Lauren Tepper (2013)

| Letters

March 15, 2013

Dear IRS Personnel:

I am thankful to live in a country that allows freedom of speech. For years I have been exercising my right of free speech by protesting the United States’ aggressive militarism. I am working with the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee and withholding a portion of my taxes this year as a protest against the United States’ acts of violence in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan to which I am completely opposed.

I believe in the principles of truth, justice, and freedom upon which our country was theoretically founded. It saddens me that in the U.S. today, corporate profits control the government and the media, shunting aside the ideals of democracy that could make our country exemplary. I am deeply disturbed by the lack of resources allocated by the U.S. government for essential social services and environmental protection. I am aghast that years after the attacks of 9/11 we are still blindly pointing fingers rather than carefully examining all available evidence. I am appalled that the U.S.openly spies on its citizens and employs techniques of torture and detention without legal rights. I am disgusted that the tax dollars of hard-working U.S. citizens have been doled out time and again to ‘bail out’ big businesses rather than put towards long-term solutions to the economic crisis. Because of all this, I am re-directing a portion of my taxes that would have gone to the government to fund wars, violence, and corporate interests. I have sent my re-directed tax money to humanitarian and environmental organizations working for peace and justice in the U.S. and abroad.

I regret that I must make this decision, but I cannot use my hard-earned money to support the lack of regard for human life and the environment that characterize the current administration. I look forward to the day when justice reigns in the United States, when we use our power and wealth for only life-enhancing ventures such as feeding the hungry, defending freedom for all, and protecting the environment that sustains us. When the government actively works for the common good of all its people, and when the U.S. becomes a compassionate leader rather than an imperialist force in global politics, then I will gladly pay the full amount of my taxes.

Sincerely and peacefully,

Lauren Tepper