April 11, 2011
Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 37008
Hartford, CT 06178-0008
Re: Seth Berner, 2011 Form 1040
When George Bush took the White House he inherited a budget surplus and relative peace in the world. Eight years later this country had the biggest deficit on record, the greatest degree of public unrest and uncertainty since the 1930s, and was involved in wars in two countries. Two years into the Obama presidency the man who promised change has increased the deficit and public tension and launched us into a third war.
A country that believes that it can afford to fight three wars at a time does not need more money from its citizens. A country that pays for its wars and its bail-outs to corporations pillaging the national treasury by further cutting programs that make people healthier and the country more vibrant does not deserve more money from its citizens.
As in past years I have scrupulously calculated my tax obligation. As in past years I am withholding some of what I calculate I owe, and giving it to Haymarket Peoples’ Fund, who wage peace and bail out individuals and small businesses being crushed by the Industrial-Military complex. I have become convinced by the arguments that we need to make sacrifices, and have decided that the one that needs to make sacrifices this year is the federal government. And so this year I have increased what I am redirecting to Haymarket from fifty dollars to one hundred dollars, because the programs supported by Haymarket need the money more than does the federal government.
I have always been one to question authority, and have too often found authority to be lacking in compassion and clarity. Never before have I been less proud to be an American.