Sunday, April 18, 2010


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"Let them march all they want, as long as they continue to pay their taxes."

--Alexander Haig, U.S. Secretary of State

Commenting in 1982 on the march in support of nuclear disarmament U.N. Special Session on the NonProliferation Treaty [largest demonstration in NYC history] -- Renewed demonstration on same issue--May 2, 2010--Consider coming with us.

April 15, Federal Income Tax Day, has come and gone again. Sic transit pecuniae. People here in the Port Huron area, who have hoped and worked for more peaceful prosperous times, can review and settle past accounts, with an eye towards a more demanding future.

small group had invested in an IRS tax redirection idea, Iraq Peace Bonds, to not pay a portion of their tax due until the Iraq war ended. This protest was an attempt to put money where their mouths and hearts had been—against this war and the war industry. In April 2007 a presentation of a $1,300 check was made to the St. Clair Co. Library.

Of the eleven people involved there have been no reported dire consequences. One has still maintained funds in escrow, with no IRS attempt to demand payment. My wife Ande and I had the $300 we'd not paid, and contributed for peace [over 2 years to a peace tax escrow account where that money still exists], electronically subtracted from President Bush's second nationwide tax rebate check program. No prior notification of a tax debt, nor demand for payment—just effective U.S. agency to agency math action.

heckmate for the government this time, but we're re-positioning. And no others had this done to their rebate checks. No one received threatening collection or lien notices from the government, which have been fairly common for tax resisters in the past. Perhaps it's the individually small dollar amounts involved. Perhaps some in the IRS are somewhat sympathetic.

The regular letter we've sent, along with [electronically in our case] filing our 1040 forms, to the IRS [c.c. our Senators and Representative] do help our cause. It appears that with no real end in sight to our wars, despite the election of President Obama, and the rising power of corporations now masquerading in the political process as extremely well-heeled persons, we will have much more to do to bring true change. Will April 15th Tax Day become the new Election Day--war or peace, vote with your citizen tax dollars? Vote up or down with your taxes, because on the second Tuesday in November the ballot box is already stuffed with corporate campaign dollars?

An updated version of this Letter to the IRS and Elected Officials is included below. Please thoughtfully and prayerfully consider sending it or similar to the IRS & Congress, even if you've already done this year's taxes. For more information on the details of these efforts to re-direct tax money for peace please contact the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee, . It's very good for the spirit to do this in community with others in your local area.

"I feel that the supreme obligation of every Christian, taking precedence over absolutely everything else, is to devote themselves by the best means at their disposal to a struggle to preserve the human race from annihilation and to abolish war as the essential means to accomplish this end." --Thomas Merton, 1962

To the IRS and Elected Officials:

I am scandalized by the amount of my tax dollars being used for war. Every month almost $9 billion is being spent on the unjust war in Iraq--no definite end in sight. Now we have re-surged in Afghanistan’s impossible endless war, spending $1,000,000 per new soldier deployed. Approximately 50% of federal income taxes are being used for current and past military expenses. Corporations, many with military ties, are now, by U.S. Supreme Court decision, to be considered persons. As such they will be able to pour even more money into elections, putting them firmly in control of our politics. Democracy is in danger.

I believe in the peaceful purposes of taxation for the common good, but when these funds are used to invade and occupy countries for private company access to oil resources, and when we bail out reckless financial firms, then only evil can come from this abuse of power. It is therefore moral and patriotic to begin withholding and redirecting these monies used in unjust war and propping up corpulent corporations. If instead this money were invested in peace initiatives and aid programs we could truly build a better and more secure world.

I feel so strongly about this that I am in the process of arranging to not pay $______ of my taxes owed to the IRS for 2010. I will either set this money aside to pay when it will not be used for these wars, or will give this amount to programs that help build true peace and security. I will settle this account, when we end our occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

I understand that the IRS may use its enforcement procedures to collect this money from me, but I hope that you will instead join me in this refusal to pay for unjust war. Civil rights in the South began to build community, when people started to find ways to cross the line together. Here we have a civil right and duty of peacemaking.

Signature ____________________________________

Date ____________

Name [print] _________________________________

Address ________________________________________

Street City State Zip

Letter illuminations by Kathy Brahney


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