I am sending this annual letter to Mr. Trump and Mr. Warner and Mr. Kaine
and Mr. Cline. You bring to mind the founding fathers – white men. And also
the often quoted phrase about how all MEN are created equal. We conveniently
ignore the historic denigration of women, blacks and Native Americans. Some
of that denigration carries forward even today.
My annual letter generally focuses on the massive military spending of the
US. I am a part of a very small group of people who as conscientious
objectors to out of control military spending and war making openly refuse
to pay some or all of our federal income taxes because such a large
percentage of those taxes go to war and killing. You probably seldom if ever
think of war tax resisters But I want to proudly tell you that I am one of
In the past two years beginning with the death of my father on June 11, 2016
and my inheritance of $1 million in taxable income, I reached the epitome of
my war tax redirection. I now owe the IRS more than ¼ of $1 million and have
redirected considerably more than that amount in ways that I think make a
better world. I have filed returns honestly and stood before my piers with
fear and pride for my civil disobedience. This year I hope you will have the
opportunity to see a documentary film titled The Pacifist that tells the
story of my direct action.
While I take my action of defiance very openly and have actually tried to
“poke the bear“ since I figure that why should I do this if nobody notices.
For the most part I have been disappointed by the response of the IRS which
excels in sending letters but has done little else. At this point I have
given away my inheritance and own very little that the IRS could seize.
While I act openly I do my best to avoid collection. In fact in 1985 the IRS
took me to federal district court in an effort to force me to divulge my
assets so they could collect. The court ruled they could not force me to
provide that information and that case still stands as a legal precedent.
War tax resisters are very poor targets for legal action because people of
Conscience are generally pretty admirable people.
I totally understand that many people object to my refusal to pay my share
of the many things that the government does. I support Progressive taxation
and pay other taxes but simply cannot in good conscience pay for war and
killing, something my government regrettably prioritizes far too highly. I
have tried to balance my scales by donating far more than I would owe in
taxes. Ironically I made so many donations in 2018 ($85,000) that I actually
have a substantial refund due. Of course the IRS will not probably send me
that refund but will instead apply it to past taxes due. My era of massive
tax redirection ends in 2018 and I will return to my normal retirement
income this year. No matter what the IRS does in an effort to collect from
me, there is nothing they can do about the tens of thousands of dollars that
I directed to good causes in the past few years. I have done what I had to
do and was able to do to directly offset the military madness that infects