I have picketed thirteen days in
here in Phoenix
against war, the draft, and paying taxes for all this. I have been detained
by the police and released four times, and been called to the tax office
I was a conscientious objector in both World Wars. In
I refused to register for the draft and
resigned from a civil service job in Milwaukee where I had been a social
worker for eleven years. As I do not believe in shooting I have since then
worked on farms where no withholding tax is taken from my pay, so I do not
buy a gun for others to shoot. The tax man has tried to garnishee my wages;
now I work by the day for different farmers and if necessary am paid in
advance in order that no garnishee is effective.
I believe in the idea of voluntary poverty somewhat after the pattern of
St. Francis, Thoreau, Tolstoy and Gandhi. I
have no car or anything the tax man can get. I make a true report of my
income but openly refuse to pay a cent of tax.
I am a non-church Christian. I believe in the Sermon on the Mount, especially
because it is more revolutionary than opportunistic Communist tactics. I do
not put my trust in money or bombs, but in God.
I am an Anarchist who believes that all government exists not to
help people but to continue in power exploiters, bureaucrats and politicians
who keep us on the run with their continual depressions and wars.
If you believe in capitalism and war and think you get your money’s worth in
paying taxes that is your business. My message is to those who are beginning
to question the idea that preparing for war brings peace. It is also to those
who believe somewhat as I do but who are afraid to stand up and say so.…
…If you are ready for my message here is a starter:
REFUSE to become a soldier
REFUSE to make munitions
REFUSE to buy war bonds
REFUSE to pay income taxes
STUDY the Sermon on the Mount
STUDY Gandhi’s non-violent methods
STUDY Jefferson’s idea of life on the land
“STUDY war no more.”
“Better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” A Christian Anarchist
Fred Ecks reports: “I
filed my taxes yesterday. Total federal income tax: $0.00. Total state income
tax: $0.00. This makes
without paying a dime in income tax. Ever since the ‘retirement savings
contribution credit’ went into effect as a bone thrown to the poor as part of
the tax cut for the rich in , I’ve lived
below taxable levels. I strive to maintain this as a form of protest against
the actions of the federal government in recent years.”
Tax resister Jeff Knaebel spoke on
the Gandhi National Memorial in Pune at an event honoring the anniversary of
Gandhi’s birth. A transcript of his speech is on-line. Excerpts:
I left my country almost 15 years ago in order to start a new life in Sacred
India, so as to be no longer an accomplice to this systematic murder by my
payment of income taxes into this ruthless war machine. One of the waypoints
that crystallized my decision was a visit to the Museum at Los Alamos
National Laboratory, birthplace of the atomic bomb. The Temple of Death at
the Mother Mandir of the Science of Total Annihilation. How could I ever
again be sweat at law in an economy whose best and brightest produce this
abominable machinery of mass murder, with my tax support? I joined the river
of the dispossessed, the disenfranchised. How can we call this a
“civilization” — this mindless Corporate State War Machine — in the service
of which so many children go to bed hungry, so many shattered lives are lived
in silent, burning fury?
Gandhi wrote, “The individual has a soul, but as the State is a soulless
machine, it can never be weaned from the violence to which it owes its very
existence.” There was a recent movie Maine Gandhi Ko
Nahin Mara, with theme “We have murdered Gandhi” (by disregarding his
message of nonviolence). I left the American Corporate Warfare State Machine
in order not to be among those who murdered Gandhi.
was my first day this year
working at the
program in San Francisco, helping people with lower incomes file for tax
refunds and credits. In the course of helping pull a few thousand dollars out
of the U.S.
treasury and give it to a handful of San Franciscans, I naturally thought tax
geekery thoughts, and one question came to the fore:
Is it possible for a single person with no children, like myself, to reduce my
total federal tax burden (counting income tax and
to or below zero by using the (refundable) Earned Income Tax Credit?
I’ve long been curious, but I was sure that even if the answer was “yes” the
income at which this would be true would be very low, and so I’d never
actually tried to run the numbers until yesterday.
It turns out that the answer is no:
(This data presents a simple case where all income is earned income and
assumes that the recipient has no federal income tax.)
As you can see, at no point does the earned income tax credit exceed the
paid, so the government comes out ahead at every income level.
This is not the case, though, for people who aren’t childless. People
with one child will get more back from
than they paid out in
if they brought in about $15,000 or less ($16,000 if they’re married and
filing jointly) — you take the most away from the government at an income of
about $8,000. Add a second child, and you come out ahead at about $20,000 (or
$21,000) and below, with the peak at about $11,000. This does not include the
refundable Additional Child Tax Credit which would likely also be available to
(The vertical left axis of the chart represents the total amount of money you
get from the government, or, if negative, the total amount you pay to the
government, by adding your
refund and subtracting your
payments. “0” means no children; “0J” means no children, and married filing
Again: this data assumes a simple case in which all income is earned income,
federal income tax is zero, and no other refundable credits are applied for.)
So it is indeed possible to have the government pay you more in tax
“refunds” than you paid to it in taxes.
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