NWTRCC Campaign for Tax Season 2021

Dear friends, This tax season, NWTRCC will host several online events and creating new online resources. We hope this will be useful to local groups and individuals in promoting war tax resistance. For example, the following events are planned for January: NWTRCC is Leading a Session for College of Complexes Saturday January 16, 2021 (7pm Eastern/ 4pm Pacific). The College of Complexes is a Chicago group that refers to itself as a “playground for people who think.” NWTRCC Coordinator Lincoln Rice will lead a session on the war tax resistance and the work of NWTRCC. Spread the word! Here is the Zoom info: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81216467150 Passcode 094136 By phone: +1 312 626 6799 Meeting ID: 812 1646 7150 WTR Panel to […]

Georgia Still On My Mind

As the spectacle of the departure of the 45th president unfolds, the unraveling of the U.S. Empire is witnessed by many watching under stay at home orders the world over. As the events unfold, my mind returns to Georgia and the incredible work of grassroots organizers to push for change in what became a linchpin in the balance of government. The accomplishments of largely women of color would become overshadowed by white men with guns. My own journey towards justice began in Georgia and the grassroots organizing efforts of the School of the America Watch. Founder Fr. Roy Bourgeois’s words often come to mind that most  of the problems of the world boil down to “men with guns.”  It was […]

Hindsight, Looking Forward with 2020 Vision

As 2020 comes to a close, it seems like a good time to look back to where we have been; have clear eyes about where we are headed in order to forge a new path. By January 15th 2021, 5,ooo total U.S. troops are poised to remain in Iraq and Afghanistan.  After a height of 170,000 troops in Iraq and 100,000 troops in Afghanistan and over 19 years of war this appears to be welcome news to the longest ongoing war in U.S. history. A former Marine captain wrote “Two Costly Wars and a Legacy of Shame” in the New York Times that the US Defense Department alone spent $6 trillion dollars “costing each American taxpayer an estimate more than […]

Don’t Pay for What You Don’t Want

Nelson Homestead

“I don’t want to pay for what I don’t want. I won’t buy what I don’t want. I’m that way with everything. So, why not war? I don’t want it either…” — Juanita Nelson on Democracy Now! During this season of Black Fridays, Cyber Mondays, big online retailer vans and trucks crowding streets and highways, advertisements for all manner of plastic stuff, etc., it’s a great time to remember Wally and Juanita Nelson. They lived lives centered around their belief in nonviolence as a way of life, a belief that led Wally to prison for refusing to fight in WWII. A belief that led the couple to refuse to pay taxes for war. A belief that evolved to an exemplary […]

NWTRCC Conference Report

Originally, our November 2020 conference was going to take place in Colorado Springs. With the COVID-19 pandemic, we made the decision to meet online using Zoom instead. (Though I would like to thank Mary Sprunger-Froese and Rick Bickhart, who had put time and energy into the original planning of the conference.) If we had been able to meet in person, we might have seen some beautiful vistas. As it was, almost everyone had wonderful weather while we met online and some folks took their computers outside their homes during our conference. NWTRCC’s second online conference was a success. (Though to be clear, NWTRCC has had an online component to its conferences that allowed folks who were offsite to join us […]

Tax Resistance, Self-Employment and Health Insurance

DECISIONS, DECISIONS It’s a thorny problem when the complications of obtaining health insurance intersect with the desire to remain a nonfiling tax resister. This is exactly where I found myself when my luck ran out on the premium tax credit. As a self-employed freelancer, I have to purchase my own health insurance. For the past few years I was able to prove to the state’s insurance marketplace that my income was low enough to qualify by sending copies of my properly filled out but not filed tax forms. I knew it was a risky move when I started, and after the first year I thought I was in the clear. But now they’ve caught up with me and it’s not […]

All or Nothing Syndrome

Over these decades of doing war tax resistance, being in meetings about war tax resistance, counseling current or new resisters, etc., I’ve tried to argue against something I will call the “all or nothing syndrome.” “I can’t live below taxable income so I can’t resist.” “We’re having a baby so I have to stop resisting.” “I’m applying for a loan so I have to stop resisting.” “The IRS just took my bank account so I have to stop resisting.” “I like the idea but I can’t risk my job by becoming a war tax resister.” I don’t want to be snooty and judgmental about it. People hit a wall and feel there is no way around it for all kinds […]

War Tax Resistance beyond the 2020 elections

At the last NWTRCC national gathering in May 2020, some of our members suggested having a study group to look at issues emerging during COVID-19. The group has met weekly and has discussed a variety of issues over the past months—mostly as it relates to militarism. In recent weeks the conversations have been focused on the elections. People have expressed concerns about the peaceful transfer of power, voter suppression, and armed groups at polling places or potentially in the streets resisting election results.  A component of the study group is sharing articles and resources with each other that encourage reflection, discussion, and action. We wanted to share some reflections on the upcoming election and resources (that you can find at […]

Dr. Strangelove II: What’s the Subtitle?

“We don’t pay taxes. The little people do.” Much of the scandal around Trump and his taxes has less to do with how little he paid and more to do with how pervasive tax avoidance is among the wealthy. It is estimated that 70% of all underpayment of taxes is by the 1%. If they were audited or investigated by the IRS, the result would be $1 trillion in a decade. As it stands now, the area with the highest audits are in rural Mississippi where three-quarters of the population is Black and more than one-third live below the poverty line.  It appears that there is a two tiered tax system that is exacerbating the gulf between those who milk […]

Financial State of NWTRCC & Bequest Campaign

Unless you attend NWTRCC’s bi-annual business meeting or check out our annual reports, you might not be aware of NWTRCC’s financial situation. NWTRCC runs on a shoe-string budget. Our expenses last year were just over $58,000. Around 70% of our expenses—or about $42,000—were used to pay for NWTRCC’s two consultants. The remainder of the expenses were used to fund our biannual meetings, newsletter, website, and to keep our materials up-to-date. The website has definitely become our most highly utilized resource, with over 38,000 unique visitors checking out the NWTRCC site so far in 2020. (The average visitor looks at 9 different pages on our website.) To help meet these expenses and make NWTRCC as helpful as possible to war tax […]

U.S. Tax History- It Doesn’t Repeat Itself, But It Often Rhymes

women holding signs above their heads while gathered outside

Like many of you, I found it easy to get lost in the Trump tax troves published in the New York Times last Sunday. I felt a feverish attempt to scour through it to find some of the starker elements and decipher how it relates to war tax resistance. Some of the long anticipated information that had been shrouded in secrecy was available to all. I was curious about the details of how the supposed “leader of the free world” was able to game the U.S. tax system, but I was also curious as to how the general public would respond to this new information. It seemed many realized that those with money bent the tax laws to benefit themselves.  […]

Planning Ahead

“What Will You Do if Trump Doesn’t Leave?” was the title of a September 3 op-ed by New York Times conservative columnist (but no fan of the current president) David Brooks. In it he says, If Trump claims a victory that is not rightly his, a few marches in the streets will not be an adequate response. There may have to be a sustained campaign of civic action, as in Hong Kong and Belarus, to rally the majority that wants to preserve democracy, that isolates those who would undo it. Letters-to-the-editor ran in response on Sunday, September 20. In one letter from a Stuart Esten in Burlington, Massachusetts, he dismissed legal action or street protests as being “hopeless” and “ineffective” […]