Tax Day 2012
Dear Friends in the IRS,
I have always fulfilled my responsibilities as a citizen of the United States, and I will be submitting my IRS form 1040 for 2011. However, I also believe my responsibilities as a citizen include informing my government of my profound concerns about the use of those taxes for war.
I am deeply committed to the possibility of world peace, and I have been guided by the Nuremberg Principles, to which the United States is a co-signatory, for many years. Specifically, I sincerely believe that if I see my government participating in immoral and illegal wars, I MUST take action, or I will be complicit in these crimes against humanity.
Therefore, my conscience demands that I resist being complicit in funding our excessive military spending and actions. I must strongly protest the fact that our bloated military budget takes money away from domestic needs such as education, much needed healthcare, environmental protection and restoration, renewable energy research, keeping our citizens in their homes, etc. To quote President Dwight D. Eisenhower, “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.” (April 16, 1953)
Last year more than half of the portion of the federal budget allocated by Congress went to the military, and we are on target to exceed that this year. This is a massive misallocation of our taxes that supporters try to justify by saying we are fighting a “war on terrorism.”
Our build up of mercenary troops in Iraq belies the government’s claim that we are de-escalating our involvement. The continuing build up of sanctions against the citizens of Iran, and our implied threat of military response is unconscionable. Our continual engagement in
Afghanistan squanders many billions of dollars and causes immense suffering and death to the people of Afghanistan and our own soldiers.
In this historic time of the Arab Spring, we all should be supporting the peaceful democratization of this region, instead of exporting weapons and war! We have a profound opportunity to provide leadership in a multinational political and legal course to address terrorism, aggression, and conflict through nonviolent means. We must promote civil, political, and economic human rights along with humanitarian and environmental aid to foreign countries, and here at home as well, in a restorative and life-giving way.
I support the establishment of a Peace Tax Fund, which if enacted into law would allow conscientious opponents of war to direct their tax payments into programs that support community life and constructive efforts in the U.S. and around the world. Thank you for your attention.
In peace for all peoples,
Sherri C. Maurin
Copies to: Representative Nancy Pelosi, Senator Barbara Boxer, Senator Diane Feinstein, SF Chronicle