Out on a Limb

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By Dee Logan, Cleveland, OH

I’ve kept my wages below taxable limits so as not to be required to pay income (war) taxes. And now, due to health issues, I am not employed. However, the year my mom passed on (2002), I did receive some inheritance. Although the financial person said it was not taxable, it was — and so the InFernal Revenue S(C)ircus started writing me letters requesting payment. I wrote them letters back saying that because of my beliefs I could not give them money to make war—to kill people or prepare to kill people (my relatives all).

At some point I had a personal meeting with an IRS representative in a tall office building downtown, and she listened attentively. I later received mail from IRS, basically stating what I had said — and I was happy to see that they got it right! It was very clear what my position is, and I felt heard (more or less) — but the letter also stated that it really didn’t matter to them, and so pay up.

Which, of course, I did not. Penalties and interest grew. I got a few letters. I wondered when and how they’d attempt to collect.

I now owned a home (inherited) and had/have health issues and live on a very fixed “income” — so I was concerned. (A poster I have has a quote from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “The ultimate measure of a [man] is not where [he] stands in moments of comfort, but where [he] stands in times of challenge and controversy.”) Each day, one day after the next, I wondered exactly where I was standing and how long I could stand….

I felt maybe I’d climbed very far out on a limb — and I remembered another saying about “going so far out on a limb and then — another tree grows under you”. I don’t know what all that might mean, about faith, about hope, about human nature, but I was holding on and trying to stand, even with shaking, quaking knees and trees and uncertainties.

Finally, the day after Inter-dependence Day 2010, I got a letter from the IRS with information indicating that they knew my bank name and that they intended to levy…so two days later I went into my bank to have a chat (witness) with the bank folks and explain what may soon be ahead. We had a wonderful conversation! We both took our time and spoke our hearts….then I learned that the “transaction” was already underway. (I thought the IRS was supposed to notify intent BEFORE a levy… I got the mail the same day as the levy began—who knows, maybe they began it in the morning, but I received the mail notice in the afternoon….?! I felt that was curious, and unexpected although expected, you know!) It seems the notice said they were gonna levy, then I discovered that they already done did it!*

So the IRS “stole” the money from my bank account. It was nearly the exact amount of my property tax, so I still have to deal with trying to come up with the “green energy” and, well, I can’t just zip out and get some extra income like I used to before health issues sneaked up on me.

Over the years I have made efforts towards educating and implementing (passing) the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Bill in Congress, but as we know, it is still an idea on paper and not yet law.

And my heart is very sad knowing where much of that money goes—and knowing that it really needs to go for the general good of our human family and a healthier environment.

But somehow I feel ok inside — that at least I did not intentionally write out a check knowing that about half would be used for war and war preparation. They had to take it from me. I did not willingly give it to them to make their war and violence. (It had to cost them a little something — all those letters and time and paperwork.)

Now I wonder about the bigger picture and my place in it. And I do wonder how I might meet my own financial needs. I do wonder what good did it really do. I wonder if I make any difference.

And, then, an answer to my wondering came as I typed the above. As I typed “I do wonder what GOOD did it really do?” I had made a typo, actually first (mis)typed “I do wonder what ggod did it really do.”

So I had to stop and think, let out a little “gee,” and add a little “oh!” — and then it was “good.”

It seems that there was a little god in there!

Funny how sometimes we receive even as we’re asking….

*Editor’s note: The IRS “intent to levy” letter may come months before a bank account or salary is actually levied. Or there may never be a levy, but the IRS is supposed to send the warning letter. When the money is actually frozen in an account or a salary is garnished, the resister’s notification usually does arrive after the bank or employer receives the notice.