Hindsight, Looking Forward with 2020 Vision

As 2020 comes to a close, it seems like a good time to look back to where we have been; have clear eyes about where we are headed in order to forge a new path. By January 15th 2021, 5,ooo total U.S. troops are poised to remain in Iraq and Afghanistan.  After a height of 170,000 troops in Iraq and 100,000 troops in Afghanistan and over 19 years of war this appears to be welcome news to the longest ongoing war in U.S. history. A former Marine captain wrote “Two Costly Wars and a Legacy of Shame” in the New York Times that the US Defense Department alone spent $6 trillion dollars “costing each American taxpayer an estimate more than […]

Don’t Pay for What You Don’t Want

Nelson Homestead

“I don’t want to pay for what I don’t want. I won’t buy what I don’t want. I’m that way with everything. So, why not war? I don’t want it either…” — Juanita Nelson on Democracy Now! During this season of Black Fridays, Cyber Mondays, big online retailer vans and trucks crowding streets and highways, advertisements for all manner of plastic stuff, etc., it’s a great time to remember Wally and Juanita Nelson. They lived lives centered around their belief in nonviolence as a way of life, a belief that led Wally to prison for refusing to fight in WWII. A belief that led the couple to refuse to pay taxes for war. A belief that evolved to an exemplary […]

All or Nothing Syndrome

Over these decades of doing war tax resistance, being in meetings about war tax resistance, counseling current or new resisters, etc., I’ve tried to argue against something I will call the “all or nothing syndrome.” “I can’t live below taxable income so I can’t resist.” “We’re having a baby so I have to stop resisting.” “I’m applying for a loan so I have to stop resisting.” “The IRS just took my bank account so I have to stop resisting.” “I like the idea but I can’t risk my job by becoming a war tax resister.” I don’t want to be snooty and judgmental about it. People hit a wall and feel there is no way around it for all kinds […]

Financial State of NWTRCC & Bequest Campaign

Unless you attend NWTRCC’s bi-annual business meeting or check out our annual reports, you might not be aware of NWTRCC’s financial situation. NWTRCC runs on a shoe-string budget. Our expenses last year were just over $58,000. Around 70% of our expenses—or about $42,000—were used to pay for NWTRCC’s two consultants. The remainder of the expenses were used to fund our biannual meetings, newsletter, website, and to keep our materials up-to-date. The website has definitely become our most highly utilized resource, with over 38,000 unique visitors checking out the NWTRCC site so far in 2020. (The average visitor looks at 9 different pages on our website.) To help meet these expenses and make NWTRCC as helpful as possible to war tax […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Bringing the Troops Home to Use on US Citizens

two people holding signs and wearing masks

The president had a very isolating weekend, beginning with descending into an underground bunker at the White House and concluding with global leaders stating they would not be traveling to DC for the G-7 summit. Also, with the highest number of fatalities and cases of COVID-19, the U.S. was pulling out of the World Health Organization.  All week people were coming together to express their outrage at the brutal killing of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin of the Minneapolis police. The very protests emerging throughout the U.S. that were calling attention to police brutality as well as the 400+ year legacy of racism were met with increased militarization by the police and national guard.  The commander in chief was sending […]