National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee

Readings on Money

By, For, and About War Tax Resisters and Resistance


War Tax Resisters Talk About Money

NWTRCC Gathering in Las Vegas, NV • November 2006

Three people made opening remarks and open discussion followed. This is a transcript with very limited editing. The group had also read an article, “The Influence of Money on Decisions to Engage in WTR,” by Karen Marysdaughter that is part of this collection.

David Gross, San Francisco, CA

There are a few different angles I could come at this from. One is how I got into war tax resistance (WTR) and how my attitudes about money changed or evolved over time as I did that. I started in March 2003 when the bombs started falling in Iraq, and I realized that I was really going to have a hard time looking at myself in the mirror every morning if I continued to pay my taxes, so I just decided to stop. I resigned my job and decided I was going to try to live below the tax line, and at the time I didn’t know where that line was. I just went into it blindly. My conscience just came up with a demand and said you must do this, and the practical part of it came later.

And I thought it was going to be much harder than it was. When I talk to people now who are thinking of living below the tax line they typically think it is much more daunting than I think it is now that I’ve done it and see how it’s done. It’s not irrational to be concerned about your financial health but it’s irrational to the extent that people tend to exaggerate the difficulty. And I think to some extent the literature of the war tax resistance movement had played into that. A lot of times we tend to associate low income/simple living tax resistance with poverty line existence or taking a vow of poverty or living very much on the edge. I think that, more now than in the past, that’s not true. The way the laws have changed enables people to live at a much higher level on a more comfortable level and still stay below the tax line.

So that’s one way I approach the question.

Another way I approach it is noticing that over the time that I started resisting and learned more about it, I was finding myself thinking about money — a lot more than I used to. I don’t feel particularly harmed by that, but I’m also kind of suspicious of it. I always associated thinking about money a lot with things like being unhealthily acquisitive or miserly or really concerned about keeping up with the Joneses. Those are the kinds of associations I come up with in my mind when I think of somebody who thinks a lot about money. Having to think about how much I spend and the tax ramifications of what I spend and keeping accounts in various places to qualify for various tax credits means that I’m spending a lot of time with spread sheets looking at dollar signs.

I think another part of the resistance some people might feel to tax resistance is always having to think about money or think about finances or accounting. People who want to be a little more lackadaisical about finances or not have to devote a whole lot of their brain to thinking about dollar signs might be averse to that.

Peter Smith, South Bend, IN

I’d like to say a bit about my WTR too. I started in 1969, a recently divorced father and primary caregiver of 3 children aged 1, 2, 3. I was a draft counselor. I saw the young men that I was counseling going to Canada or going to jail, and WTR seemed mild in comparison with the sacrifices they were making. It takes money and people to fight a war, and the logical thing was not to pay the money. I also spent 7 years in graduate school to get my degree so I could teach, so I felt an obligation to use that time that I had invested and the expertise I had gained. I thought I would be a very good teacher and open up the world of mathematics to young people. So I thought I would go ahead and get a regular job as a teacher and then the consequence was I would incur a tax liability for that.

The consequences were almost immediate. The IRS levied my wages within a year, and I almost got fired because some people at the college didn’t want to have IRS agents coming to the college. Not only was I not fired, but I worked at Saint Mary’s for over 35 years. I tried to have a bank account under somebody else’s name or in some other city, but then they would find the money in some accounts and take that.

My wife now, Ellyn, had been married to a draft dodger in Canada, so she was sympathetic to this whole thing and very agreeable to pick up WTR when she joined the family. She was a doctor (had had to wait for three years because there was a quota on women going into medical school at that time), and she went through 7 years of training herself so she wanted to use her skills. She opened up a solo practice.

What I did originally was file 10 allowances on the W-4 form so they wouldn’t have the money withheld from my salary — the 63% at that time, now 50%, that goes to the military. We felt that citizens owed some responsibility to a government that would provide life preserving services to people, so we decided that we would not refuse all the taxes but just the part that goes to the military — knowing fully that every tax dollar you give to the government they use part of that for the military. We weren’t thinking that was going to avoid our complicity with the military completely.

Since Ellyn was a solo practitioner and self employed, we could work out WTR by her filing quarterly but not sending in enough money. That was the means we went about it. Both of us are fairly frugal and our families were frugal so we didn’t feel [deprived] from the money point of view. I was kind of the “birds of the air” type of person. There’s a Bible story about God feeds the birds of the air, and they don’t have to labor for it, it just comes. It seemed to come — whatever we gave away — and we did give away everything we refused in taxes — we gave it to organizations that we felt were going to spend it for good things.

Every single penny that was refused in taxes was seized by the IRS. We haven’t successfully set aside any money from the IRS. They seized it, and of course all the money they seized we had already paid in other places. Then in addition the penalties and interest were huge. Well over $100,000 we’ve had seized with penalties and interest. It came in dribs and drabs. Maybe 5 years would go by, and they wouldn’t take anything then they’d come and take a whole bunch at once with a lot of penalties and interest.

Our friends would say “well what in the world are you doing. You are the most unsuccessful WTRs we have ever seen!” But for me and also for my wife it’s important to be able to say “no” to the government. The government has to steal our money. We’re not going to voluntarily turn it over, they have to come and steal it, and they have. They are real good at it. The mafia is put to shame by the IRS.

But that empowerment helps me and helps us to do other things in the peace movement and to stay active and organize other things. Seems to me when other people were burning out we were able to keep energizing along, and it seemed to me it was the WTR witness that we were doing that helped us get the motivation to keep going.

The other thing is we were able to be very open about it. We could write letters and get interviews on radio and TV and in the press. We didn’t have to hide anything because we were out in the open about what we were doing.

The most difficult point we had was our kids. They saw all their friends getting a lot of things they didn’t get because we didn’t have any extra money to buy them a lot of fancy toys and all that other stuff. They were kind of miffed a little bit but they never turned against us. None of them became war tax resisters (they are in their late 30s now), but they still seem to respect us. They don’t seem to feel their childhood was completely knocked out by not having enough money. They are all fairly frugal.

Since I’ve retired and my wife is half-time we are able to use David’s “Don’t Pay Nothin’” method. We have been able to do IRAs and 401k and give contributions to things. The IRS did take a huge chunk of the IRA — they took $25,000 — and then we had to pay taxes on that! A double-whammy.

Gary Cavalier, Las Vegas, NV

We came to Las Vegas from the Los Angeles Catholic Worker model, where you get room and board and a small stipend like $10 a week. The first years that I lived here, that’s what we did. We got the place to live and food that was donated and the stipend. Then we were living on the voluntary poverty model.

Now we are not. I think that has to do with having a family and kind of a slippery slope….

To say now how we do it: when we decided to have the foster kids and move out of the Catholic Worker (CW) house here, this contractor that we knew told us that if we could find a lot he would help us build a house. We have a lot of volunteers at the soup line who are in the construction trade. We found a lot for $20,000, and he was able to build it with a lot of donated help for $30,000, so we built our house for $50,000.

Now CW pays the expenses of that house, and through working with Nevada Desert Experience and other projects on the side we were able to pay off the $30,000 loan, so that makes it easy for us to live below the taxable income.

The second thing, when we adopted the two boys, the state has a low income adoption subsidy, so they pay us $350 a month until the boys are 18 if our income is below a certain level, and they provide medical insurance. That is not taxable income so that’s another way that we can live below taxable level.

What we do now is get the housing allowance and utilities from CW plus the stipend. We each get about $400—$500 per month income, but we get the subsidy from the state and no mortgage.

The third thing is the earned income credit and additional child tax credit which was also money back, so that’s our situation.

We are not living in voluntary poverty anymore, but we do not have a taxable income either.


Discussion

David G.: One of the things I’ve noticed is that a lot of times people are very embarrassed about their finances — not because they are in debt or rich or poor — but because there is a taboo talking about it. A lot of people I know would be more comfortable talking about their sex lives with a stranger than they would talking about how much money they made or how much taxes they paid. It’s an interesting taboo, and I don’t understand where it comes from. It’s not like the sexual taboo, which everyone talks about. People don’t talk about the money taboo as much. It’s such an important part of our lives and a lot of the way that our livelihood and lives are expressed.

By not bringing it out in conversation with friends the way that we might with sex lives or romance or food or so many other parts of our lives, we lose the opportunity to compare notes. A lot of people make very, very poor financial decisions. Part of it is that it’s not something that people get a lot of education about, but a lot of it is that people don’t get together and shoot the breeze about it, so they don’t compare notes, they don’t learn from each other. They don’t have the experience of friends sitting around the table and saying “you did what?!” and giving them a bit of a corrective. It may be biting off a bit more than a group like ours can chew, but it might be something that’s worthwhile to attack. Can we sit down and talk about money and be frank about it and not be embarrassed about it.

Daniel: I find it very cultural, having traveled and lived in some other countries where people will say, “How much do you make a month? How much did you pay for your car, how much did you pay for your house? How much do you spend on things?” It’s a lot more common in the U.S. where we’re very individualistic and guarding of our personal financial worlds. That’s taboo, like you said.

Peg: I resonate very much with this. I remember growing up and being told that I wasn’t supposed to talk about money. I boasted that my father had gotten my wedding present on sale, and my father was distressed. I just more and more have felt how important it is. We can be examples of just being open and frank. We open ourselves to vulnerability. Certainly I feel I live in tremendous compromise with the capitalist system. We open ourselves to criticism but if we’re not critical of each other that’s helpful. If we can ask each other what we do and what we make, if that culture can expand in the progressive community that would be an important change in our society.

Joffre: Peter used the expression “owe” when speaking of his relationship to the IRS. I think that’s always a semantic error. We don’t owe anything to people who rob us and do rob us. In the article by Karen Marysdaughter, she mentions “fear of IRS” and Ruth connected to 9/11. We have one answer to this fear about IRS. Robert Randall and others presented themselves to the IRS asking to be arrested for breaking the law about not paying taxes, and they were thrown out and the door was locked rather than arrest them. Why don’t we put that in a piece of literature and try to bust that myth. Bust that myth down. In a sense we’re privileged here in the way we can live below the tax level as compared to some people in Europe. It’s a more difficult thing there.

Clark: Since I do WTR as a nonfiler, my work options have been limited and finances have often been tight and stressful. But as the years go by, thinking about money and war taxes, I’m looking at the progression of the tax code and laws and where that’s going. The idea of having a flat tax in the future as opposed to income tax so that it would really be tied more to our consumerism in the U.S. — more clearly tied to it. That makes me think about my own complicity in the system. Even though I don’t technically pay anything to the IRS, just thinking about fuel for air travel, fuel for car travel — even if I don’t have a car I’m in a car a lot — fuel for the house. So just thinking about all the other ways that I am tied into living in the culture that makes the whole military thing seem necessary to sustain that. So for me thinking about WTR for another 20 years I think more about my ties in with my daily life, not so much about whether the IRS is getting money directly because of my labor but how I’m living. In my mind that needs more attention as far as resistance to being financially tied into military. The nonfiling part of it is almost sliding away as something that is less important to think about as much.

Susan B: Once Perusha gave testimony that he took a job with Social Security so that he could have some retirement money. Then he died at a rather young age. Those thoughts keep going through my mind about how much to plan ahead and how much is out of our hands anyway.

Steev: This is like a part of a conversation about our world view. How to live. How to look at what it takes to live as citizens of this country. Wendell Wilke once said the American economy will not function unless Americans believe that what other people think are luxuries are necessities. Another statistic to go along with that is that if everybody lived the way U.S. people live we would need 25 earths to provide enough resources. By 2020 we will need 2 earths to provide enough resources for all the people living on this earth.

To get back to the mention of retirement, probably about 5½ billion people don’t have retirement plans. I started rethinking this stuff when I traveled in South America. There are a lot of Bolivian families who live on $50 a month. I think about that when I want to buy a new CD or something.

But I wanted to say also that since becoming a WTR I worry less about money now. I feel liberated. It’s just a weird kind of feeling of well I’m tossing away this fear that almost everybody else has. So what? I don’t have to worry about it because any moment the IRS might suck all my money away anyway. It liberates me from thinking maybe I should be saving money to buy a house or a car. Why should I worry about that since then I would have to worry about how to keep it from the IRS. I definitely worry a lot less about taxes. I file and I think well I’m not going to pay any of it anyway so I’m not going to pay an accountant to tell me how to owe the least amount of taxes because — who cares? It’s really been liberating to me. But again it’s just part an entire worldview shift.

I know plenty of people who don’t believe the lies, who just live simply. I talk to them about war tax resistance and they say “well duh of course I don’t pay taxes.” I feel like people here in this room and people who are part of NWTRCC, we’re like self-conscious WTRs, maybe because we are trying to have it both ways. (It’s not a value judgment) A lot of people are trying to figure out how to have a normal life and also resist paying taxes. I feel like there are a lot of people out there who are just rejecting this entire American way of living and way of looking at money. So for them it’s just like “of course — that’s just one part of the whole pile of bullshit.”

Daniel: Why do we in America have such a complex about money. It’s where we come from, the family culture we grew up in. I’m almost a bit pissed off right now, because I’m in this group of people who have the privilege to have this conversation, because so many people don’t. I grew up in a family that lived frugally, but I had things I needed. I had food, I had clothes. I could go to school, I could even go to college. That’s already better than 99% of people on this planet. I guess because of my travels and before I became a WTR I spent a year in a commune and learned the word “de-consumerize” before I even thought about WTR. WTR? Oh, that goes hand in hand.

But another life experiment comes along. Do I want to work in the corporate world, not really, but then maybe I could get a little money to do a couple different projects and get a farm. Security? what does that mean for me in a corporate job? Am I going for the 401k — no, because I don’t want the IRS to get it. When I got the $500 a year raise after 6 months of work, the first thought that came into my mind was that’s the annual income for a lot of families in Bangladesh where I lived for a year. I didn’t go right out and give that $500 to people and food, but I’m going to figure out a way not to get taxed for it.

But there’s a certain amount of shame. I don’t talk about WTR in my family because it’s like “oh.” When I started WTR I was making $12,000 a year, then $14,000, then $18,000. Then it went over $20,000 — wow, that’s so much. But in this culture that’s not much. What’s the average American salary — a lot more than that. Growing up in my family I think maybe I should think about that retirement. but I’m the more “bird of the air” kind of approach. The freedom that comes with WTR has helped me. The security comes in growing my own food, having the people around that I can call community if ever something happens to me. If I had kids I’d do things a little differently and I’d have to rethink some of these questions, but I don’t have that right now. I’m living more in the moment. Probably my parents would place a value judgment on that and say it’s not a very smart thing but it seems to be ok for me. I’m not from the same culture that my parents came from, because the great depression is where they came from. But Joffre grew up in the great depression, and he’s here in this room and he says money sucks!

Peg: It’s come up pretty heavily in our community. but it comes up over and over again. I’m in the Quaker community and the feeling I get is that a lot of people say “well they get it anyway, so why bother.” Personally I know I’m not going to pay because I can’t. I’m not going to voluntarily pay my taxes, and it is liberating. And I am able to go out and do my thing and be open about my WTR. But when someone in our group comes up and says “I would never do that because they are getting it anyway — and with penalties and interest.” How stupid of you. To raise also the advertisement that says “you can redirect your taxes,” but it doesn’t say that often you are levied or garnished. If someone is inheriting a lot of money and the IRS keeps coming and getting several thousand dollars they go back and forth about whether it’s worth it to do this or not. So that’s one area of how do we respond to people about that.

Another area that was brought up is this area of the not-for-profit that was brought up in More Than a Paycheck, which I think is very interesting, because I lower my taxes considerably by giving away a lot of money to 501(c)3 groups. So it’s very interesting as we talk about how we fill out our forms, and we reduce our taxes as much as possible which means that really we’re buying in to the system. So that whole question of to what extent do we buy into the system in order to manipulate it for our own benefit or to the benefit of our own values. This has come up in meeting recently because some are getting quite concerned that we may lose our status, we’re a religious group, and some of us are saying maybe we shouldn’t have that status anyway. That’s two issues that are running through my mind.

Susan B: There is a difference in how free you can be. Our kids have gotten pretty much the maximum federal aid toward college (grants and loans). Should we take from the government? I kind of think it’s a good idea for the government to be spending money on my kids to go to college rather than other things, but should we or should we not?

Steev: I personally think student loans are another part of that giant lie of our society. It’s trapping kids into being slaves for a big chunk of their lives.

Tana: I was remembering at pervious meetings we’ve had panels with people struggling with their WTR in response to their kids. A few comments stood out to me: Dave Z said that one of his kids actually thanked him once he was grown up for his WTR, not only for the recognition of the integrity involved and the example that had been going on at that time, but they lived in a poorer section of DC, they went to some really rough schools, and his kid said something like, “I feel like I can interact with anybody now. I learned as part of my education by not being insulated and safe, like what people think they have to be able to provide kids. I learned how to deal with a wide range of people, and I feel really confident now going out into the world.”

Another fellow said his kids got better scholarships to college than he would ever have been able to do had he been working 9-5 job to provide for the kids.

I do think WTR has some surprising silver linings like that sometimes. When you are following your heart and doing what your conscience dictates things work out in mysterious and good ways that you don’t really foresee when you start out.

Joe: Money’s got such a bigger role in society for most people than it did before the industrial revolutions. We should put it in this big sweep of history when like 90% of people were farmers — and still maybe worldwide, half or mixed or peasants with some of their families in industry

So maybe we are still trying to ingest these tremendous changes of people being dislocated from a direct connection with the land. So then what was your war taxes? Government would come and take a couple goats or some of the young men direct — none of this money stuff. It just jumped up at me when we’re talking about money.

For some reason this is not a topic of openness, in our conversation now we’re knocking on the door, prying it open a little bit — we’re resisting the culture of total privacy. You get into one of these resistance things and it just drags you on into a few other ones. Anti-consumerism…. Our connection with all kinds of things come up, and those can seem stronger than the tax connection. That’s another achievement we’re doing in this resistance business. In a small group sometime we could tell a financial biography. Some of that might be beneficial to share. The flukes of capital and inheritance — I have some income from a property. As soon as I can set up some kind of retirement thing, insurance for my partner, then that is going to be donated. But where? It’s not my caprice. I’ve got to figure out where this money comes from. Those of you who have some other kinds of financial interest, that money is owed to the people who really produced it. So that gets into this whole myth of taxing people and taking our money. Our money? All the money is socially produced. It’s just apportioned differently. So you can get into thinking all kinds of revolutionary thoughts too. Actually it’s just revolutionary to think and keep thinking about all these topics.

Mike: If my mom were here she would think you were all looney. I haven’t filed. I think I filed once. That’s just because I made less than $9,000 per year and just said screw it. Then I got fired anyway for going to a Pax Christi conference. I guess I have to thank my parents that I don’t have to think a lot about money because my parents together made less than $9,000.

For me it’s kind of this thing I’m already outside of the system. For the past three months people have been giving me money to do activist work. Funny in this country how those who work the hardest have the least or are treated the worst. The other thing I think is interesting is the fact that personally I find myself caught between the ideology of anarchism and “Would we be willing to pay money to a government that was doing 100% of taking care of people?” There are the benefits of paying your taxes for good things, the issue for me though is if you are not going to pay your taxes please put your money into social programs to support your communities.

Carol: One of the things I was thinking about, everybody’s solutions about how they are living their life, to be under the radar, to protect IRAs and how to protect that, and I was struck by the comment about manipulating the system and that whole philosophical question. That’s an interesting question that applies to so many aspects of our lives so that we can live an ethical life and make some kind of political statement at the same time. Something that bugs me a lot, I don’t think on a larger scale that it’s just that people like us or a lot of people are so concerned with consumerism or their self worth is wrapped up in having things, but I think that those of us who kind of turned away from that….

There’s such a level of fear of the future. When there is no real social contract, either with the government to provide health care and basic services, or as Joe was talking about people leaving the land. Families and communities don’t take as much responsibility in this society to provide that kind of safety net that used to be there, or that is there in poorer countries in terms of taking care of each other and making sure people have what they need. Being in a nonprofit organization, we’re all being inundated by stuff about successor planning and all these foundations are doing reports about younger people are coming out of school with such incredible debt that they don’t feel they can go into the nonprofit world because they don’t feel they make enough money to pay off the debts, and at the same time they are being inundated with messages about how Social Security is not going to be protected, you’ve gotta have this much money, if you don’t have this much money or this percentage of your income you’ll never be able to retire…

The level of fear that is generated in this society I think drives people to very individualist solutions. Instead of dealing with the larger problems that we have of why that is so, even activists I know, they do a lot of stuff, but they are salting money away, worrying, or buying property or doing things because they feel they need to protect themselves because if they get sick or they retire… There is a component of fear in this society that I think we need to address maybe even among ourselves. But if we are doing outreach and talk to other people about doing this. It is just this message people are bombarded with. You must make a lot of money because you are going to need it to take care of yourselves because the government is not going to, your neighbors are not, your community is not. That’s where I think we can offer a lot of looking at, why is that so, how can we create new communities or governments or vision that really provide those kinds of basic things for people so that they are not driven so much to think they need this much money.

Joffre: If a study was made of the children of WTRs who do not become WTRs it might give us some depth of understanding of what the dynamic is in this society that we are up against.

Robert: The piece I heard tonight that hit me the hardest was Steev’s comment that people in NWTRCC are self conscious WTRs because we want to have it both ways. The people that seem to do the best job of being WTRs are the ones that aren’t even thinking about it form a WTR perspective. They’re just doing it, it’s just the way they live. This idea of getting past the taboo of sharing, at a real level, numbers, about our finances. If our progressive culture could move to the point of being able to do that with one another that would be a real contribution to society as a whole. The question I have out of that is how we realistically start doing that. Joe said, spend time in small groups sharing financial bios with one another. For the most part I don’t think we do delve into this, even in counseling. Usually I counsel about values and morals but not really the dollars. There is one place where it is legitimate to do that, and that is when you are paying people money to do that. To go to an accountant.

Joseph: I’ve heard a lot of ideas but when people were talking personally I heard a lot about freedom and liberation but not much about guilt. I think about ethics and results when I do WTR.

As far as the war tax resistance literature goes, the big ideas — personally I would be turned off by that stuff in the literature. What I was looking in the literature was technical details about complex issues. Things like what happens when they put a lien on the account, that would have saved me a bunch of money if I had known more about liens. Those kinds of details is what I want out of the literature. I would find it difficult to come up with a lot of ways to show people that it’s not that hard, because I think WTR is hard actually. I don’t know if it’s ethics or results, I think there’s something really beautiful about “I’m not going to give money to the government, they have to come and take it.” But tactically it’s also important to see that if they’re getting more money with the penalties then where do my ethics and tactics come together there? I don’t have a good answer.

Ruth: I think about the guilt think a lot around lifestyle issues. I’m in the frugal camp but not living in poverty. Maybe it ties into thinking about the bigger picture and bringing everybody to a standard that seems reasonable as opposed to feeling hugely guilty about everything we’re doing. Last year when we heard from young people that a lot of what we’re putting out (WTR information) seems to make people think, “I don’t know if I want to do that because I might want to buy a house someday.” I was thinking I never thought about that when I got into WTR. To me it was a protest. I’m still interested in the protest, I’m interested in having tax money to resist because I like that protest to the government and saying I’m not going to pay you, whatever it is whether it is a dollar or for me it tends to be $2,000, $3,000 or $4,000. It makes me think about who comes into WTR and maybe some of us who are more casual about money. For me it kind of just happened. I wasn’t thinking way ahead, but I do now thinking about getting older and what I’ll live on.

Last thing I wanted to say was I heard Malachy McCourt recently, and he said something about fear and using that to make people support the war. But he said mostly when people have fear and a worst case scenario, it’s rare that you hit that. You might hit something bad and find out you can deal with it. So I was thinking about WTR when he said that. You might hit one wall but another way opens.

Tana: Another article Karen wrote was at a WTR action where she did a survey. Just that day, over 100 years of resistance was represented and far more money being resisted and not collected than was being collected. So I think when we let ourselves get discouraged by an individual case when they get more money back and letting that discourage us to the point where we give up, we are failing to look at the big picture, that over all to the degree that the motivation is to actually keep the money away, we are still succeeding as a collective. The motivations I struggle with a lot — how much is to keep the money away and how much is to just not comply, to be resisting and to have that witness to other people. As a nonfiler my first almost decade of resistance I was being very quiet about it because I didn’t want to attract the IRS’s attention and keep that money away and not have them come collect it. Peter was talking about the liberation of being able to talk to the media and stuff, and I almost experienced some degree of relief once the IRS found me and started hounding me with letters. Now they know about me, now I can speak freely to the media and tell my story. Now I’m kind of slipping back into it, I’m kind of under the radar again and feeling that fear creeping in and how vocal do I want to be. I go back and forth with that because both motives have merit. I love keeping my money away and I love being freely witnessing about it and inspiring other people to say no in some way to this global force.

Joe: They can take that money, you can even stop being a resister, but they cannot repossess those acts of resistance that you did before. We can feel unhappy about some of the later things but what we did counts as what it was.

Daniel: I wanted to invoke 2 other war tax resisters who are not here today. One is Jim Stockwell who said, “Heck with this living simply stuff. I say make as much money as you can and keep it from the bastards.” And the others are Wally and Juanita Nelson. I met them when Randy and Betsy’s house was being seized, and they were preaching about usury. “The pie is only so big, and if you take a bigger piece someone else takes a smaller piece.”


More readings on money: