Although I’ve been connected to NWTRCC since 2008, the group has been around since 1982. So I often am curious about what things used to be like. Yesterday, I started poking around the Wayback Machine’s saved versions of the NWTRCC website, which go back to August 2000. (The site was around for years before that.)
I was immediately drawn to the Issues page – it’s something we don’t have on our current site. The page summarized some arguments for war tax resistance based on other issues people are concerned about, with subjects ranging from the Contract with America (a 1994 initiative of House Republicans to reduce government spending, cut taxes, enact term limits, build prisons, and slash welfare, among other things), to women’s issues, homophobia, and anarchism.
Today, the NWTRCC website still has a lot of content making the argument for war tax resistance to folks working on other issues. Please use the following resources, and feel free to suggest new topics for future consideration!
Environment (tank image flyer and longer text flyer also available)
U.S. military officials have stated on numerous occasions that climate change threatens U.S. security. So they’re working hard to convince us that with the right “green” technology and policy choices, the military can become environmentally friendly. There is nothing environmentally friendly about massive resource consumption and worldwide deployments. We must demand an end to this grotesque contribution to climate change that comes with the global unrest, death, and oppression. Let’s make that demand with our money, our “green energy,” as Julia Butterfly Hill calls it.
There is some serious pinkwashing happening of the US military—an organization that has illegally murdered over 20 million people in 37 countries since World War II and is the proud owner of a long list of war crimes. Personally, I don’t want our struggle as trans people to be used to praise the military or erase the genocides our country has committed.
The Trump administration’s focus on border “security,” including growing the Border Patrol, building a complete border wall between the US and Mexico, and imprisoning/deporting immigrants, is galvanizing many people to action. All of these projects will be paid for out of the federal budget, and all of these projects increase the militarization of the US itself. The National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (NWTRCC) is here to support people who are considering refusing or choose to refuse to pay taxes for border militarization.
Divestment (stay tuned for a new page on this topic, coming soon!)
Divestment from war doesn’t just mean selling stocks in the private companies that profit from war. In this era of high-priced weapons systems and international military aid, taxation is the closest war-making link between a national government and most of the people who live within its borders.
Refusing to pay some or all of the taxes that go to war is a direct way to say “NO!” to over $1 trillion of military and military-related spending every year.
And we can also say “NO!” to the militarization of the U.S. federal budget: the wars, occupations, bases around the world, nuclear weapons, foreign military aid and arms sales, and covert CIA violence and torture.
Jesus’ answer in the passage concerning the lawfulness of paying taxes to Caesar (Mark 12:13-17) confounds our own expectations as it did the original witnesses to the encounter. His answer, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s,” reminds us to act in accordance with the authority to which we have submitted ourselves. This sometimes results in the need to disobey the laws of our country in our obedience to Divine Law. Moses’ mother and sister (Exodus 2:2), the three wise men (Matt 2:12), Peter, Paul, and Jesus himself (Luke 6:1-11 ) were such “lawbreakers.”
Though not the only action one might take, refusal to pay taxes for war can be an essential act of love, a means of preventing the suffering of others.
As war tax resisters, we think that resisting militarism and war is worth the potential risks and hassles. Our actions provoke thought about alternatives to taxation in an anarchist society, and build solidarity with people of other political perspectives who share our commitment to abolishing militarism. No one tactic will eliminate the state, so it’s important to confront state power in as many ways you are able. Ask yourself: if you oppose the state with your rhetoric and actions but support it with your money, how effective are you really being?
What if you protest police brutality and know that the police get military equipment from the Department of Defense?
What if you fight mass incarceration while billions of tax dollars are spent every year on federal prisons?
What if you want a world without borders, while your taxes are building walls?
What if you decide not to wait for the government to do the right thing, but join together with others in direct action and refuse to pay for this oppressive system?
What if as an animal rights activist you discover the government is spending your tax dollars to exterminate wild horses?
What if saving the environment is your passion, but just found out about government tax breaks for polluting utilities?
What if you fight for affordable housing only to find out your taxes are used to subsidize housing loans to Wall Street speculators?
What if as you protest endless U.S. wars you learn that almost 50% of your federal income taxes are spent on the military?
Post by Erica