News for Tax Resisters and Foes of Cowardly Drone Wars

Some bits and pieces from here and there:

  • Kathy Kelly looks into the cowardly drone strikes that are a rising feature of U.S. foreign policy.

    Reliance on robotic warfare has escalated from the Bush to the Obama administrations, with very little significant public debate. More than ever before, it is true that the U.S. doesn’t want our bodies to be part of warfare; there’s also not much interest in our consent. All that is required is our money.

  • War Resisters’ International covers the case of Hugo Alcade and Jorge Güemes, two Spanish war tax resisters.
  • As I may have mentioned, a provision of the recently-enacted health care industry legislation — one that was little-noticed at the time but that has attracted some commentary since — requires businesses to file 1099s with the government for every other business from whom they purchase goods or services totalling at least $600. Some commentators have focused on the paperwork headache this involves, others on whether it is intending to lay the groundwork for a new value-added tax, but Gary North thinks it may be an opportunity for resistance-via-overcompliance:

    The IRS will be buried in billions of new forms. I’m an older guy. I think back to Carl Sagan’s memorable words in the PBS series, Cosmos: “billions and billions.” These forms will have to be scanned into the system. If businessmen want to protest this law in a legal but effective way, they will have their tax preparers write in the numbers by hand. Then IRS will have to type in the data on each form by hand. Billions and billions!

    Business owners and managers will be outraged. But what if word spreads? “No electronic filing!” What if the tax preparers fill in all the forms by hand. It is legal. It is not efficient, but it’s not all that much extra work. Pay a few dollars more per filing. At the other end, the IRS will get to process these forms by hand. Think of what happens if businesses were to challenge every challenge by the IRS? The business’s CPA simply asks in writing — I do mean writing (hand-written) — for the IRS to review the case. Point out one mistake made by the IRS. Automatically, every business should challenge every request for more tax money. No exceptions. Be polite. Just ask the IRS to review its case in terms of this new information. There are always gray areas. Put them to use. Pay a few bucks to your tax preparer. Paperwork is the essence of every bureaucracy. Let’s do it by the book: with paper.

Supporters of war tax resister Frank Donnelly, who is becoming one of the rare handful of American war tax resisters honored with criminal penalties for their stand, are rallying at the Bangor, Maine Federal Building on where he will be sentenced.

Long time war tax resister and peace advocate Frank Donnelly will appear for sentencing because of his war tax resistance on in Federal Court in Bangor. Donnelly, who pled guilty in , for under-reporting his gross income on tax returns for , faces up to three years in prison.

A rally in support of Donnelly is planned for outside the Federal Court House and Post Office on Harlow Street in Bangor. A statement by Donnelly following the sentencing will take place later that day outside the Federal Building. The time of Donnelly’s statement is tentatively set for , but it may be delayed to later in the afternoon if the sentencing hearing has not finished by that time.

Donnelly has been an opponent of war since the Vietnam War era, when, after joining the army as a youth, he stopped wearing his uniform in opposition to the war. He was jailed in a military stockade for four months in because of his opposition. He began to refuse his taxes at that point so that he would not pay for similar military tragedies. He has been active in the Ellsworth area volunteering for groups such as Habitat for Humanity, a local soup kitchen, and various peace organizations.

“I don’t see any difference between our children and the ones the U.S. goes around the world to kill,” summed up Donnelly.

Thousands of people in the United States have refused to pay taxes for war since the late 1940s. Almost without exception, the IRS has attempted, sometimes successfully and sometimes not, to seize money from those war tax resisters but not go to court. For reasons unique to Donnelly’s case, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has chosen to criminally prosecute him.

“People who believe in peace, not war, should be thanked, not prosecuted,” said Larry Dansinger, a Frank Donnelly supporter who works with the Maine War Tax Resistance Resource Center. “Every administration in recent decades, both Democrat and Republican, has kept us in war and created a huge, and unnecessary, military. The only way to stop this drain on our resources is to not pay for it,” he continued.

The rally will include brief speeches by one or two of Donnelly’s supporters. Then many will go into the courtroom for at least part of his sentencing hearing before federal judge John Woodcock.