Chris Toussaint

| Letters

Why I am refusing to pay my income tax

As April 15, 2004 approaches I have decided to file a 1040 tax return but to withhold sending the IRS any money for taxes I may owe. This decision was not made hastily or without a lot of thought. Over the years, and especially the last two years, I was spared having to make this decision because I did not owe anything due to weak earnings and significant expenses. The year 2003 was profitable however and I have determined that I will incur a tax liability.

I have investigated the history and ethics, the legalities and the options of War Tax resistance and have weighed the consequences of my actions according to my conscience and morals. The illegality of the invasion and occupation of Iraq last year, the direct support of Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians, the passage of the so-called Patriot Act and many other instances of corrupt and immoral activity conducted by the U. S. Government openly or covertly under the present Republican administration directly threatens our American system of democracy and its commonwealth, including the domestic economy and the environment. This has caused me to conclude that to pay my income taxes would be an act condoning this state-sponsored corruption and their criminal, genocidal (and ultimately suicidal) policies. In short the penalties and stigma I may be assessed as a result of not paying my income tax is not a strong enough disincentive, compared to the strong feeling and moral conviction I hold as a patriotic American, Christian, human being and planetary citizen to stand against and resist the further destruction of all that I hold sacred. My protest is neither violent nor harmful to any other being and is in accordance with the beliefs and principles expressed by Henry David Thoreau, Thomas Jefferson, the Nuremburg Trials, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence.

Payment of income tax is voluntary – that is what I was taught. I am a free, individual citizen who still believes that those in public office must be held accountable to protect the public trust, instead of looting the treasury by spending billions of taxpayers dollars on a personal vendetta against Saddam Hussein, or to enrich political friends in certain corporations, many of whom have created off-shore accounts to greedily avoid paying their fair share. I am disgusted by this continued worsening scenario of creeping fascism and totalitarianism that is taking place in the federal government, which increasingly encroaches upon individual privacy, criminalizes and incarcerates more and more people of color, militarizes every aspect of society, empowers transnational corporations at the expense of working people, the environment and consumers, instigates coup d’etats in foreign countries, disregards international law, and stifles homegrown dissent through a widening police state.

I’d have to be stupid or blind to continue to support this dysfunctional and unsustainable system with my tax dollars! Therefore, I refuse to pay any future income taxes I may owe until the present Administration changes its policies or is defeated and replaced by one that reverses the present corrupt and suicidal course this Nation is perilously following.

I know this may “get me in trouble”. But this country is in trouble, in case you haven’t noticed. And there is only one way out. The truth.

Long live the American Revolution.

In solidarity with all those suffering as a result of U.S. imperialism,

Christopher Toussaint
Santa Monica, California

cc: IRS, Cong. Henry Waxman, Sen. Barbara Boxer, Sen. Diane Feinstein