Old Propaganda War Tax Films

One of the highlights of the November 2018 NWTRCC conference in Cleveland was the preview showing of The Pacifist. As mentioned by Erica in a previous post, the film follows Larry Bassett’s refusal to pay over $100,000 in taxes. The film is still making the rounds of the film festival circuit, so is not yet available to the general public. However, an audio version of the film is FREE online through Spotify and Apple Music audio streaming services (sign-up required). You can also watch a scene from the film on Facebook. Throughout the film, there were several archival film clips promoting the payment of federal taxes to support war and, by default, democracy (according to the film clips). During the […]

Colrain after 25 Years: Learning from an action

A summary of a great weekend at the New England Gathering of War Tax Resisters Woolman Hill, Deerfield, Massachusetts, November 16-18, 2018 Between 1989 and 1993, hundreds of people flocked to Colrain, Mass., to voice their opposition to war and military spending by supporting the war tax resistance (WTR) of Betsy Corner and Randy Kehler when the IRS seized their home. You can read about them and a synopsis of the house seizure here – and through many other web links. About 50 people turned up during the reunion weekend to share personal impacts, reflections, analysis, and lessons of the Colrain action. There were also presentations and perspectives on the military budget and the current state of the WTR and the […]

Tariffs for War?

image of a container ship loaded up at sea

I feel fairly good about my twenty years of war tax resistance. At times you might even say I feel smug. With the purpose of promoting a more peaceful world, I have redirected those funds to various people, groups, and movements. But I have not been able to avoid financial support for war entirely. I have paid the federal excise tax on gasoline, airline tickets, alcohol, though I try to keep these purchases to a minimum. Starting on September 24, 2018, the US government will impose tariffs on numerous Chinese goods. As a recent Yahoo! article notes, “by Election Day in November, Trump will have placed new tariffs on $250 billion worth of stuff Americans buy every day.” Though the […]

Laugh, Cry, Carry On! Mining NWTRCC’s Archives

As Erica mentioned in her post last week, I’ve been clearing out old war tax resistance files and sorting those that will go to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection.  Along with many other peace groups — War Resisters League, National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom — NWTRCC sends our newsletters, audio-visual materials, literature, and other organizing papers to the archive. The Peace Collection also saves our website periodically, so that online information will be available to researchers. Going through the files is quite a project, and you have to be very disciplined to press along and not read every note, every flyer, and every letter sent to the IRS or elected officials […]

Resisting Nukes: Then, Now and How Much Longer?

I am among the many war tax resisters who got into this form of resistance after becoming aware of the horror of nuclear weapons, the damage done by every step of the process to build them, and the incredible waste of trillions of dollars over seven decades. Surely the world would look very different if there was such a dedication to feed the hungry, house the homeless, and develop alternative energies (the non-nuclear ones). Thus with August 6-9 — Hiroshima and Nagasaki days — approaching I wanted to post a reminder to get out to a vigil or action during that time. Humans created weapons of mass destruction and we are responsible for getting rid of them. NWTRCC  has a […]

Raising Taxes to Stop War?

thumbnail image of 2019 pie chart - click to go to WRL website and download complete file

By Lincoln Rice I become a war tax resister because of my deep-seated belief that war is wrong and I cannot voluntarily participate in war with my body or resources. Therefore, I have spent the last twenty years refusing to pay my federal income taxes and have redirected those funds to more life-giving projects. A recent VOX article, “To Stop Endless Wars, Raise Taxes” by Sarah Kreps, provides a different method to resist war—raise taxes. In her article, Kreps asserts, “Contemporary wars are all put on the nation’s credit card, and that eliminates a critical accountability link between the populace and the conduct of war.” This does have a ring of truth to it. According to the federal budget pie chart, […]

“If I don’t hear you, it’s not illegal!”

Ned Flanders from the Simpsons sits upright in bed, fireworks going off in the window behind him, chuckles, and says, "January 1st. Better get on those taxes, Neddy."

Every year since becoming a war tax resister, it has taken me longer and longer to file my taxes. I used to be one of those people who filed their tax return in late January, early February. I was only somewhat less serious than Ned Flanders in the Simpsons episode, “The Trouble With Trillions” (S9E20). Ned wakes up at midnight, January 1, to start doing his taxes, and mails them when the post office opens in the morning. (Okay, so usually the IRS doesn’t even release the prior year’s tax form until sometime later in January, but that’s a small detail.) But I always fill out my tax return accurately. Personally, I’m not looking for extra trouble with the IRS beyond […]

Taxes, Teens, and the Costs of War

I hate doing my taxes. For each of the last few weekends, “do your taxes” has been on the top of my to-do list. If I were to prioritize a list of things I procrastinate about, doing taxes might be on top. I’ve always done them myself since my situation is not particularly complicated, but I am usually rushing at the last minute to get it in the mail before or after our tax day demonstration. Probably the one thing that motivates me to finally get it done is so I can enclose the letter telling the government why I’m not paying (here’s one from 2003). If I wasn’t a war tax resister would I continue to file? My style […]

Creating An Affinity Group for Resistance and Support

Tax season is here! Calls and emails come to the NWTRCC office from people who don’t want their taxes going to war, border walls and deportations, a white supremacist system, tax laws made for the rich, a government set on speeding up climate change, etc. etc. etc. Despite the desire to resist, many of these people express a fear of doing it alone. Lots of people like the idea of a pledge: “I’ll resist when 10,000 others sign on to a tax resistance campaign over a particular issue.” There’s one about stopping war with North Korea now. On the one hand, most of us longtime resisters want to say yes, let’s go for it. On the other hand, there have […]

Happy New Year! Want to Be a War Tax Resister?

In 2017, many people discussed and organized around tax resistance to the Trump administration or to its policies (such as nuclear antagonism, the recent tax bill, and attempts to overturn the Affordable Care Act). War tax resisters were the subject of a lot of media attention too! However, we didn’t get a lot of visible growth in the number of resisters. But it takes time for folks to become comfortable with the idea. 2018 is a new year! One of the biggest reasons to be a tax resister is the reason the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee has been around since 1982. Namely, the toxic militarism that persists no matter who is president. The waste of lives, dollars, and […]

Tax Overhaul – First Look for WTRs

How will the new tax bill affect war tax resisters (WTRs)? This is something we will all be learning by experience in the next couple years. One thing that is clear: the IRS is pretty overwhelmed by all the new work and continued budget cuts. That makes it harder for them to enforce collection (although personally, since I resist as a protest, I’d just as soon not be totally ignored). So, for a first look, here are a few things that come to mind: If you don’t file, you probably get to ignore the whole thing, at least as far as tax details and forms go, unless you’re a wage employee (see below). You might not ignore the fact that […]

Keep resistance alive in 2018

"I know first hand how hard NWTRCC's coordinators work to spread the word about war tax resistance and to create and provide resources. All this work requires money to continue." - Peter Smith and Ellyn Stecker

Just a brief post this week! Please support the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee with a generous donation by December 31! We want to keep going strong in 2018, able to address new events and concerns in the struggle against war – but also keep up our solid work in providing community and support for resisters! Your donation will help a lot. The War Tax Resisters Penalty Fund announced that they received no requests for assistance in 2016. I would call this shocking, but it seems like resisters just aren’t being collected on lately. Success! But if people need this fund and aren’t using it, that’s no success. To support resisters in the future by contributing to reimburse them for […]