Funding A Livable Future

Man standing with had upon large tree in middle of photo surrounded by other large trees

We woke up to black smoky air the day after Labor Day 2020.  It was challenging to breathe outside, even with a N95 mask. We could not see the sun. The air quality index was over 500, in the extremely hazardous range. Our beautiful Oregon was burning up. The trails we love hiking and the places we love camping in and many families’ homes were burning. All over the state fires were burning out of control, including along a major highway following the McKenzie River, only 10 miles from Eugene, Oregon, where I live. In some cases folks had less than a 15-minute warning to abandon their homes. Up until the wildfires happened, though we were in the COVID shutdown, […]

“The Customary Band of Pickets”

Line of pickets at IRS NYC

No troublesome incidents of any kind developed in the course of the day, although the customary band of pickets turned up outside the Forty-fifth Street headquarters for an hour at noon. Recruited by members of the Tax Refusal Committee of Peacemakers, of Sharonville, Ohio, were representatives of the War Resisters League, 5 Beekman Place, and The Catholic Worker, 223 Christie Street. They either refused to pay Federal income taxes or sympathized with those who did not because “the huge program of armaments can only lead to a third world war.” Weapons, it was claimed, eat up seven-eighths of the national budget. In Philadelphia, other groups of pacifists objected on the same grounds. Published: March 17, 1953. Copyright © The New […]

Tax Day Press Release – April 2021

NWTRCC friends and supporters, Below is our press release for Tax Day 2021. We now that Tax Day has been officially delayed until May 17, but many groups are still hosting actions or Zoom events around the original April 15 day. Feel free to adjust the press release below 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. Please take pictures and video of your tax day actions and send us a copy. When posting […]

Military Budget of Little Comfort to Healthcare Workers

The most visible role of the U.S. military in the past year has been the fly overs of extremely expensive military bombers to express appreciation to healthcare workers beginning in May of 2020 and showing up at the Superbowl, typically a big advertising opportunity for the military. Even the sportscaster Joe Buck pointing out the obvious of “That’s your hard earned money and tax dollars at work!” and  questioned the amount of jet fuel used for the flyover. Health care workers sat in place of the cardboard cutouts at the Superbowl in an attempt to alleviate or distract from the tremendous toll taken on health care workers including  93% of health care workers were experiencing stress, 86% reported experiencing anxiety, […]

Can the IRS

“Can the IRS” was one of my favorite actions at the IRS. It was organized by John-Ed Croft, a homeless artist with a creative, activist mindset. This was the fall of 1987, and John-Ed was living in a squat at the time, but had also spent many a night in an unused building in Central Park and a lot of time in what he called a “cardboard condominium” in midtown Manhattan. John-Ed came by the War Resisters League office where I was working to ask for support for his latest campaign. The IRS was after him for more than $11,000 in back taxes, and he had decided to pay them “in the currency of the homeless.” He was organizing the […]

Militarism Sinks Social Progress

Tax Day July 2020 NYC

Tax season is here — well, almost, since the IRS announced that filing can start on Feb. 12. Now is the time when many of you start asking War Resisters League when the new pie chart flyer  will be ready. Hopefully you will be making plans for a safe and socially distanced public presence of some sort on tax day 2021, still expected to be Thursday, April 15. As you may recall, tax day 2020 was moved to July 15, and WRL ended up with lots of leftover pie charts because leafleting was limited or curtailed by pandemic concerns. Note that the back of last year’s pie chart was a call to Abolish Nuclear Weapons to mark the 75th anniversary […]

War Tax Resistance beyond the 2020 elections

At the last NWTRCC national gathering in May 2020, some of our members suggested having a study group to look at issues emerging during COVID-19. The group has met weekly and has discussed a variety of issues over the past months—mostly as it relates to militarism. In recent weeks the conversations have been focused on the elections. People have expressed concerns about the peaceful transfer of power, voter suppression, and armed groups at polling places or potentially in the streets resisting election results.  A component of the study group is sharing articles and resources with each other that encourage reflection, discussion, and action. We wanted to share some reflections on the upcoming election and resources (that you can find at […]

Dr. Strangelove II: What’s the Subtitle?

“We don’t pay taxes. The little people do.” Much of the scandal around Trump and his taxes has less to do with how little he paid and more to do with how pervasive tax avoidance is among the wealthy. It is estimated that 70% of all underpayment of taxes is by the 1%. If they were audited or investigated by the IRS, the result would be $1 trillion in a decade. As it stands now, the area with the highest audits are in rural Mississippi where three-quarters of the population is Black and more than one-third live below the poverty line.  It appears that there is a two tiered tax system that is exacerbating the gulf between those who milk […]

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? […]

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, […]