted amnesty to politicians who had perpetrated a variety of crimes over the past decade. The opposition called for general strikes and tax resistance, and the government abandoned the amnesty plan.
- “ will set a record for expatriations by U.S. taxpayers, with at least a 33% increase from the previous high in .” The latest big name giving the kiss off to the sweet land of liberty? Tina Turner.
- I’ve been reading a lot about tollgate and traffic camera destruction by the bonnets rouges of Bretaigne lately. Here’s an example of a somewhat more light-hearted protest: temporarily disabling such cameras by wrapping them in plastic, painting a happy face on them, and topping them with a bonnet rouge.
- In Greece, the toll resisters depended less on destruction and more on mass action — mobbing the toll booths, lifting the gates, and waving the drivers through. Some of these activists are being prosecuted now (with mixed success). But yet more infuriating? The country’s legislature has voted itself a new benefits package, and among those benefits: legislators don’t have to pay highway tolls!