Taxing Wars and BDS against the US

A new book by professor and former Air Force officer Sarah E. Kreps, Taxing Wars: The American Way of War Finance and the Decline of Democracy, argues that the decline of the war tax has a lot to do with why the U.S. modern wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are seemingly neverending. What do you think? From the summary: “Sarah Kreps chronicles the entire history of how America has paid for its wars-and how its methods have changed. Early on, the United States imposed war taxes that both demanded sacrifices from all Americans and served as reminders of their participation. Indeed, thinkers from Immanuel Kant to Adam Smith argued that these reminders were exactly the reason why democracies tended to […]

Photo Reflections from LA

Erica posted last week about the Los Angeles WTR gathering, and much about it is still on my mind, so I’ll just add more photos and captions from our time there. It was my last gathering and business meeting as coordinator of NWTRCC (this is my new email address), and now after a few days of training Lincoln Rice is fully in the role. But I hope that I will continue to make it to at least some of the NWTRCC gatherings and meetings. I have had so many special experiences during each of two gatherings a year for 15 years, met so many amazing local organizers working on all kinds of issues, and learned a lot about the shared […]

Migration and Militarism

I’ve been tangentially following the Pueblo Sin Fronteras caravan of Central American migrants, and have been reading more closely about their experiences since they arrived at the San Ysidro port of entry on April 29, 2018. Migrants and supporters also gathered at the beach in Tijuana and San Diego that day. Although, several days later, some asylum seekers have been admitted to the US, dozens, if not hundreds, of others are still waiting at the border for processing. The majority of people in this caravan come from Honduras, a country profoundly affected by US foreign policy, including support for the government installed after the coup in 2009. Others are fleeing violence in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.   The demonization […]

Moments of Beauty

I needed a bit of a boost today, and the sunny spring weather we’re having here in the Pacific Northwest is certainly helping! Sometimes the weight of the world is a bit much in contrast. But I’m also really looking forward to our upcoming conference in LA, May 3-5, because I am basically guaranteed more warm sunny weather, but also because I get to see my friends and accomplices in war tax resistance! Below are some of my favorite pictures from the last few years of gatherings. We have fun. I always love being around war tax resisters – we’re a stubborn bunch and maybe a little weird (okay, definitely weird), but we support each other even across our differences. […]

Why Bother?

Getting out of bed on a chilly and windy Sunday, about the last thing I wanted to do was go out to a rally and march that afternoon. I had to give myself an extra kick. After all, it was April 15 and a perfect day to do outreach about war tax resistance. On the one hand, I can’t say it was the best event I’d ever been to. I tire of endless speakers speaking mostly to the converted — a full two hours of that before the march to Trump Tower, so the crowd of some hundreds steadily dwindled before the march began. On the subway on the way home I was thinking of other things I could have […]

Spread the Word This Tax Day!

Hi everyone, Tax Day is coming up fast. NWTRCC’s team of consultants is working to spread the word about war tax resistance as much as possible, and you can help! Attend a local tax day event! Share our press release with your local media or favorite website. Got pictures/reportbacks from a tax season event, or want promotional coverage of your upcoming event? Send pictures, text, or other info to nwtrcc@nwtrcc.org, socialmedia@nwtrcc.org, and wartaxresister@nwtrcc.org, and we’ll make sure it gets into our listings, gets posted on social media, and/or is included in our newsletter coverage of tax season 2018, as appropriate! Make your own social media posts with links to NWTRCC and/or sharing your own perspective on WTR. Use hashtags like […]

Taxes, Teens, and the Costs of War

I hate doing my taxes. For each of the last few weekends, “do your taxes” has been on the top of my to-do list. If I were to prioritize a list of things I procrastinate about, doing taxes might be on top. I’ve always done them myself since my situation is not particularly complicated, but I am usually rushing at the last minute to get it in the mail before or after our tax day demonstration. Probably the one thing that motivates me to finally get it done is so I can enclose the letter telling the government why I’m not paying (here’s one from 2003). If I wasn’t a war tax resister would I continue to file? My style […]

News from the 2018 Tax Season

thumbnail image of 2019 pie chart - click to go to WRL website and download complete file

It’s been a bit of a quiet tax season this year. Send us any news coverage you see, so we can add it to our website! Here’s what’s crossed my computer in the last few weeks – both some clear calls to refuse to pay war taxes, and some calls for reducing the military budget and redirecting these funds elsewhere. War Resisters League released the fiscal year 2019 pie chart, and things are looking worse this year for war spending than last. Although the percentage of your income tax dollar that goes to military spending has gone down from 48% to 47%, the total amount went up, from $1.45 to $1.5 trillion. Every pie chart includes information about NWTRCC. It’s […]

The Path to War Tax Resistance

tax day war tax resistance leafleting

People who join NWTRCC’s e-list (subscribe here) receive a welcome email that asks how they found NWTRCC. Here are some responses stored up over the past year or so, which point out the importance of the internet — but don’t discount leafleting and talking to friends either! New people often say they have known about war tax resistance, or tax resistance, for a while but deciding to actually do it takes longer, or takes some confluence of factors. It is a reminder that much of what we do as organizers is plant seeds; there may not be instant gratification, but maybe readers who are organizers can take heart from some of these comments. I’ll post these without names, but thank […]

“Trespassing” Against War at Bath Iron Works

photo of nine people in winter clothes standing in a row indoors facing the camera, with the words "The Aegis 9" at the bottom of the photo

by Jason Rawn (In Part 1 of this story, Jason was among nine people [the Aegis 9] arrested for alleged “criminal trespass” at the Bath Iron Works warship facility on April 1, 2017. Jason also testified at a Maine legislature Taxation Committee hearing about a bill that would give $60 million in tax breaks to General Dynamics.) There’s a long history of opposition to building weapons at the Bath Iron Works facility. One of my codefendants in this trial entered the shipyard as a teen in the 90s and dumped blood on a warship. Previously, Daniel Berrigan, Vermont WTR Daniel Sicken, and others successfully performed two Plowshares actions at the yard. There have been vigils organized by Smilin’ Trees Disarmament […]

End “Taxpayer Generosity” for General Dynamics

by Jason Rawn On April 1, 2017, 9 of us were arrested at a “christening” of the latest nuclear-capable guided missile destroyer manufactured by WMD corporation General Dynamics at their Bath Iron Works facility in Maine. It was snowing that day, and I got there late. I had to walk 10 minutes through it from where I parked, and I got pretty wet as the snow turned to sleet. When I got to the protest, my clothes were too wet for tape to stick, so I was unable to attach all the great NASCAR-style corporate logos provided to me as “$en. An-gas King” by fellow protester and WTR Lisa “Power$uit” Savage, who attended the rally as Maine’s senior senator, Susan […]

Creating An Affinity Group for Resistance and Support

Tax season is here! Calls and emails come to the NWTRCC office from people who don’t want their taxes going to war, border walls and deportations, a white supremacist system, tax laws made for the rich, a government set on speeding up climate change, etc. etc. etc. Despite the desire to resist, many of these people express a fear of doing it alone. Lots of people like the idea of a pledge: “I’ll resist when 10,000 others sign on to a tax resistance campaign over a particular issue.” There’s one about stopping war with North Korea now. On the one hand, most of us longtime resisters want to say yes, let’s go for it. On the other hand, there have […]