U.S. Tax History- It Doesn’t Repeat Itself, But It Often Rhymes

women holding signs above their heads while gathered outside

Like many of you, I found it easy to get lost in the Trump tax troves published in the New York Times last Sunday. I felt a feverish attempt to scour through it to find some of the starker elements and decipher how it relates to war tax resistance. Some of the long anticipated information that had been shrouded in secrecy was available to all. I was curious about the details of how the supposed “leader of the free world” was able to game the U.S. tax system, but I was also curious as to how the general public would respond to this new information. It seemed many realized that those with money bent the tax laws to benefit themselves.  […]

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” […]

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, […]

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 […]

Looking for Hope In A Time of Crisis

“The Status & Future of War Tax Resistance.” That’s the tag on an old folder floating around my office. When I finished my years as NWTRCC Coordinator a few people asked if I was going to write about the WTR movement, as had previous coordinators*, but I never got to it. Actually I never had much to say except, “It used to be stronger, with more active groups around the country. An undetermined number of us will keep resisting as long as taxes go to war.” Today as I pondered a blog topic yet again I decided to do a search on “war tax resistance” and see where that might lead. Interestingly, it led me to a recent article, “Tax […]

Grounded…or flying by the seat of our pants?

In recent days, an increased number of military planes have been flying over the US and targeting cities often in clusters to show appreciation to ‘front line workers.’  The Pentagon cooked up the scheme of ‘Operation America Strong’ to mobilize the military in what some refer to as the ‘war on the corona virus.’  The operation was to honor the sacrifices of health care workers who have faced new challenges in their profession in caring for those with COVID-19.  The risks to their lives have increased as the availability of PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) has decreased.  It seems that the US government has passed the buck in its most basic responsibility to protect its citizens.  The federal government missed the […]

NWTRCC’s May 2020 Conference Report

Originally, our May 2020 conference was going to take place in Chicago. With the COVID-19 pandemic, we made the decision to meet online using Zoom instead. (Though I would like to thank the following groups and individuals who had put time and energy into the original Chicago meeting: Su Casa Catholic Worker, #LetUsBreathe Collective, Kathy Kelly, and Rosalie Riegle.) NWTRCC’s first online conference was a success. (Though to be clear, NWTRCC has had an online component to its conferences that allowed folks who were offsite to join us for quite a few years now.) About 50 folks signed up for the conference and 42 attended at least some portion of the conference. We had folks joining us from Alaska to […]

Virtually Conflicted

tax day 2020

There’s something to be said for holding a meeting online. Our NYC War Resisters League group usually meets in Manhattan every month or so. We’re a small group with meetings ranging from 6 to 12 people, but at our virtual meeting to plan a virtual April 15th action, 15 people joined, most by video and a few by phone. It was quite a successful meeting with a lot of enthusiasm for virtual tax day protests — and a good deal of hope that we could be out in the streets by July 15. Post-April 15 I’m thinking about the value of virtual protest and having trouble coming up with anything more than: it was something to do better than nothing […]