6117 Germantown Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19114
April 15, 2008
Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 37008
Hartford, CT 06176
To the Internal Revenue Service
As a conscientious objector to war, I will not pay my 2007 income taxes. I believe war is wrong and therefore I cannot pay for it. There are other ways for nations to resolve their conflicts with one another besides through war. Founding a U.S. Department of Peace would be a good start in that direction for the U.S. government.
The U.S. government spends enormous amounts of money on making war at the expense of building thriving communities. In Fiscal Year 2006, out of every dollar the federal government spent, 5 cents was spent on education and 12 cents on food and housing assistance, while it spent 41 cents on war & preparations for war. In 2006, the U.S. military spent $515 billion, which is equal to the military spending of the next 15 highest spending countries combined. This type of spending does not reflect my Christian values and therefore I will not support it.
My total tax due is $1490, of which $1,266 is my self-employment tax for Social Security and Medicare. This amount is enclosed. The remaining $224, which is the amount I owe for my income tax, I am redirecting from the U.S. government to Electronic Iraq, to go towards health care for Iraqi refugees in Jordan and Syria, and to Common Ground Health Clinic that will go towards health care for survivors of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
I am not opposed to paying taxes. I want to fulfill my financial responsibilities to the country I live in but I also cannot violate my religious beliefs. The federal government funds essential aspects needed for a healthy country & world, such as education, public transportation, housing, natural disaster relief, health care, job training, humanitarian assistance. But since I know that the majority of my tax dollars will not go towards any of this, I will continue to redirect my tax dollars to organizations and agencies that are directly involved in these things. Once a national peace tax fund has been set up that will allow my tax dollars to not be spent on the military, I will resume paying my income taxes.
Miriam H. Copp
cc: Congressmen Chaka Fattah
Senator Robert Casey, Jr.
Senator Arlen Specter
Common Ground Health Clinic
followed by a Letter to the Editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer…
War tax boycott
How can we stop the war in Iraq? Soldiers can refuse to fight. Government leaders can de-fund the occupation. Taxpayers can stop paying for it.
This year I will not pay my federal income tax to the U.S. government. I will no longer support my country’s war-making by giving it my money.
In FY 2006, out of every dollar the U.S. government spent, 5 cents was spent on education and 12 cents on food and housing assistance, while it spent 41 cents on war & preparations for war.* This type of spending does not reflect my Christian values and therefore I will not support it.
Instead, I will redirect my tax dollars to two organizations working on life-giving initiatives: healthcare for the uninsured and aid for Iraqi refugees.
When Congress passes the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Bill (HR-1921), I will resume paying my income tax to the U.S. government.
I know that I will be breaking the law and I am prepared to accept the consequences, because when a country wages war there are consequences; just ask a solider returning home or an Iraqi refugee being resettled in Philadelphia.
* Statistics from the Friends Committee on National Legislation (www.fcnl.org)