Planning Ahead

“What Will You Do if Trump Doesn’t Leave?” was the title of a September 3 op-ed by New York Times conservative columnist (but no fan of the current president) David Brooks. In it he says, If Trump claims a victory that is not rightly his, a few marches in the streets will not be an adequate response. There may have to be a sustained campaign of civic action, as in Hong Kong and Belarus, to rally the majority that wants to preserve democracy, that isolates those who would undo it. Letters-to-the-editor ran in response on Sunday, September 20. In one letter from a Stuart Esten in Burlington, Massachusetts, he dismissed legal action or street protests as being “hopeless” and “ineffective” […]

Sick of War

NWTRCC is hosting a war tax resistance 101 on Tuesday September 22 as part of Campaign Nonviolence’s Peace Week.  The session will provide information to people who are interested in divesting their tax money from the Pentagon and investing in their communities. The session will focus on empowering people to take action against military spending by presenting the various approaches to WTR and the potential consequences, as well as noting the many resources available to support this direct action against increased militarism impacting our communities. Please consider sharing on your social media platforms or with someone in your life who has expressed interest in WTR, but would like to get more information. This Zoom is for them! It seems that […]

Taxes, Relationships, and Competing Priorities

Since I began thinking about war tax resistance I’ve been struggling with the desire to reduce my income to avoid paying taxes for things I find abhorrent and, simultaneously, wanting to transfer more of my power (in the form of money) to organizations and individuals doing good. My mind keeps coming back these questions: Should I make less and give less money to good works/people, but also pay less into the war machine? Should I make more and give more money to good works/people and hope that my giving outweighs the increase in tax payments? If I can’t drastically reduce or eliminate my tax burden then is refusing to pay a portion of what I owe an option for me? […]

Can You Keep War Bonds Out of Your Socially-Responsible Investments?

a treasury bond

The U.S. government borrows money by selling Treasury bonds and other similar securities (“treasuries”). Much of the money it borrows in this way goes to the military, so people who do not want to help finance the military will want to avoid investing in such bonds. Earlier this year, a war tax resister contacted me. She was concerned about avoiding such bonds in her retirement account and was having a hard time finding good places to put her money. Even the so-called “socially responsible” exchange-traded funds and mutual funds seemed to include such bonds in their holdings. Some Overseas Funds Screen Out Treasuries She also pointed me to this Bloomberg article: “ESG Hardliners Blacklist $16 Trillion U.S. Treasuries Market”. According to […]

Note to Self: Change Can Come

Yesterday I had a lovely swim in the ocean with friends who had rented a beach house for a couple weeks. What a privilege to float on my back looking up at the blue sky or to watch the sanderlings skittering along the perfect sand beach. Nature is awe-inspiring. Today I’m back at the computer, starting the day off with a dose of a different reality from Democracy Now and other news sources. In the face of all that… …I’m thinking about the courage of so many nonviolent activists who are out there in the streets, across the country, day after day demanding change in the face of many dangers — now including the guns of white supremacists. …I’m looking […]

Restructure the Pentagon, Not the Post Office

The same section of the Constitution that established the military also instituted post offices and post roads. The United States Postal Services remains one of the few government agencies authorized by the Constitution and it remains an independent organization within the executive branch of the federal government. Established 245 years ago with Benjamin Franklin as the first Postmaster General, the United States Postal Service has provided people throughout the United States a delivery service consistent in price and quality. While much of the service has remained the same, the policy around the United States Postal Services (USPS) has shifted in recent years as some have expressed desires to privatize the independent federal agency. Constitution Article I Section 8 begins by […]

Bewildering Federal Budget

I recently read a guest editorial in my local newspaper that noted the startling fact that there is a “$437 million budget for the military’s 130 marching bands.” Setting aside the question of why each band needs to cost over $3 million, this fact got me interested in taking a look at federal budget priorities compared to mine. As a Quaker (we are known for our peace witness and works), I have long been aware that the U.S. budget is heavily tilted towards war. The War Resisters League pie chart shows that military and veterans’ services totaled 48% of the 2018 U.S. budget. The National Priorities Project shows the 2020 budget as allocating 55% for the military. For this budget, […]

Doomsday 2020

At the start of 2020, the Doomsday Clock was moved to 100 Seconds to Midnight. This is the closest the clock has been to a nuclear catastrophe (midnight) since its inception in 1947 as a project of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. When the hands were moved in January, three reasons were cited: (1) decrease in regulation of nuclear weapons, (2) climate change, and (3) increase in cyber-based disinformation. It appears that concerns in these areas have only increased as the year has progressed.  It was 75 years ago at 8:15 in the morning on August 6th, when the U.S. warplane Enola Gay released “Little Boy,” the first atomic weapon, on the people of  Hiroshima. Three days later Nagaski was […]

Loving the Hell out of People

John Lewis biography cover

Congressman and peace, justice and civil rights activist John Lewis was a longtime sponsor in the House of the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Bill. With his death on July 17 tributes abound and interviews with him can be found online (Democracy Now has a good one). Short of personal stories about Lewis (please add yours in comments!), I was glad to find this essay by longtime Peace Tax Fund director Marian Franz. It was originally written for the organization’s newsletter in 1998 and is included in A Persistent Voice: Marian Franz and Conscientious Objection to Military Taxation, edited by David R. Bassett, Steve Ratzlaff & Tim Godshall. Consider this post as offering two tips for summer reading also. — […]

Tax Day Press Release July 2020

NWTRCC friends and supporters, Below is our press release for Tax Day, 15 July 2020. Feel free to adjust it for your own use. If you are having a tax day action, but have not alerted the NWTRCC office, please email the details to nwtrcc@nwtrcc.org, or use the online form. As stated in the press release, we are asking war tax resisters to make their presence felt on the streets (if possible) and online on July 15th. When posting online, please use the hashtags, #NoTaxes4War and #NWTRCC. Writing these “hashtags” with your message will mean that anyone can find your post on Facebook or Twitter by searching “#NoTaxes4War” or “#NWTRCC.” When posting a picture or graphic, also let folks know […]

Tax Day 2020- As Movements Converge

yard sign with Put People First printed on it; a hen in the grass behind the sign

The longest tax season is coming to a close on July 15th.  The 3 month extension has allowed for more opportunities to share information about the  bloated military budget during a time of growing human needs in the US. A couple of articles (Meet the People Who Refuse to Pay Their Taxes & Meet a New Generation of Tax Resisters Refusing to Pay for War ) and have helped get the word of war tax resistance to a wider audience. While many communities have utilized Tax Day as an opportunity to raise awareness about the federal budget, we know that the work extends beyond this one day. While tax day is soon to pass, conversations about where we place our […]

Examining My Good Intentions

Tax day is nearly here! I do find that a funny thing to say in June as I keep reminding myself that I should sit down and fill out the forms. My motto seems to be “put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” Still, as someone who files and refuses to pay, I can’t think of any reason to file before tax day, and I like to file on paper at the last minute as just another little way to gum up the system But planning for redirection has been on my mind lately, reinforced by the calls to defund the police and invest in badly needed services in communities long underfunded. I’ve also gotten quite a few […]