Leftist Tax Resister Tom Brewer

The archives of the Socialist Worker Party newspaper The Militant are becoming more easily searchable, and I’ve been able to find some examples of coverage of tax resistance there. Most of these are more-or-less ambivalent stories about pacifist war tax resisters (the paper’s editorial tone seemed to be one of applauding dissent in general, but not having much enthusiasm for tax resistance as a tactic or for pacifism as a philosophy).

Here’s an example of a non-pacifist tax resister with a left-wing anti-government focus, from that paper’s “Letters From Our Readers” column, :

Tax Protest

San Francisco, Calif.

I have refused to file an income tax return for in protest against the cold war and nuclear arms race and the vicious war carried on by the U.S. government in Vietnam. Today I received the first written communication from the District Director. In the “Preliminary Statement,” this sentence appears:

Taxpayer refuses to file a tax return because of pacifist beliefs.

A letter I am sending him indicates firmly that I am not a pacifist. I believe in fighting against the enemies of the American people and I believe that the true enemies of the American people are those now in power in our national government.

I must act because of my own personal convictions, but I do not advocate tax refusal as a practical revolutionary technique because the broad masses of American citizens living in “freedom” have their taxes forcibly removed from their wages — obviously the government does not trust the American people whom it is so viciously and irresponsibly cheating and exploiting. Perhaps your readers will be interested in my struggle with the Internal Revenue Service.

The United States is responsible for murdering Vietnamese children. You and I and every adult citizen of these United States share this responsibility.

If we do not find the correct techniques to arouse the American people to revolt, then our blind and irrational leaders, men of the caliber of Lyndon B. Johnson, Robert S. McNamara, Curtis LeMay, Thomas Powers, Eastland, Wallace & Co., the Bundy Brothers, Inc., etc., will continue to murder and abuse innocent people both abroad in Vietnam, the Congo, the Union of South Africa, etc., and right here at home in Alabama, Mississippi, Harlem and Detroit, etc., and they will eventually lead us into a most destructive World War .

The time to organize a truly revolutionary movement for world peace, racial equality and a planned economy through socialism is now!

Tom Brewer. M.D.