Susan van Haitsma: We Will Not Pay for Killing

War tax resister Susan van Haitsma has written an article, We Will Not Pay for Killing, for this month’s Dissident Voice. Excerpts:

[W]hat happens when the majority of Americans want war to stop, and the money to wage it keeps flowing in? Larger bonuses are used to lure enlistees, and more military services are performed by expensive contract labor. The machine rolls on.

What happens when wage earners get together and withhold their financial resources from the war? The amount of money diverted from death to life may be small in the face of the huge U.S. military budget, but the challenge to the system is great. Somehow, when someone says, “Not with my money,” and backs it up with the open civil disobedience of war tax refusal, eyes open wider. “You can do that?” Yes, we can and do.

“We don’t feel that we ourselves would pick up weapons, so we don’t feel as though we can pay for other people to do that.” ―Susan van Haitsma

Here are a couple of new links for the frugality set:

  • Oolsi: “We believe everything should be free! This site will keep track of websites and tools that share this philosophy and look at freeware in other aspects of life — i.e. saving money, living cheaply, making things yourself, and self learning.”
  • Wendy McElroy’s new discussion forum has a section on economy, business, personal finance, and frugality.

Says Steven Douglas Smith in his new paper Taxes, Conscience, and the Constitution:

It was often claimed in the founding period — and it is claimed today by jurists like Justice Souter and by scholars like Noah Feldman — that citizens have a right of conscience not to pay taxes that will be used to advance religious teachings which they do not believe. But advocates of this position typically reject the corresponding claim that citizens have a right of conscience not to pay taxes that will be used to advance non-religious (or, in their view, anti-religious) teachings in which they do not believe. Are these positions reconcilable? This essay investigates the question and concludes that they are not. Nor is it a tenable position to hold that conscience is violated by the use of a citizen’s tax dollars to promote any beliefs, religious or non-religious, that particular taxpayers reject. So jurists and scholars would do well to drop the selective and opportunistic appeal to the ostensible connection between taxes and conscience.