“Peace Tax Seven” Hope to Legalize War Tax Objection in U.K.

The Peace Tax Seven are a group of people who are making a legal challenge to the tax system in the UK — saying that it “makes all taxpayers complicit in mass killing if they do their civic duty and pay their taxes; or it makes criminals of them if they follow their conscience, and refuse to fund war.”

The compromise they propose, and the one that seems most likely to be granted in the unlikely event that their government decides that their claims have any legal merit, is something like a Peace Tax Fund. Conscientious objectors to war would be able to check off a box on their tax forms or something like that and then all of their tax payments would be designated for non-war purposes.

This is of course just an accounting trick and it would not make any actual difference in terms of what money went where or how much was spent on the military. But apparently some people who have moral qualms about paying taxes today would not have such qualms if there were only such a checkbox.

It is hard for me to understand why anyone would devote their time to convincing the government to make such a meaningless symbolic concession, particularly people who seem to understand the arguments for refusing to pay war taxes and who practice what they preach, as many of the Seven do. But what seems obvious to me apparently doesn’t seem very obvious to the many war tax resisters and war tax resistance organizations who endorse and encourage these sorts of movements.

In The New Yorker, Louis Menand discusses how America will be choosing its next president, and leaves the impression that we might as well let 1,000 monkeys throw 1,000 handfuls of monkey feces at 1,000 touch-screen voting machines. But by far the best analysis of the American voter I’ve read so far this year is Mark Ames’s New York Press column from . It all comes down to spite. Yummy.

War tax resister John Kefalas has widened his lead in the Democratic primary race for House District 52 in Colorado to seven votes — which is still close enough to trigger a mandatory recount, which will probably be done next week.