Saturday, June 29, 2013

War Tax Resistance!

Northern California War Tax Resistance []
War Tax Resistance Publications []

2013-05-31 "Tax resistance continues to be a controversial stance, which many are afraid to seriously consider"
end-of-the-month message by Chris from the Chico Peace & Justice Center [526 Broadway, Chico, CA 95928] []:
Dear Friends,
I was moved and admittedly surprised by the number of responses that came in after we sent around my 2013 tax day letter to the IRS.  It was heartening to see that open war tax resistance struck a chord with so many CPJC friends and supporters. 
Tax resistance continues to be a controversial stance, which many are afraid to seriously consider.  Some would like to resist war taxes but are baffled at how to go about it.  Wherever you fall on the war tax resistance spectrum I encourage you to come to the Center to check out two new resources - if you haven't already.  The first is the inaugural issue of CPJC's Chico Viewspaper, which features six powerful and insightful commentaries on the conundrum of U.S. taxation.  The second is a series of 7 pamphlets from the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee, which describes the meaning, purpose, and how-to of war tax resistance.
My own ongoing correspondence with the IRS continued this very day with the following letter.  I am unaware if any other war tax resisters feel led to this particular step, but it has become an integral part of my own resistance practice.  Curious what you'll think...
Brick by brick, [signed] Chris
May 31, 2013
Department of the Treasury
 Internal Revenue Service
 Fresno, CA 93888-0002
To Whom It May Concern at the IRS:
I have written to you several times in the past in order to explain my conscientious refusal to pay my "owed tax" because such a large percentage of it is destined to fund war and preparation for war.  My conscience also requires me to inform you, as I first did in March of 2006, that in order to resist my "owed tax" I have been reducing my federal taxes withheld to zero by inflating the number of my declared allowances on my W-4 form. 
The IRS W-4 form requires a signature under the statement that "to the best of my knowledge and belief, [the information entered on the form] is true, correct, and complete."  Given that adherence to truth is the foundation of Gandhian nonviolent resistance, this requirement places a war tax resister committed to Gandhian nonviolence in an interesting conundrum.  Given my current salary, to fill out the W-4 form truthfully would guarantee that I would contribute to war.  To fill out the W-4 form falsely and affix my signature would be to consciously compromise the truth.  In the face of this dilemma, I have found only one solution which fully honors the dictates of my conscience, which is to freely volunteer to you that I have deliberately inflated the declared allowances on my most recently signed W-4 form, as I did previously in 2006, as an act of open and transparent civil disobedience.  Again, the sole purpose of my doing so has been to avoid contributing to war and preparation for war.
Gandhi taught that transparency is essential to faithful nonviolent action, and I have reached out to you with deep faith in that understanding.
Respectfully, [signed] Chris Moore-Backman

Message from

If the Iraq War is over and Afghan War is winding down, why will we spend over $625 billion next year on "defense" while millions lack jobs, living wages, health care, affordable housing and education???
The jobs crisis is still severe.  The economy for working people is anemic at best.   But when Congress votes on the budget each year, it gives more than half to the Pentagon, while it slashes jobs and services and attacks our basic rights."
FY2014 Senate Armed Services Cmte. bill:
$526.6 billion for the Pentagon
$17.8 billion for nuclear arms
$80.7 billion for Afghan War
TOTAL = $625.1 billion
Military spending is no solution. Pentagon contractor profits grow, while the number of workers they employ declines.  We need our tax dollars to spend on good jobs, training and education, and programs that strengthen our communities.
In August, 2011, the AFL-CIO General Executive Council said [], "The militarization of our foreign policy has proven to be a costly mistake. It is time to invest at home...."
To demilitarize our foreign policy, we need to break the stranglehold military contractors have on our economy and government.
In making major cuts to military spending to invest in our people and communities, workers and our unions must have a hand in reshaping the economy by participating in the process of planning economic conversion []. 

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