War Tax Resisters Sue Barnhart & Scott Schumacher

The Eugene Weekly has published the first in what it promises to be a series of profiles of war tax resisters from Eugene, Oregon. This first profile is of and by Sue Barnhart.

I have been a war tax resister for thirty years. I was raised as a Christian and really took to heart the commandment, “Thou Shalt not Kill.” I never felt comfortable paying taxes for war, but I didn’t realize I had a choice. As soon as I met some war tax resisters and realized it could be done, I began doing it.…

It isn’t as scary as you might think because of the support we war tax resisters give to each other. Not paying war taxes sends a strong statement to the government that I’m against war. I wish more peace activists would do it. If more people took this action, we could put an end to war. As one of my favorite bumper sticker says, “If you work for peace, stop paying for war.”

Scott Schumacher blogs about his tax resistance experience. He withheld the tax he owed in and included a letter with his tax return explaining to the IRS why he was refusing to pay. he hasn’t heard anything from the IRS about this tax debt.

Not only that, but in he was due a refund when he filed his taxes in April. This meant that he wasn’t able to resist his taxes when filing his return, but the IRS did give him his full refund without attempting to deduct his previous tax “debt” from it.

Perhaps my letter was worded well enough to the poor worker at the IRS for them to feel sympathy, or perhaps I was just lost in the shuffle, and I’ll get a letter to collect in a few years. Who knows. The good part for me was that I stood up to basically a “war-making machine” in a very personal way.

Among the Tax Foundation’s reports is one that lists the total federal tax burdens by county, congressional district, and major city area.

The report shows that Nancy Pelosi’s congressional district, full of anti-war liberals who are pleading with her to stop funding the war in Iraq, is also full of eager taxpayers who pay, on average, twice what the average American pays in over-all federal taxes (and 2½ times what the average American pays in federal income tax). If Pelosi is refusing to cut off funds for the Iraq War, she’s only following the lead of her constitutents.