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"Let them march all they want as long as they continue to pay their taxes."
– Alexander Haig as Secretary of State, 1982

We won’t wait anymore. Since Congress, particularly the congressional leadership, refuses to do so, my wife and I are personally defunding the war and occupation of Iraq. We refuse for the foreseeable future to surrender the portion of our taxes that pays for U.S. imperialism and the militarization which backs it up. We’re inventing nothing, merely joining with thousands of other war-tax protesters whose history on the North American continent dates back to 1637 when the Algonquins refused to pay a Dutch tax levied to remodel a fort built in the midst of these Indians to control them on their own land.

Our action may seem pitiful in that it amounts to cutting off money to Iraq for about as long as it takes you to read half this sentence. Moreover, if it wishes, the government can extract even that pittance from us by force. But only if officials are willing to expend more money to collect from us than they will obtain in the process.

We take this action reluctantly, fully aware of the potential consequences. But Congress leaves us no choice.

With the Cheney-Bush cabal openly defying the Geneva Conventions, the Nuremberg Principles, the U.N. Charter and the U.S. Constitution, and with the majority of Congress unwilling to stand up against this defiance, as long as we continue to pay our war taxes, we can no longer fool ourselves into believing that we are innocent of complicity in war crimes and other crimes against the Republic. Our taxes are the lifeblood of empire.    

As Henry David Thoreau wrote more than a century and a half ago:

"Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience, then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right."

It’s been a year since the Democrats won a majority in the House and Senate. Ten months since they took office. I had some initial hope when that occurred.

Not because I’m naïve. Being a radical democrat makes one chronically aware of the limitations of any political coalition, most especially the umbrella known as the Democratic Party. So, believe me, I wasn’t expecting a genuine and overnight transformation in American foreign policy just because an extra handful of people who put "D" after their names had moved into freshly painted offices on Capitol Hill. My hope was tempered by many past disappointments, many betrayals, and the knowledge – ever-present since the first time I protested government policy 44 years ago – of how rare is the occasion when a critical mass of run-of-the-mill politicians will do more than merely talk against injustice and criminality.

Still, there were a few signs immediately after last November which indicated that now might be one of those rare occasions of action-over-words in relation to the atrocity-laden, Constitution-dismantling, dissident-smearing, tyranny-engendering, crony-enriching, oligarchy-enhancing Big Lie known as the "war on terror." Especially the occupation of Iraq, the most visible symptom of that lie. Hope stirred. To be dashed and dashed again. Not enough Democrats chose to confront the Cheney-Bush regime. The Democratic leadership talked tough, but with rare exceptions acted weak.

Come this week, a congressional conference committee will pass a gigantic defense spending bill that includes no requirement for withdrawal of troops from Iraq and no prohibitions on attacking Iran. Sometime later this month, the "continuing resolution" will be renewed, allowing the war to continue being funded at the same levels as last fiscal year. There are no pledges or plans to add withdrawal language to the continuing resolution. The chance that withdrawal language – and language on Iran – will be added to the supplemental war-spending bill in January is minuscule. The chance that the bill will not eventually be approved by a majority of Congress is nil. Thus, by this time next year, assuming no supplemental supplements are approved, the U.S. will have spent $660 billion for five-and-a-half years of war and occupation in Iraq compared with the (inflation-adjusted) $673 billion spent in the most expensive eight years of the Vietnam War (1964-72). In current dollars, the average month in Vietnam cost $5.5 billion, while Iraq costs us $12 billion a month.

The government is going to have to do without my family’s portion of this. As well as a portion of the rest of its "defense" budget. Because that budget underpins a war and occupation in which 750,000 to 1.5 million Iraqi civilians have died, in which 4150 "coalition" soldiers have died and nearly 40,000 have been wounded, in which billions of dollars have disappeared. A budget that sustains more than 725 known military bases overseas, and some secret number of secret bases. A budget of which some "black" portion provides sustenance for all kinds of classified work – all kinds, including rendition and torture and secret prisons, and clandestine activities that, were they directed against America, would be labeled "terrorism."

Neither my wife nor I oppose the 16th Amendment. We are neither anarchists nor libertarians. We abhor the Grover Norquists who would first starve government social services and then drown them. Nor are we pacifists. We believe in self-defense, both personal and collective. War as a last resort in the most extreme circumstances is not morally unacceptable to us. Sometimes, in our view, the only choice is kill or be killed. But empire building? concocted war? war for the benefit of profiteers? war for oil and strategic position? war to play out a perverted vision of America as the New Rome? That we can no longer condone with our taxes.

Yet how to calculate the correct percentage? The Office of Management and Budget, for instance, claims the federal spending pie looks like the pie chart on the left.  

But when you chop out the Social Security trust fund money, and you distinguish between current military spending and past military spending, the pie looks more like the pie chart below.

We chose the latter version. We ignored the 20% dedicated to the consequences of past military spending, which includes interest on the debt and veterans’ benefits, money which cannot in the first case be cut and should not in the second case be. That leaves 31% of the budget. Even with the billions that slip (or are forced) through the cracks, it’s not hard to estimate how much of the total goes for Iraq. But how much goes for empire all together, and how much goes for legitimate national security needs? Depends on your definitions.

We arbitrarily chose half. That is, 50% of 31%. We will, as we always have, file our 1040s. But we will refuse to pay 15% of what Washington says we owe it. We do this not because we have any illusion that two citizens holding back a few dollars will stop the war, the building of empire, the commission of atrocities. We do it because we cannot hold up our heads and continue to be accomplices in the schemes of those for whom "democracy" and "freedom" are buzzwords and "liberation" is a cruel and perverted joke.

Thoreau wrote the first draft of his treatise "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience" while another of America’s unjust wars was being prosecuted, against Mexico. The war was fought purely for theft, eagerly backed by slave owners, promoted under the pernicious and murderous rubric of Manifest Destiny, and like today’s war, initiated on the basis of government lies and spurred along by a media conduits of propaganda. Just one of the many perversities of that war can be seen in the actions of General Winfield Scott, a man proclaimed a hero, even in our own time, who refused to allow the women and children to leave Vera Cruz during his March 1847 artillery siege of that city, where half the total 1100 fatalities were civilians.

Read by millions with admiration, an ethical foundation for protest by men as far removed from one another in time and place as Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., Thoreau’s work today seems to many people little more than a relic, an idealistic utopianism unsuited in temperament and tone for the modern world. This could not be more wrong.  
As the activist historian Howard Zinn writes in his introduction to The Higher Law: Thoreau on Civil Disobedience and Reform (a collection of Thoreau’s polemical writing published in 2004):

At the center of Thoreau's great essay (though he doesn't make the reference) is that stunning idea expressed in the Declaration of Independence: governments are artificial creations, set up to serve the interests of the people. That idea was soon overwhelmed by the reality of the Constitution and the establishment of an actual government. Now a small group of powerful men could use the government to advance their own interests, to make war, to compromise with slavery. But why should people of conscience defer to such a government and its laws? Why should they not exercise their own moral judgment? When a government supports evil, it is the duty of its citizens to withhold their support from the government, to resist its demands.

Unlike the first seven years of the Vietnam War, when conscription grabbed up living bodies to stoke the machinery of unjustified war, today – for those of us not caught up in the backdoor draft of extended tours of duty – it is only our finances that are conscripted. My wife and I refuse to continue to allow that. We believe that resistance is the essence of democracy.

We also will keep marching against the war and occupation. But in the future, we won’t march except when it is a precursor to non-violent action that disrupts business as usual, even if only for a few minutes. Along with thousands (but, sadly, not millions) of others, we’ve been marching for five years, complying with permits, staying on the sidewalk or on the designated streets, being polite good citizens. No more. We won’t let specific actions of civil disobedience be undermined by announcing them in advance. Call this peaceful militancy or call it fruitless and fringy, we see no alternative with which our consciences can reside without turmoil.  

Sources and Resources:
An Act of Conscience, a documentary film.
History of war tax resistance
Tax Resistance - An American Tradition

Where Your Income Tax Money Really Goes
On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, Thoreau himself.
National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee
National Priorities Project.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 08:53 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wow, great idea, but Bush (25+ / 0-)

    isn't spending the money you're making now, he's spending that AND the money you're going to make for the rest, and your children, and their children ...

    He already cleaned out the safe.  

    •  If enough people refused to cooperate (7+ / 0-)

      and meekly pay their taxes to support these criminals, the legitimacy of the whole enterprise would be called into question.  It would remind others, just where their hand-earned dollars are going.  It doesn't matter if the government is still borrowing money because they don't have enough.  The action of withholding money from the government hits the warmongers in the only place it hurts -- in the wallet.
      In the sixties there was a slogan, "What if they gave a war and nobody came?"  Another slogan might be, "What if they gave war and nobody paid?"

      One cannot deny the humanity of another without diminishing one's own. James Baldwin

      by CarolynC967 on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 03:38:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  but that would be so much less convenient (0+ / 0-)

        Than writing blistering denunciations on my blog.

      •  What is needed is strong *known* leadership (3+ / 0-)

        Mr. MeteorBlades, my hat is off to you. I wish I didn't have a family to worry about, nor just a green card in my pocket, I would join you in an instant.
        I have been saying for some time that even paying taxes makes me feel dirty and connected to this war. If we just keep paying, we should at least feel like little Eichmanns - all of us.

        But what we really need is a bunch of well known figures in America to do this as well. Imagine if Bill Gates announced this move! He has money for enough laywers to drag this on for years!!! Then Warren Buffet. People with enough cash to not care anymore. People with enough cash to supply anyone following their footsteps with laywers, really break down the machine. THAT would be freaking awesome!

        But really, all it takes is about 300 conscienable (sp?) people in the Congress, and none of this would be needed.

        Sadly, they've betrayed us the worst.

      •  oh I agree (0+ / 0-)

        And I actually didn't pay my taxes for two years following GWB's invasion of Iraq.  I just couldn't stand to.   But the fear of the IRS eventually made me cave.  I understand if EVERYBODY does it it will work, but ....

        It would make a big statement but it wouldn't actually change anything. Bush has already run through all the cash and is running up the credit cards now and nobody's stopping him.

      •  The government... (0+ / 0-)

        prints the money.  You can't hit Bush in his wallet because he just borrows as much as he wants.  He probably has all his own money in Euros anyway.

  •  Support Clinton/Byrd -- defund the war (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DCDemocrat, Owllwoman

    Let's get this bill through!  

    Clinton '08 // Putting People First

    by Berkeley Vox on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 08:56:15 PM PST

    •  Details ! Details ! (15+ / 0-)

      If Clinton and Byrd are co-sponsoring a realistic bill (that has a chance at passage) that actually stops the Iraqi war through defunding, let us have the details. I don't like HRC, but if she's honestly supporting this, I'm interested. Please, tell me more.

      If you want to guarantee a Republican President, vote for Hillary in the primaries. She's the single strongest unifying force the Republican party has.

      by DelicateMonster on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 09:04:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Okay, if she's REALLY doing this and it passes (10+ / 0-)

        I promise to change my sig.

        Hell, I might even vote for her.

        If you want to guarantee a Republican President, vote for Hillary in the primaries. She's the single strongest unifying force the Republican party has.

        by DelicateMonster on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 09:08:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nevermind, it's bullshit (9+ / 0-)

          nice try BerkleyVox....

          It's about denying the authorization itself (big whoop, like Bush cares anyhow), like mcjoan said about this crappy cya legislation apparently designed to convince progressives that HRC isn't a war monger(despite her Iraqi war authorization vote, her Kyl Lieberman vote, and her general bellicosity):

          It doesn't seem likely that the Senators really believe Bush will come to them with new authorization request, admitting that he has failed thus far and needs to begin on a new course. And it is even more incredible to think that any new course from Bush would actually involve what the American people want, the troops out of Iraq within the next year.

          What's more, does it mean that Byrd and Clinton will not vote for any funds authorizing the war after October 11, 2007? Because each funding bill for the Iraq war is, in effect, a reauthorization of the AUMF. If you are going to declare the war illegal as of then, you simply cannot provide continued funding for it. That's putting aside the obvious--this legislation is subject to a veto by Bush. The only thing not subject to a Bush veto would be no bill at all, presenting no more funding bills or timelines for him to veto.

          It's an interesting sideshow to the Iraq debate, but it's hard to see how it really is going to achieve anything at all.

          Nice try, but there's no 'there, there'.

          If you want to guarantee a Republican President, vote for Hillary in the primaries. She's the single strongest unifying force the Republican party has.

          by DelicateMonster on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 09:25:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Deauthorizing is the first step to defunding (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DCDemocrat, Janus

            ...and it's how the Vietnam war was ultimately ended.

            Clinton '08 // Putting People First

            by Berkeley Vox on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:03:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, defunding alone is too risky, isn't it? (9+ / 0-)

              "This argument is garbage. Congress has the authority to require the top military commanders in Iraq to produce a plan for safely withdrawing our troops from the country. It can also require these commanders to give their best estimate of the cost of this plan. It can then appropriate this money, specifying that the funds be used for the withdrawal plan designed by the military."
              --Institute for Public Accuracy

              Repeating the legislative cowardice of the Vietnam era isn't a top priority for me. Thanks anyhow.

              Maybe we just elect a fucking congress that has the balls to tell the Prez (whomever it is) and more importantly the Miliary Industrial Complex that we're just not spending anymore money on Iraq. Like yesterday.

              You think we'll suffer a lose of votes?--I could give a shit, but I promise you this -- I'll work like hell to ensure you and your candidate suffer a worse lose IF YOU DON'T--because apparently that's the only thing the DLC acolytes understand.

              If you want to guarantee a Republican President, vote for Hillary in the primaries. She's the single strongest unifying force the Republican party has.

              by DelicateMonster on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:24:41 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Berkeley Vox is right (5+ / 0-)

              Defunding the war will not necessarily bring the troops home. The only thing that will is deauthorization. Defunding without deauthorization is just creating an "unfunded mandate."

              •  Not that it matters (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Meteor Blades, StrayCat

                because it will never pass.

              •  Dean Baker thinks otherwise (6+ / 0-)

                Somehow, I think I'm inclined  to his argument. Your's seems, how can I say it? entirely too eagerly apologetic of the status quo.

                The latest version of the "hide behind the troops" mode of argument is to claim that Congress lacks the ability to end the war. The story goes that President Bush is commander in chief of the armed forces, and that if he does not want to end the war, then Congress cannot force his hand. According to this argument, if Congress were to use its control of the budget to restrict funding, it would jeopardize our troops stationed in Iraq by denying them the supplies and ammunition needed to defend themselves.

                   This argument is garbage. Congress has the authority to require the top military commanders in Iraq to produce a plan for safely withdrawing our troops from the country. It can also require these commanders to give their best estimate of the cost of this plan. It can then appropriate this money, specifying that the funds be used for the withdrawal plan designed by the military.

                   President Bush would then have the funding required to safely withdraw our troops from Iraq. He would not have the money to continue his war. If he chose to defy Congress by misusing the funds (and thereby jeopardizing the lives of our troops), then the law provides a simple and obvious remedy: Impeachment. While it is possible that Bush would choose to violate the law, jeopardizing both the lives of our troops and his presidency, it is reasonable to assume that he would comply with the law and not exceed his authority as president.

                   Reasonable arguments could be made that this sort of decisive measure from Congress is not desirable. It could be argued that allowing President Bush more discretion in the conduct of the war would be the better route. But it is important to understand that Congress does have the authority to shut down the war without abandoning our troops. If Congress does not pursue this option, then it is because it has chosen not to. President Bush cannot continue to wage a war in Iraq if Congress is really determined to stop him.

                If you want to guarantee a Republican President, vote for Hillary in the primaries. She's the single strongest unifying force the Republican party has.

                by DelicateMonster on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:35:50 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Could Bush just veto the deauthorization? (0+ / 0-)

                And how could they possibly stay without funding? Unless they want to put soldiers' lives at risk in a game of chicken between those not providing funding and those not ordering the troops to withdrawal.

      •  Here's one source (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DelicateMonster, greenearth

        from UPI:

        http://blogs.usatoday.com/...

        The article is dated in May, and October 11 was supposed to be a deadline for the "expiration" of the war. Doesn't sound like it's gotten very far.

      •  Here's a link to a May entry (3+ / 0-)
  •  Just another example of why you're a hero. (31+ / 0-)

    To me, anyway.

    Choosing the lesser of two evils is still to choose evil. -- teacherken, 10/20/07

    by Mehitabel9 on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 08:57:46 PM PST

  •  I STAND WITH YOU TOO (21+ / 0-)

    When our leaders fail to act, it is time to take the reins. It is simply past time for us all to recognize that we have become serfs, not citizens. We pay billions for bombs and then grovel for health care. We watch as Bush's buddies become wealthy beyond our wildest dreams, while we worry about losing our homes and the quality of the tainted toothpaste and meat they slap in front of us.

    Our money is not really being used to provide for the common defense. It's being used to bring back the DuPonts, the Rockefellers, and ... well, the Bushes, circa 1920.

    I stand with you. I will be doing this, too.

    "There are four boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order." Ed Howdershelt

    by JuliaAnn on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 08:58:20 PM PST

  •  God Bless You, but Smarten Up (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PaintyKat

    I are personally defunding the war and occupation of Iraq. We refuse for the foreseeable future to surrender the portion of our taxes that pays for U.S. imperialism and the militarization which backs it up.

    No.  You are personally being pains in asses.  And that's a good thing.  But lets learn to crawl before we walk.  K?

  •  You are misguided (20+ / 0-)

    Taxes are not contingent on your support of the governments actions. What would happen if everyone stopped paying taxes? (the right because of social security... the left because of the war...) everyone would have a reason to do it. It would be chaos.

    As much as this is war is a stupid, useless waste, there is NOTHING about it that gives you the right, moral or otherwise, to withhold your taxes. Rule of law must be maintained, and when you with hold taxes, you undermine the legitimacy and stability of the country.

    But the Bush administration went to war in Iraq illegally you say! Maybe so, but it isn't up to you to decide that - and if you DO decide that and act upon it, you become no better than they are, with no respect for the laws of this country.

  •  I think that's wrong. Why should wealthy (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans pay more than 35% of the taxes they owe? After all, they don't support any non-defense spending (and many don't even support those).

    Join the College Kossacks on Facebook. Edwards '08

    by DemocraticLuntz on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 09:01:37 PM PST

  •  I'd love to help (9+ / 0-)

    Sir, I'd join you but I'm (un)lucky enough to have never paid a dime in federal taxes.  I guess being broke has it's merits.

    [-4.88,-5.64]
    I'm still certain that what motivates me
    Is more rewarding than any piece of paper could be -- Dennis Lyxzén

    by stinerman on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 09:02:47 PM PST

    •  ... pardon me for asking... (0+ / 0-)

      but how is one that broke?? lol... i've skirted poverty-line many a year, self- and otherwise-employed, and have never gotten 100% or + back for the effort. (even the nine months or so i got for unemployment over an unhappy period...)

      •  He probably incorporated himself... (0+ / 0-)

        That way, you can eliminate your taxes by expensing everything, even savings!

        Seriously though...There has got to be a way to do this.

      •  Re: (0+ / 0-)

        I'm 23 and have either taken enough tax credits through education or simply haven't made enough money for the feds to take anything from me.

        On 2nd thought, I might have paid a very small amount back in the late 90s when I was a dependent and made a few thousand dollars, but we're talking about $25 or so.

        Even this year I doubt I'll make enough as I've been unemployed since May.

        [-4.88,-5.64]
        I'm still certain that what motivates me
        Is more rewarding than any piece of paper could be -- Dennis Lyxzén

        by stinerman on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 09:08:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Same here (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StrayCat

      I would join you, but I just don't make enough...I'll likely be paying negative taxes this year with the EITC.

      During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. - George Orwell

      by kyril on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 01:57:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Your action is very bold (11+ / 0-)

    I hope it does not cause you grief.  

    Care to be our Speaker of the House?  

  •  This is an interesting protest -- (5+ / 0-)

    but, unfortunately, it's really only of symbolic value because Bush's money comes out of the endless free ride given Congress thanks to dollar hegemony.  The government cuts the checks, and foreign banks must cover them for fear of being ruined financially:

    World trade is now a game in which the US produces dollars and the rest of the world produces things that dollars can buy. The world's interlinked economies no longer trade to capture a comparative advantage; they compete in exports to capture needed dollars to service dollar-denominated foreign debts and to accumulate dollar reserves to sustain the exchange value of their domestic currencies. To prevent speculative and manipulative attacks on their currencies, the world's central banks must acquire and hold dollar reserves in corresponding amounts to their currencies in circulation. The higher the market pressure to devalue a particular currency, the more dollar reserves its central bank must hold. This creates a built-in support for a strong dollar that in turn forces the world's central banks to acquire and hold more dollar reserves, making it stronger. This phenomenon is known as dollar hegemony...

    So, theoretically, Congress doesn't need one penny of your tax dollars -- they just print more, and the foreign banks buy T-bills with them to keep the game going.  

    It's really only when this cute little scheme breaks down that the war will see financial trouble.  The difficulty in predicting when this will happen appears to be a matter of when the traders will establish a substitute currency, since there has to be a currency if there are going to be capitalists...

    "Imagine all the people/ Sharing all the world" -- John Lennon

    by Cassiodorus on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 09:04:14 PM PST

  •  You can't just not pay for policies you dont like (5+ / 0-)

    I can't see how this is a good idea, particularly for liberals who want the government to cure poverty, illiteracy, etc through some form of wealth redistribution.

    If everyone can object to paying taxes for things they don't like, then who ends up paying for anything? Only those who stand to loose the least, and gain the most, which is not a redistribution of anything!

    •  ala-carte, baby... (6+ / 0-)

      it's the wave of the future.

      really... wouldn't that provide the most straightforward and logical public outgrowths? overall, public sensibility is mostly reasonable, and much quicker to react to world needs.

      •  As I said in a previous comment (0+ / 0-)

        case-studies don't support your argument, particularly Russia, where the majority of people are skimping on their taxes, and its one of the least democratic states in the world, thanks to the fact that they simply get their money from somewhere else (state run oil)... and the war in Chechnya rolls on.

    •  It's called taking a stand. (11+ / 0-)

      I admire MB's stance and hope he doesn't go to jail for it. The government is BY the people and FOR the people, among other things, and must be paid for by the people. In extreme circumstances, a citizen must be prepared to defy his or her government on moral, ethical, and patriotic grounds. We will defend our country, even from its own government.

      Meteor, two obvious suggestions (that have probably already been made):

      1. Form or join a coalition of tax protesters who refuse to pay any more for this war.
      1. Get a lawyer. Start with the ACLU.
    •  And really (0+ / 0-)

      Why should people ever pay taxes if they weren't forced to? I mean, there are so many ways in which our government has failed us, even on a local level, that the number of people who pay taxes will be pathetically low.

      Russia, for example, has something like a 30% tax extraction rate. Has it resulted in the government listening to its people more? not at all.

      Moreover, so-called "rentier states" which derive their revenue from a non-tax base (like Saudi Arabia) tend to be even less Democratic because they get most of their revenue through tarrifs and state owned monopolies.

    •  MB isn't asserting the right to do it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snakelass, CarolynC967, James Kresnik

      He's going to do it, knowing that it's illegal, and is willing to accept the consequences. If someone's so worked up over some government program that they're willing to go to jail to avoid paying for it, they can do that too - odds are there won't be many who do so. Civil disobedience is different from denying the rule of law.

      During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. - George Orwell

      by kyril on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 02:01:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  MB is not claiming the right to not pay for (0+ / 0-)

      whatever he disagrees with, as he stands ready to go to jail.  Part of this protest is to convey the depth of the frustration with our govermental officials in their continued failure to follow the law and be representative of the citizenry.  These unusual protests are for unusual times, and not some attempt to create a boutique tax system  The sixties are instructive here, and it is sad that it's taken us so long to reach this point ofr action.  The methods are there to adapt.  Right on MB!!

      Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

      by StrayCat on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 05:17:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I agree. (18+ / 0-)

    We have come to a place that Thoreau, Ghandi & MLK could well understand.  Civil disobedience appears to be all that's left to us.

  •  If they need more money (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BDA in VA

    they just print it.

    Don't believe me? Open the business section of todays's newspaper.

    •  Mario Cuomo asked Paul Krugman in an interview (0+ / 0-)

      if printing more money was how the Repubs were paying for the war.  He said no -- it's through taxes and borrowing.  Since all the revenue goes into the same pot, and the huge amounts that are going to pay for this illegal war are coming out of the pot, MB is fundamentally right that his taxes are going toward the war spending.  

      One cannot deny the humanity of another without diminishing one's own. James Baldwin

      by CarolynC967 on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 04:11:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think you can a bit further with this... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PBnJ, greenearth, kyril, James Kresnik

    everyone just needs to alter their W2 and take 14 or so dependents so that NO MONEY IS TAKEN out of their checks.

    With a near total cut off of the government revenue stream you will get their attention more quickly, and considering the thickness of our leaders skulls a 2x4 such as this would probably be just enough to register.

  •  Nobody's Paying a Dime For It Either Way (5+ / 0-)

    The war's off budget.

    And beyond that, about half our regular military budget is unpaid, that is, equal to the annual deficit.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 09:09:53 PM PST

  •  That's a strong courageous decision, (10+ / 0-)

    Meteor Blades.

    I've been considering it myself, but don't think my husband is ready for that step.  Have just broached the subject with him briefly though, and haven't really discussed.

    We've known war tax resisters in the past . . .

    Buy a Boat. Save the Seed.

    by cumberland sibyl on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 09:11:13 PM PST

    •  In a U.S. Attorney's office, (5+ / 0-)

      the cases are all in the same file cabinet, no matter what the individual is protesting.  We don't have cafeteria-style taxes but the Feds do have cookie-cutter prosecutions.  All they have to prove is that taxes were owed and were not paid.  

      "War is the calculated and condoned slaughter of human beings". Harry Patch, age 109, WWI veteran.

      by skwimmer on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 09:32:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm glad you and your husband (0+ / 0-)

      may join the resistance.  
      My question is about my two teenagers and the consequences for them.  If their dad and I die, are they liable for our debt to the government?  
      I want to look into this, and probably will consult a lawyer.

      One cannot deny the humanity of another without diminishing one's own. James Baldwin

      by CarolynC967 on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 04:14:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Indeed, let's talk about the money. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PBnJ, KenBee, greenearth, kyril, echatwa

    The way I see this war, it's the Conservatives war. They started it. So now I think of Conservatives as owing me money. And not the kind of Conservatives you see on TV. I'm talking about the kind you see in everyday life. Those bastards owe us money. Treat them like it.

    Republicans are liars.

    by tr4nqued on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 09:12:33 PM PST

  •  No thanks, I'll stay in the loyal oppostion. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

    by ticket punch on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 09:12:34 PM PST

  •  If you and I... (13+ / 0-)

    ...could get 49,998 others to join us, we could bring the government to its knees.

    Thank you for your sacrifice and courage, and for reminding all of us of the true source of our power.

    The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

    by Jay Elias on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 09:15:22 PM PST

  •  I stopped paying taxes the legal way... (13+ / 0-)

    Our moving into Iraq was a big part of my decision to stop working for awhile. I got in my truck and drove aimlessly around America for two years instead, to try to remember what we used to be like.

    Also figured I'd better do it now, while it was still legal to travel...

    /back to work now. Couldn't do it forever....

  •  You and your wife are (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril

    Habeas Corpus:See Hamilton quoting Blackstone in The Federalist Papers, number 84.

    by Ignacio Magaloni on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 09:19:49 PM PST

    •  You and your wife are (10+ / 0-)

      true patriots, and bold ones at that. I am usually in tune with your take on our situation, and I admit that your action has taken me by surprise, as I thought we are generally making some progress.

      But the stinging offense to morality and ethics that our government's bloody delay patently causes, and the fact that it is we who sanction the existence of our government, does mean that there is a limit to patience with our process. Human sacrifice and the corrosion of our freedoms must be stopped.

      I must decide if the time is ripe for this level of protest. Thanks to you and to your wife for your fine example.

      Habeas Corpus:See Hamilton quoting Blackstone in The Federalist Papers, number 84.

      by Ignacio Magaloni on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 09:31:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bravo! (5+ / 0-)

    Bravo, Blades, bravo!

    Taking this action crossed my mind very recently. And I'm assuming that given Congress' recent inaction, we're not the only ones. But others will not follow if no one ever takes the lead. So thank you.

    "Work is the curse of the drinking class." -- Oscar Wilde

    by bignoise on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 09:20:07 PM PST

  •  when the system is serving (9+ / 0-)

    only a few people, the rest of us are forced to improvise, and sometimes great things happen as a result.

    Personally, I think a general strike is a better idea....shut down the highways, the buses, the trains, the ports, the airports, the entire damn economy; a million people surround the White House and nobody goes anywhere or does anything until Bush resigns or ends the war.

    But good luck to you, MB.

  •  Ballsy, but won't they just put you in jail? (9+ / 0-)

    We no longer live in a democracy.  It's not going to return. The law is whatever they say it is.  I hope I'm wrong, but I think I am right.
    Anyway, I wish you luck and I wish I had the balls to do the same.

    •  Thoreau was put in jail (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueness, James Kresnik

      for refusing to pay taxes.  
      If you have not heard the anecdote it goes something like this:  when Emerson visited him that evening, Emerson asked, "Henry, what are you doing in there?" Thoreau replied, "Why, Ralph, what are you doing out there?"
      Great answer, because Thoreau asks the real question -- not about what the tax resistor is doing, but what the rest of us are doing -- we, whose money goes to fund an illegal, immoral war.  The questions really should be addressed to those of us who continue to enable this war by paying our taxes, not to the tax resistor whose words and actions are totally consistent.

      One cannot deny the humanity of another without diminishing one's own. James Baldwin

      by CarolynC967 on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 04:36:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  some thoughts, with LINK (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, airmarc, kyril

    I heard a very good interview with Paul Cruickshank on Air America Radio.

    I suggest reading his article:
    http://www.motherjones.com/...

    Since the original Al Qaida declared war against the USA and our actions (esp. Iraq) triggered massive new recruiting and opportunities for their followers.....the safest course for America, IMHO, is to Impeach and Remove those in The Bush Administration responsible for lying to Congress and for subverting the Constitution....and esp. for their part in breaking international law, violating human rights, ordering and condoning torture.

    An excellent start for protecting America. Get a competent, honest, intelligent, and respected/respectable crew to replace them a.s.a.p.

    "You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." --Mark Twain

    by LNK on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 09:22:51 PM PST

  •  Well I guess the kidding around is over now... (0+ / 0-)

    Let's hold back the federal tax portion on gasoline by only filling our vehicles 3/4 full!

  •  Brave and consistent move (7+ / 0-)

    Gandhi refused to pay the salt tax and it was a big reason for the Fall of the British Empire in India.

    I admire your position. It makes sense, our consent enables the criminal destruction. Maybe AFSC has some organised group of military tax resisters.

    Personally, I'm a student borrowing money instead of paying taxes at the moment. If I eventually have a career and have paid back the loans, then I may have the fortitude to join you.

  •  Throreau (8+ / 0-)

    Is one of my heroes, for sure.

    But there is no denying that life in general, politics, government, etc., are far more complex at present than in his day.  Relatively speaking, I think his choices and actions were reasonable clear cut.  Even so, his magnificance was perhaps his willingness to stand, as an individual, against government of the time... the concept of 'tyranny of the many' has not changed, at all.

    As for your decision, I confess ambivalence.  Even so, I recognize it as one based on principle (something that seems totally lacking in our elected government, these days), and I applaud you for it.  Even if it makes little or no difference in the scheme of things, at least you have maintained your principles and honor!

    Cudos to you... and cheers:)  (Who knows?  Maybe this will start a groundswell of resistance to what we all know is wrong... not just Iraq, but so many things?)

    Life is not a 'dress rehearsal'!

    by wgard on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 09:27:56 PM PST

  •  The amounts of money being expended (8+ / 0-)

    are truly horrifying, ESPECIALLY when one considers what tax money is NOT (per the President) being spent on.  You can read about military contracts awarded every day here.

    This was just the top of the list, from ONE day in October:

    AmeriQual Group, LLC, Evansville, Ind., is being awarded a $170,925,000.00 fixed price with economic price adjustment, indefinite quantity contract for MRE and HDR rations.  Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Federal Civilian Agencies.  There were 3 proposals originally solicited with 3 responses.  This contract is exercising the second option year.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  Date of performance completion is December 31, 2008.  The contracting activity is Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), Philadelphia, Pa. (SPM3S1-06-D-Z103).

    SOPAKCO Inc., Mullins, S.C., is being awarded a $151,245,000.00 fixed price with economic price adjustment, indefinite quantity contract for MRE and HDR rations.  Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Federal Civilian Agencies.  There were 3 proposals originally solicited with 3 responses.  This contract is exercising the second option year.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  Date of performance completion is December 31, 2008.  The contracting activity is Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), Philadelphia, Pa. (SPM3S1-06-D-Z104).

    The Wornick Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, is being awarded a $139,331,250.00 fixed price with economic price adjustment, indefinite quantity contract for MRE and HDR rations.  Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Federal Civilian Agencies.  There were 3 proposals originally solicited with 3 responses.  This contract is exercising the second option year.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  Date of performance completion is December 31, 2008.  The contracting activity is Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), Philadelphia, Pa.(SPM3S1-06-D-Z105).

    Burlington Apparel Fabrics, Greensboro, N.C., is being awarded a maximum $6,343,680 modification to a firm fixed price indefinite delivery contract for polyester/wool serge cloth.  Using service is Air Force.  Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  There were 65 proposals originally solicited with 2 responses.  Date of performance completion is October 25, 2008.  The contracting activity is Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), Philadelphia, Pa. (SPO100-05-D-0516).

    This is PART of the list from ONE day in October.  

    1-20-09 The Darkness Ends "Where cruelty exists, law does not." ~ Alberto Mora

    by noweasels on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 09:28:22 PM PST

  •  Thoreau in prison was visited by his pal (8+ / 0-)

    RW Emersonm who asked him how he could bear being imprisoned, to which Henry responded, Ralph, given the evil of this war, how can you bear not being in prison.

    History is a comedy to those who think, and a tragedy for those who feel. --Henry Walpole

    by Zacapoet on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 09:33:58 PM PST

  •  Don't do it, Meteor Blades (20+ / 0-)

    I truly admire your integrity and intellect, which is clear from your writing and biographical statements.   But you can't knock down a concrete wall by banging your head against it.

    1.  The taxpayers arent directly paying for this horror anyway, the money needed to fuel the war is being borrowed from China and others.  
    1.  They will seize the money you have withheld and much else as a penalty.
    1.  When they try you, you will probably not be able to put on a necessity defense based on conscience.  Appellate courts have consistently upheld trial judges in precluding such a defense. The jurors at your trial will think that you are just a malcontent who decided not to pay taxes for some unknown reason.
    1. You will not be able to do much in the way of antiwar organizing, writing, and funding while you are in prison.
    1. Conditions in US prisons continue to deteriorate and even the strongest person is likely endure much physical and psychological hardship, maybe permanently.
    1. Like all totalitarians, the bushites' dearest wish is to imprison progressives and this provides them with a pretext.  If one million progressives refused to pay their taxes, they would simply throw all one million in prison.
    •  let them try (7+ / 0-)

      If one million progressives refused to pay their taxes, they would simply throw all one million in prison.

    •  This is a good comment. (10+ / 0-)

      Thanks, acquittal, for some info on what the stakes are.

      I'm sure MB knows what he's doing; but it's still good for the rest of us to see it.

    •  Not my experience at all. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      acquittal, kyril

      First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -Mohandas Gandhi

      by ezdidit on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:04:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  May your luck hold... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mcfly, KenBee, kyril

        Last July, a US District judge sentenced three members of the Restored Israel of Yahweh church, which preaches against war taxes, to six months in prison for tax evasion and openly allowing employees of their New Jersey construction company to avoid their income taxes.

        http://www.csmonitor.com/...

        It IS true that most tax resistors have not been prosecuted, something that I can't explain.   But we are dealing with the bush government and his handpicked US Attorneys.  I can't imagine that they will allow this small forbearance to continue.

        •  The resistance is not to be f**ked with... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          acquittal, CarolynC967, KenBee, kyril

          All they need are demonstrations led by your mom & dad and mine.  (A draft would have made the Iraq BS war impossible.)  

          All the waste of money, the graft and all the toll in blood would stop flowing tomorrow if we had strikes and college closings. And they know it. I know people in teevee, ...no, not broadcast anchors: two researchers and a lawyer. Friends that would fight for the stories.

          Sometimes, people have nothing to lose. That's dangerous for liars and thieves. All that the establishment is doing is bullying us progressives right now, and it is outrageous how gently they have 'boiled the frog.'

          First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -Mohandas Gandhi

          by ezdidit on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 12:30:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  which was? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril

        can you share?

    •  Concrete wall (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades, acquittal, snakelass, kyril

      My impression from what he wrote is that he is under no illusions that he'll be able to "knock down the concrete wall".  Thus, I doubt he would consider it to be banging his head against the wall.  Another way to look at this, as opposed to trying to topple the wall, is simply trying to live consistent with your own moral code, regardless of the detrimental consequences.

      (Note:  I'm not trying to speak for MB here, rather just give my perspective that the ends don't fully justify the means, either positively or negatively.)

      Social advance depends as much upon the process through which it is secured as upon the result itself. --Jane Addams

      by shock on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:13:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Consequences of nonpayment (13+ / 0-)

         I am a tax geek (an Enrolled Agent), so I have some knowledge of tax matters. I am not morally opposed to what you are considering, but I question its effectiveness. You won't be on trial, nor will they throw you in jail. However, you will be in a mess of trouble, and will end up paying more to the government than you would if you paid on time.
          A while after you file your taxes (which you should do, because the penalties for not filing are worse than for filing but not paying), you will get a letter (eventually many more than one) from the IRS saying how much you owe them. If you were intending to pay, at this point you would set up a payment plan and just end up paying some extra interest. If you have no intention of paying you would ignore the letters and at some point (probably within a couple of years) they will get serious about collections. If you have a job or pension or receive Social Security they will levy (garnish) a portion of your income. If you have bank accounts or other assets such as mutual funds, those can be seized to pay the debt you owe (plus interest and penalties). If you own property such as a house it can either be seized and sold, or a tax lien can be put on it, so you would have problems selling it or refinancing.
         If you explain to the IRS why you aren't paying your taxes, they are more likely to speed up the process. The penalty for late payment of tax is usually 0.5% of the underpayment per month up to 25% of the total; this is in addition to the interest, which varies but will run somewhere between 5% and 10% per year. There are also penalties for willful disregard of the rules. They could charge you a $5000 penalty for a "frivolous return or submission" which is one with no basis in existing law. There is some leeway for the revenue officers to decide penalties, but they aren't likely to go easy on a tax protester.
         The IRS doesn't want you in jail because then you have no income with which to pay your taxes, and you are a financial burden to the government. They will only take your money. There aren't places for a million tax resisters in prison; if there were a million tax resisters you would gum up the works of the federal government. Alone or with few others, they just mess up your financial life, and still get your money in the end.

      I'm not a Limousine Liberal; I am a Prius Progressive

      by Zack from the SFV on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:29:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I will join you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CarolynC967, kyril

    Your post has inspired me!!

    Although my employer takes my taxes out of my paycheck, I'm going to blow-off sending my 1040 into the IRS until the Iraq fiasco ends.

  •  This isn't all that difficult to do (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril

    I didn't pay taxes for 5 years all I did was claim exempt and I did it because I needed the extra loot in my check each week.

    If we all did this collectively we could fuck things up and we might actually get heard, because voting doesn't seem to be working, and the lobbyists have all the cash, if we cut off the tax revenue we could be the biggest lobbying group ever.

    I prefer peace Wouldn't have to have one worldly possession But essentially I'm an animal So just what do I do with all the aggression?

    by jbou on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 09:38:25 PM PST

    •  or... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      quadmom, kyril

      we could all just join our state republican parties so that we can vote in their primaries...so what if we don't get to vote in the dem primary?  Is their really that much of a difference between HRC, Obama and Edwards? I think not.

      But a massive amount of liberals voting in the repug primary would give us a little more say about what we're up against (i.e. if we all vote for Ron Paul) and who may be in control of our executive branch.

      But obviously, this would take a concerted effort by dems that we obviously could never effectuate.

  •  Well I'll be damned... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldjohnbrown, la urracca, kyril

    in all the years I've been here, I've seen this idea pop up here and there, but not really inject itself into the effort to stem the tide.

    I've actually been doing something a bit similar to this, though not as well thought out and a bit more passive, admittedly convenient, route.

    Up till now, there's been no response, but I'm sure that one day, it will come up.

    Until then and after, I'll continue my little personal protest and stand by the principle it engenders.

    Time will tell!

    "In every country, every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty" - Thomas Jefferson

    by Erevann on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 09:40:33 PM PST

  •  I share your sentiments completely but... (15+ / 0-)

    ...to avoid the full weight of the IRS's wrath in jail, penalties and interest, I suggest the following solution as shown in this article:

    Increasingly, War Tax Resisters Defy IRS in Protest Over Iraq
    by Wayne Woolley
    snipet

    Bryan Nelson’s federal tax return says he owes $3,082. So he mailed his 1040 form to the IRS before tomorrow’s filing deadline. But for the second year in a row, the New Brunswick man did not send what he owes.His reason: "I wasn’t going to pay for an illegal war in Iraq."

    This is how he avoided the "full wrath" part:
    snipet

    "Nelson, 26, told the IRS as much in a letter included with his 2006 tax return and did the same thing last year, when he owed about $1,100. Both times he also included a list of charities where he sent the money instead. One is an organization that aids wounded war veterans".

    As long as you at least file a return, and don't tell any lies, IOW, be upfront about why you aren't paying your taxes,and make an attempt to pay your taxes to "non-war" related charities or other such organizations in lieu of the war, you should be ok:
    snipet

    "People like Hedemann, however, aren’t waiting for a change in the tax code. Hede mann, a staunch peace activist, hasn’t sent the IRS a dime since 1970 and instead has forwarded the $70,000 he owes for his work as a freelance writer and photographer to charity. The government has yet to collect. The IRS can not collect personal income taxes owed for more than 10 years.

    "Sure, they come after me on a regular basis," he said. "But one of the things that helps me is that I file. I don’t do anything funny with my forms. Plus, I’m self-employed and don’t make a lot of money."

    The closest the government ever came was in 1999, when Hedemann ended up in federal court. He escaped having to pay what the IRS said he owed.

    http://www.commondreams.org/...

    Please read the rest of this very informative article!

    08.04.07 It took the Titanic longer to sink than for the 110th Congress to surrender to Bush.

    by ImpeachKingBushII on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 09:42:05 PM PST

  •  Here's another great link with a primer... (5+ / 0-)

    ...how to protest the war by not paying your taxes, with MINIMAL RISK to your freedom and assets:
    War Tax Resistance Made Simple
    By Matthew Wheeland, AlterNet. Posted April 9, 2003.
    snipet

    "People who are outraged by the war and are looking for serious ways to get involved with the resistance find tax resistance a powerful tool. If even one percent of the people who participated in anti-war protests this year sent a protest letter in lieu of a check to the IRS, we would see some political heads snap to attention. What follows is a beginner's guide to tax resistance, followed by a brief discussion of other, less illegal, ways to make your point".

    The primer follows at this source-link:
    http://www.alternet.org/...

    08.04.07 It took the Titanic longer to sink than for the 110th Congress to surrender to Bush.

    by ImpeachKingBushII on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 09:52:45 PM PST

  •  Quixote (0+ / 0-)

    If you wish to tilt at windmills, consider the consequences.  This was tried back in the "olden days."  No court upheld the right to avoid taxes.  One man entered into a "barter system" so that he would have no income.  I forget his name.  He did manage to survive.

    Anyway, pay the SS tax,  I'm on SSDI.  

    Your futile protest will go nowhere.  I hope that you have a 'pro bono' attorney lined up.  

    I have always admired your diaries.  In this case, I hope you take a dose of clonazempam before embarking upon a certain road to financial ruin.

    •  Pointless and wrong (0+ / 0-)

      The IRS has the right to take your tax money.  Don't like it?  Vote for change.  You don't get to decide how your tax dollars are spent.  The people who are elected to run the government do that.  Otherwise the next person says that spending money on the disabled is immoral because they are wasting our precious resources so I'm withholding my tax money.  Spending the money on the poor is immoral because they are just too lazy to get jobs so I'm withholding my tax money.  Spending money on education is immoral because our public schools teach children to hate religion so I'm withholding my tax money.  When does it stop?  

      I'm sorry but I would fully support the government taking all of your possessions and putting you in jail if you evade paying your taxes.  Just like I would support putting some rich CEO who hides his money in the Cayman Islands in jail.  

      •  Let them stand up and do so (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Kresnik

        Otherwise the next person says that spending money on the disabled is immoral because they are wasting our precious resources so I'm withholding my tax money.  Spending the money on the poor is immoral because they are just too lazy to get jobs so I'm withholding my tax money.  Spending money on education is immoral because our public schools teach children to hate religion so I'm withholding my tax money.

        I call your silly bluff.

        Because I've seen no conservatives willing to stand up and protest and risk going to jail to protest aid to the disabled, the poor and eduction.

        Let them protest and risk jail, in the great avalanch you say will happen.

        I for one don't believe it will happen - it's an empty threat.

        And if anyone does do so, I'm more than comfortable with being on the protest the war side of the PR fight that would ensue, vs. the side of those protesting against the poor.

        Bring it on. Bring on all these noble people who are going to risk jail to protest helping the poor

        We'll be waiting.

  •  not a good idea (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PaintyKat, Janus

    Although you mean well and I share your frustration, withholding taxes b/c you don't like how part of that money is funded is the wrong approach.

    The solution is ballot box, ballot box, ballot box.  You change the leadership of the country to better determine how your funds are spent.

    Do you really want to go down a road where someone unilaterally decides to withhold their portion of the taxes that go to public schools because they don't like our education system?  And on and on and on.

    I shall not rest until right wing conservatives are 4th party gadflies limited to offering minor corrections on legislation once or twice a year.

    by davefromqueens on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 09:54:34 PM PST

  •  Thanks... (0+ / 0-)

    I'm sure those in the military who are in harms way appreciate your efforts.

    In fact I remember how appreciative many were while congress argued over money while they needed equipment.

    So, next time my taxes go up for national health care (that I don't need), or Edwards matched savings accounts (that I'll never qualify for), or the Social Security I'll be lucky to get when I'm 75 or all the BILLIONS of dollars of crap that congress already spends that is useless (reference Rep Murtha's pork spending... and add onto that ALL pork from ALL politicians) to me and 99% of Americans...

    I can just whip out my calculator and say I'll only pay the % of my taxes I agree with?

    But hey, as long as you feel good... doesn't matter if you actually accomplish anything.  I don't know, I prefer results.  Maybe it's time to purge congress and do away with professional politicians.  Term Limits would be a good start...

    My freedom is more important than your good idea. - Bumper Sticker

    by Captain Infidel on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 09:58:44 PM PST

  •  Two thoughts (15+ / 0-)

    First, I wonder what would happen if you took the withheld funds and put it in an escrow account, with legal language declaring that when troops are withdrawn and the war over, all funds will be released. This at least would get you out of the objection someone made above that if you made it to court, you were just holding back money owed for personal selfish reasons.

    Second thought (off the wall): I've often wondered what tax distribution would look like if we were asked on our forms what we would like our taxes applied to. I think it would be interesting to have, say, 10 different categories over which you could distribute funds and you could check them off (education, poverty relief, infrastructure, inspection and regulation, defense, etc.). I've always wondered what the American people -- given the choice of how to distribute their money (and assuming we still each had to pay the tax rates we have now) -- would choose to pay for.

  •  Not another red cent for Bu$hCo !!! (5+ / 0-)

    I want my money back !!

    I have been refusing to pay war taxes since 2003. Nobody calls, nobody writes. They wouldn't dare waste more than they can possibly collect.

    I would prefer if the government just got shut down. Send everyone home except SocSec,  Medicare & VA.  If Dems are just going to continue to cave to Cheneythreats until the new President enters the White House, then let THEM eat cake. My Democratic collaborators are not keeping me any safer from terrorism than Cheney.

    Or, they can hold the government hostage: Have Cheney resign, put him under house arrest, hold him incommunicado. He and Halliburton/KBR are the traitors.

    Who stood down our air defense in the face of 911?  Cheney!!  

    Fools! Unite! The ADMINISTRATION are the hostage-takers. Now they know: it will never work here. We will not let them declare a State of Emergency.

    We will die with the Constitution in our grip, but they will not take it from us!!

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -Mohandas Gandhi

    by ezdidit on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:03:34 PM PST

  •  Bless you, Meteor Blades (12+ / 0-)

    Bless your courage and commitment.

    We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.

    From a Letter from the Birmingham Jail by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Blessed be the peacemakers.

    1-20-09 The Darkness Ends "Where cruelty exists, law does not." ~ Alberto Mora

    by noweasels on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:07:47 PM PST

  •  Re: Civil Disobediance is Noble BUT! (0+ / 0-)

    If you want to hit hard where it hurts vote for the Green Party. How bad can they be? They at least stand for significant change. Read how similar the Democrats and Republicans really are.

    http://www.therealdifference.org/

    No disrespect intended. Just that the U.S needs real change and that means voting for real change. Am I stating the obvious?  

  •  Very, very courageous. (4+ / 0-)

    I am going to have to really think about whether I am brave enough to do this, too...

  •  I'll join in if they attack Iran (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler, KenBee, kyril

    I admire and support those who stop now.

    Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action -1.75 -7.23

    by Shockwave on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:14:18 PM PST

  •  I commend you and your wife (5+ / 0-)

    for taking this stand, and my only problem is that the IRS may end up getting more money from you in the end.

    I personally reduced my income by about 50% - but I am still paying taxes. I work in a state job, so if I really did not pay the taxes I owe, they would tak it right out of my paycheck.  It is almost impossible for me to do the work I do without working for a government agency.

    I am considering moving to Canada, so I will no longer have the shame of funding this war machine.

    Kos: Bush won't cancel the next round of elections to remain in power. Me: I am not so sure.

    by dancewater on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:21:56 PM PST

  •  If you get arrested... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril

    ...will you live blog it?

    There's something attractive about invincible ignorance... for the first 5 seconds.

    by MNPundit on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:23:50 PM PST

  •  You're being a whiny republican. (3+ / 5-)

    The "I wont pay for things I disagree with" is a 100% republican idea.

    You're enabling every conservative in America by "defunding" the Iraq war because you personally disagree with it. You give them the right to say they'll defund social security, medicaid and public transportation and everything else they don't want their tax money spent on. There's no difference. None.

    By embracing their ideas to suit your ideology, you're strengthening republican philosophy. You're not being a principled progressive. You're being a whiny republican.

    •  AaronE ftw n/t (0+ / 0-)

      http://www.benkler.org/wealth_of_networks/index.php/Main_Page

      by MrrarA on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:51:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No. Republicans vote people into office ... (12+ / 0-)

      ...who cut taxes for their pals at the top of the heap. They don't say they will resist paying taxes for, say, public education even if it means losing their house or going to jail.

      "When shifting paradigms, it is important to put in the clutch." -- Patricia Limerick

      by Meteor Blades on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:52:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You misunderstand or misrepresent.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tom Paul

        AaronE accurately points out the common Libertarian/Republican argument that they shouldn't have to pay for __ because they don't benefit.

        where ___ =

        { Social Security, Medicare, Welfare, Public Education..., n}

        All your protest does is remove money from the public welfare, and you aren't fairly contributing to the common good.  You aren't, even symbolically taking money out of the war chest.  You are increasing the burden of the war chest on all of us.

        When you don't contribute your fair share, then money is diverted from more useful programs (you know, ones we support) and sent straight into the war.

        Thus, really, all you're doing.. is hurting our goals.

        I understand it's all noble and self sacrificing-- after all, while you'll have more money for yourself, and that's great, you could go to jail if you (by chance) get audited.

        Suffice to say, stop hurting the collective.

        http://www.benkler.org/wealth_of_networks/index.php/Main_Page

        by MrrarA on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:57:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You mis-speak, mis-spin (4+ / 0-)

          I understand it's all noble and self sacrificing-- after all, while you'll have more money for yourself, and that's great, you could go to jail if you (by chance) get audited.

          He won't have more money, he's donating the amount to direct relief to Iraq.

          He knows he could go to jail. If you read the diary, you'd know that.  So you are not adding any new information.

          •  Once.. Again.. (0+ / 0-)

            The problem is that the net result of choosing to endanger himself like this is that it will have a negative impact not only on the community (Mu, that is, the US, that is, the greater community) but on the local community (Daily Kos).

            The irony is that the symbolic gesture is, overall, damaging.

            The practical negative is that, inherently, if Meteor Blades is taken away.. his voice is silenced.

            And he contributes greatly to the dialogue of Daily Kos.

            My suggestion is that he provides a real sacrifice.  Pay his taxes, as he should, and then make that donation as well.  That's a real sacrifice, and a real protest.

            http://www.benkler.org/wealth_of_networks/index.php/Main_Page

            by MrrarA on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:31:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  This is simply a repeat of your earlier post (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CarolynC967, kyril

              No one needs to read it again.

              And you didn't even respond to anything in my post.

              Thus you are verging on spam.

              •  I will attempt to make it more clear for you... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Meteor Blades, taylormattd, tommymet

                He won't have more money, he's donating the amount to direct relief to Iraq.

                You are correct, I misunderstood originally, however my larger criticisms remain.  that was one criticism which I actually found to be the least compelling.  I will bullet point for you to make it easier.

                * Unethical choice (Hurting the US collective) * Unwise choice (Hurting the DKos Collective) * Lacks substantive sacrifice (No real sacrifice occuring beyond prison) * Concluding in a net loss for our movement

                He knows he could go to jail. If you read the diary, you'd know that.  So you are not adding any new information.

                I did read the diary.  I admit, I missed the part about donating (and I still can't perhaps you could point that out for m.e, dunno why I am missing it)...

                I did not, however, ever imply that he didn't realize he was endangering himself in terms of a prison sentence.  That's beyond obvious-- everyone knows what Al Capone was sent to jail for.

                My point, however, was that by choosing to go to jail, he is causing a larger negative impact (net-net) than he is providing a positive one.

                And that's bad.  And I think it's a valid criticism.  I'm sorry you don't see my point, regardless of whether you feel I'm 'right' or 'wrong.'

                Hopefully you won't see this attempt at a clarification as you so politely put it, 'spam.'

                http://www.benkler.org/wealth_of_networks/index.php/Main_Page

                by MrrarA on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:59:46 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Perhaps a more apt protest would be... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    taylormattd

    one that doesn't end up hurting the collective.

    http://www.benkler.org/wealth_of_networks/index.php/Main_Page

    by MrrarA on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:53:13 PM PST

    •  short vs. long term (6+ / 0-)

      Ending slavery probably hurt the collective economy of the US in the short term too.  

      Social advance depends as much upon the process through which it is secured as upon the result itself. --Jane Addams

      by shock on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:56:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What are you.. talking about? (0+ / 0-)

        Meteor is actively forcing you to pay more for the war, OR Meteor is actively removing money from programs we support to fund the war.

        There is no and, if, or but about it.  The money comes from somewhere..

        Oh right, there's one other place it comes from.

        Loans, that me or my children are going to have to pay off.

        Great job, thumbs up! <g> sorry, I find this entire thing horrifically offensive.  I'm probably one of the more liberal people around here, and it's that very reason, my sense of social responsibility for the collective whole, that I find this entire mess repugnant.

        Find a better way to protest that not only doesn't hurt our goals, but isn't so easy to be mocked by the Spin Machine.

        http://www.benkler.org/wealth_of_networks/index.php/Main_Page

        by MrrarA on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:59:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  do the math (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BentLiberal

          MB withholds 15% of however much he's paying, divided by the number of American taxpayers, = your increased cost. If MB is withholding $1,000 I reckon that makes your "extra burden" something like a hundred thousandth of a penny.

          I think there are strong arguments to be made against the tax protest, but this ain't one of them.

          •  Of course it's a tiny fraction (0+ / 0-)

            It's a tiny fraction that's as symbolically relevant as the tiny fraction of money that Meteor Blades is with-holding.

            My assertion stands within the context the Meteor Blades established.  

            Even as a symbolic gesture, this hurts the collective whole more than it helps end the war.  It's a ridiculous protest, energy wasted that could be spent elsewhere.

            What is the aggregate effect on the Daily Kos community if Meteor Blades gets arrested?

            MB is one of the best posters here.  At that loss, we all lose Dramatically, and for what?  Because of a poorly thought out protest.  

            Bad move, bad protest, bad symbol.  

            http://www.benkler.org/wealth_of_networks/index.php/Main_Page

            by MrrarA on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:07:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Meteor Blades, BentLiberal, kyril

          MB doesn't force me to pay anything.  Indeed, neither does the government (notwithstanding the laws and the IRS).  I can decide not to pay and knowingly face jail or fines, as MB has.  This sort of freedom really is "inalienable".  I pay on my own volition because I (like you, I think) believe it to be my obligation to society (not to the government).  But I still respect MB for what he is doing.  And, personally, I'd much rather pay more taxes as a result of his principled morals than as a result of a host of other reasons my taxes are wasted (e.g., BushCo's corruption).  And let's get real.  They aren't going to raise my taxes because of what he's doing.  (Like they need an excuse or justification to raise my taxes anyway!)  Nor wll his protest make a financial dent or require more loans.  As has been pointed out elsewhere, they'll stil get their money out of him (perhaps even more than if he'd paid) no matter what.  But I understand that's not why he's doing it.  

          My point about slavery was that there is more in this equation than just whether I pay more taxes.  More than just whether the economy suffers in the short term, even.  (Not that it will, in this case.)  "Hurting the collective" can have narrow and broad, long and short-term interpretations.  And it implies that you know what's best for the collective.  You don't.  Neither do I.  Neither does MB.  That's why he's doing this personally and is going to face the consequences.

          Fwiw, this argument has all the characteristics of the idealist vs. pragmatist "impeachment debates".  

          Finally, I could care less about the mockery of the spin machine.  

          Social advance depends as much upon the process through which it is secured as upon the result itself. --Jane Addams

          by shock on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:15:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Idealist vs Pragmatist? I am the idealist.. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            shock

            I am the idealist here, if I'm not mistaken.. I think..

            It is our constitutional duty to pay our taxes...  We may bitch and moan about it all we want, but that is our duty as American Citizens..

            That's a pretty damn idealistic perspective.

            My suggestion, in my post entitled "A better protest-- make a donation" I suggest that he instead pay his taxes, and then make a Further sacrifice by donating an equal amount of money that proportionately goes to the war (Though he should actually be modifying it for deficit spending) and donate it to an anti-war or pro-veteran charity.

            Then he'll be protesting, making a personal sacrifice, and doing is constitutional duty at the same time.

            Remember, dissent is as much our constitutional duty.

            I'm not against dissent.  I'm against unethical dissent.

            http://www.benkler.org/wealth_of_networks/index.php/Main_Page

            by MrrarA on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:20:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  perhaps some common ground (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bosuncookie, CarolynC967, MrrarA, kyril

              I understand what you write and your position.  Where we differ, I think, is (1) on how much weight we put on these respective obligations (consitutional vs. moral vs. ethical) and (2) whether we look at what MB is doing as a symbolic act of protest or just an attempt to live with integrity to his own moral code.  (And (2) then bears on (2a), whether we think MB should let his obligation to the community trump his personal morals,)  I personally respect his integrity, while simultaneously disagreeing with his reasoning.  And I also still consider MB to be, by far, one of the wisest people I e-know.  So I can't condemn him from a postion of thinking I know better what the ramifications of his stance are to the collective.

              Regarding your sacrifice suggestion, that's not for me to decide.  I like it, although it would not then be an act of civil disobedience, which I think is important here to MB -- not for the symbolism, but for him to personally know that he refused to go along with the evil any longer.  I also like the "escrow" suggestion that somebody else made upthread.  Indeed, I like that a lot better, as I think it can satisfy both concerns.

              Social advance depends as much upon the process through which it is secured as upon the result itself. --Jane Addams

              by shock on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:45:42 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  The Declaration of Independence (0+ / 0-)
              supersedes the United States Constitution.

              Sorry folks. It's not politics as usual.

              by James Kresnik on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 06:41:52 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  I'll personally pay you for your tax hardship (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril

          ...due to MB's protest, since you're making such a BFD about it.

          It always comes down to money i guess.

          •  I suggest you read my posts more carefully (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PaintyKat

            While you have said you read them so many times already, it seems you've missed the important points.  I really hope you'll take the time to consider them.

            http://www.benkler.org/wealth_of_networks/index.php/Main_Page

            by MrrarA on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 12:01:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're worried about loans (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kyril

              ...for you and your childredn, due to MB' protest.

              Loans, that me or my children are going to have to pay off.

              Thus I have offered to reimburse you for your extra tax liability due to MB's protest of not paying his fair share.

              •  The collective matters more than the individual (0+ / 0-)

                When reading my posts, keep in mind that I value the collective good more than the individual good.

                http://www.benkler.org/wealth_of_networks/index.php/Main_Page

                by MrrarA on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 12:09:05 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  How far does your collective extend? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kyril

                  I understand: you've voiced valid opinions of your concern about taxes and the social good of the USA...for future generations, like your kids and everyone's.

                  But there's a bigger collective - and it extends to and includes the people being unfairly maimed and killed in Iraq - for oil.

                  This collective - the universal one of human life on planet earth - is what is important. Not the collective of US taxpayers, which is only a small part of the true human collective.

              •  Or, your children could be drafted into (0+ / 0-)
                another criminal war. Because that is what will likely happen if the Congress and the Executive is not brought to heel.

                Sorry folks. It's not politics as usual.

                by James Kresnik on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 06:44:05 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Does mindless war hurt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      adigal, James Kresnik

      "the collective?"

      "It is up to the most conscious member of the relationship to create the space for the relationship to grow." Ram Dass

      by bosuncookie on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 03:18:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You create a false dichotomy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Kresnik

      between something vague called "the collective" and the solitary individual.  How is this distinction relevant here?
      Some people make this distinction who really fear anarchy.  So, they counsel cooperation with laws that support an illegal and immoral war because to do otherwise is to somehow destroy all forms of social organization.  The choice is not, however, between anarchy and a social order based on violence and oppression.  
      There are those of us who envision a third alternative and believe that we do not need to choose between an ordered society and chaos.  We envision a just and humane society.  Civil disobedience is carried out to make that vision a reality, and is legitimate in its own right, as an act of conscience, even if it fails.  After all, Thoreau went to jail but did not stop the Mexican war.  But there are those that would argue that his actions were justified just the same and they continue to inspire us over a hundred years later.

      One cannot deny the humanity of another without diminishing one's own. James Baldwin

      by CarolynC967 on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 05:41:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Less Defunding the War than the Govt in General (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrrarA, Justanothernyer

    I've thought about this as well on several occasions. I have a hell of a lot of respect for those willing to act on their convictions such as your are doing MB.

    I question however what assurance you have that taxes withheld are taxes that would have gone to fund the war. Taxes generally go "into the pot" of public funding, and are then divied up as various apropriations. What makes you certain you're defunding the war and not say - social security, or the protection of our natural resources, or superfund cleanup, or any number of admirable things that Washington does with our tax dollars alongside the hideous things it does?

    That said, it would be VERY interesting to see this grow into some type of movement. I'll be following this closely.

    The Republican Creed: Pray and Pass the Ammunition

    by johninPortland on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:54:36 PM PST

  •  Unfair democracy in America (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DavidHW, kyril

    This kind of reminds me of something I was thinking about the other day. I remember there used to always be those maps and statistics showing the north east and far west (California, Washington, and Oregon) fund almost all of the economy in America, yet all the decisions are made by the central and southern areas. How much longer are people going to let this go on? It's really unfair that so few people can have so much say on all of the decisions we make, including where all of the money will go and what we can allow on social issues. Republicans in rural areas want everyone's money and they want to enforce their beliefs on the rest of us. It's stupid.

  •  LAST COMMENT FROM ME (10+ / 0-)

    Although I disagree passionately with Meteor Blade's position, and see a distinction between violating the specific law we disagree with, and not paying taxes to oppose the law we disagree with, I am very much thankful and appreciative of the debate started here.

    I think it's people like Meteor Blade who make this country great, and its places like DailyKos where debates like this can happen.

    This was an excellent post MB, because it gets all of us thinking about more creative ways to oppose the war besides waiting for Washington to change course. I may not agree with it, but I do appreciate it.

  •  Nice sentiment but ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mikedallas23, MrrarA

    If everyone who had a "principled" objection to the manner in which their taxes were employed decided to withhold them this would be a broke-ass country with a whole lot of racist, fundamentalist sacks of shit with extra money in their pocket.

    But hey, more power to you if it all works out.  I certainly won't be contacting the IRS ...

  •  A better protest-- make a donation (0+ / 0-)

    How about instead of removing the amount from your taxes that you calculated...

    Calculate the amount that you would have removed from your taxes, pay those taxes.. but take an equal amount of money and donate it to an anti-war or pro-veteran-care cause.

    For example if your total taxes were 1000 dollars, and the total amount that would have gone to the war was 300..

    pay 1000 dollars in taxes, and then pay 300 more, out of pocket, to an appropriate charity.

    There.  Now you have not only helped the collective good, but made a real and recognizable sacrifice for the collective.

    Better?

    http://www.benkler.org/wealth_of_networks/index.php/Main_Page

    by MrrarA on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:12:48 PM PST

    •  typo fix (0+ / 0-)

      equal = equal

      http://www.benkler.org/wealth_of_networks/index.php/Main_Page

      by MrrarA on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:13:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  As I've noted elsewhere on this ... (5+ / 0-)

      ...thread, the money we are diverting from the government is going here.

      "When shifting paradigms, it is important to put in the clutch." -- Patricia Limerick

      by Meteor Blades on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:23:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And I'm saying don't divert it, Sacrifice it (0+ / 0-)

        Increase the burden on yourself, instead of privatizing the government...

        Don't not pay taxes, pay your full taxes, and then make a sacrifice that will help the community.

        You are endangering yourself, and if you get taken out, then you have harmed the daily kos community.

        The symbolic importance of hurting the collective by not paying taxes is microscopic to the real damage that will be caused if your voice is silenced!  Don't give them an excuse to silence it.  Dissent!

        http://www.benkler.org/wealth_of_networks/index.php/Main_Page

        by MrrarA on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:26:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Silence sometimes speaks louder than words. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MrrarA, kyril

          (Or in this case, forced silence.)

          I'm not saying this as a cliche'.  Rather, I'm thinking of the inspiration that so many other civil/human rights "warriors" have inspired after being "silenced" (by being put into prison or worse).  

          (Regarding your other point about sacrifice, I'll let MB respond if he wants.)

          Social advance depends as much upon the process through which it is secured as upon the result itself. --Jane Addams

          by shock on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:30:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is a point I agree with, but.. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            shock

            But I believe in the power of Networked production.

            Meteor Blades is a node that produces a great deal of discussion and intellectual production.

            By removing that node, he will damage the Network, and hamper production, as well as hamper the growth of 'our' movement.

            If he wants to protest, Protest, but going to jail over an ultimately futile gesture, one that could be better served by providing real sacrifice as opposed to net sacrifice.. Bah, I am just repeating myself at this point.  Bleh >_>

            http://www.benkler.org/wealth_of_networks/index.php/Main_Page

            by MrrarA on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:33:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I'm sure he's alredy making donations (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril

          to charities of his choie, irregardless of this protest.

          Not that it's any of your business.

          •  Uh.. Okay. (0+ / 0-)

            Sorry did I offend you with my righteous indignation at a protest I find to be unethical? ;)

            I'm sorry if it offended you, but to be fair, he did make this my business when he made it public, so it is quite fair for me to criticize him on what I feel are the negatives of his choice..

            ...
            And I applaud him for his merits.

            I still can't accept that this is somehow the best choice for not only himself and his family-- but for the DailyKos community and the progressive movement as a whole.

            It unquestionably hurts more than it helps.

            But listen, if you're getting personally offended by my replies, I won't reply to you anymore, so I'm sorry if I offended you.  I just wanted to clear that up, that I don't mean to.  Maybe I can sound rather, uh, harsh at times, but, that's just cause I speak to the point.  

            As I often say..

            We're all in this together.

            http://www.benkler.org/wealth_of_networks/index.php/Main_Page

            by MrrarA on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:43:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  You are completely misguided (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          James Kresnik

          "if you get taken out, then you have harmed the daily kos community."
          How?  By inspiring others to take a stand, to take action instead of typing more and more furiously as people are wounded and killed with our tax money?  
          Please explain.

          One cannot deny the humanity of another without diminishing one's own. James Baldwin

          by CarolynC967 on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 04:50:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  75% of the country... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MrrarA

            is against this war.  People are taking stands.  This will do nothing because the people whose minds need to be changed sit in the Oval Office and this will have ZERO effect on them.  What we will hear is about anarchist liberals who want to destroy this nation by making it impossible for us to fight the GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR. This is a misguided protest that will not serve any useful purpose.

  •  I respect MB's decision ... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    acquittal, PaintyKat, mcfly, kyril

    ... but unfortunately, the Bush administration has completely decoupled taxes and spending, something that was not possible in Thoreau's day.  Back then, to fund a war, the US government needed to raise revenue.  Today, Bush just borrows it.

    And while one might think that the Chinese could cut off the lending spigot, there's a problem with that: cratering the US economy would destroy the value of the US dollar assets they already have, plus the revenue they could on to feed their economic engine.

    I wish I could think of some form of civil disobedience that would have some chance at being effective.

  •  Pay your war taxes in blood-stained cash (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justanothernyer

    (which I'm fairly certain violates federal regulations regarding defacing the legal tender), but pay your war taxes. Don't use real blood, of course, but using fake blood to express your opinion, while exercising your First Amendment rights, may prove to be just as effective. The problem with not paying taxes is that by ignoring the rule of law we affirm the argument used by the Bush administration that the law may be suspended whenever one feels that extraordinary circumstances demand it. The pastor at our church once said that he would not pay taxes to a government that allowed abortion. He said that he was following his conscience, but that he could not advocate that anyone else follow his example. The act of paying taxes does not mean that we condone everything the government does. Bin Laden suggested that the innocent victims of the WTC attack were guilty merely because they were likely to have paid taxes that helped support US policy. In reality, we have very little control over our government whether we pay taxes or not. Our best hope is at the polls and in the media. The vast majority of Americans do not want us to stay in Iraq. Yet there is still uncertainty about what will happen when we leave. We cannot escape responsibility for what has happened in Iraq and what will happen there when we leave. We must accept the consequences for our actions. There is an unrealistic hope by some that if we perhaps stay a little longer that things will start to improve and that somehow all that we have done will be undone. Somehow, our actions will be vindicated by some unexpected turn of events. We do not have any leaders who are willing to stand up and say that there will be no fairy tale ending in Iraq and that we must withdraw and deal with whatever happens next. We cannot say that Iraq will be better or worse after we leave. We can only say that we will be gone and that whatever happens after we are gone will be determined by the Iraqis. We seem to have lost all common sense in dealing with the war. Let's at least preserve a little sanity in our approach to dealing with it here.  

  •  A modest proposal (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shock, blue vertigo, kyril, James Kresnik

    Why not create an escrow account that can be the main repository of witheld taxes that will be released once the government changes its course in Iraq?

    We would, in a sense, be paying the tax, but the monies would be released once the government comes to some definite resolution about ending the war.
    I think that 'fund' and the hopefully staggering amount that would appear there would be a good, visible symbol the entire world could see as a sign the Bush/Cheney administration is even further isolated from its' own population.

    david/sf

  •  Tax Non-Payment (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    acquittal, kyril

    Actually, the simpler solution is to simply not make enough money to pay federal taxes. If I recall right a family of four could have a max income of around $20K/yr with the EITC and pay no federal income tax. Plus you don't have to worry about going to Club Fed.

    •  The problem is (0+ / 0-)
      how would the IRS and government know the difference between being a protector, a tax dodger and simply being broke. I say file your taxes lawfully but refuse to pay until demands are met.

      Sorry folks. It's not politics as usual.

      by James Kresnik on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 06:51:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's unpatriotic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PaintyKat, Justanothernyer

    If everyone made a principled stand to disavow a portion of their taxes for the percent of government decisions they disagreed with, our country would be a train wreck.

    Turning you're back on the government by not paying your taxes won't bring about any political change. It's merely a bold statement that you've given up on America.

    I won't give up on this country. Ever.

    •  I've given up. This country sucks. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Kresnik

      This country tortures people as its official policy. Some of those people have been tortured to death.

      This country maintains concentration camps, where kidnapped people deprived of all legal rights are "disappeared."

      This country invaded and occupied another, much weaker country that was no threat, based on lies. As a consequence, a million people are dead, and 2.5 million are refugees.

      This country is rotten to the core. All of our institutions have been corrupted, and our Constitution has been turned into a sick joke. It has nothing to offer the world but bombs and lies.

      This is not "the land of the free, and the home of the brave." This is the land of the wage slave, and the home of the frightened bully. The lies and killing continue, and all we can do is shop.

      I'm not a courageous as the author of this thread, but if this country collapsed, I'd cheer.

      "Men use thought only to justify their wrongdoing, and employ speech only to conceal their thoughts." Voltaire

      by chimpwatch on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 03:36:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Find hope (0+ / 0-)

        Such notions are ultimately self destructive, not only for our movement but for what you want this country to be.

        Never stop fighting.  Progressive ideals are those of freedom and equality-- but when people are unwilling to fight for freedom and equality, they won't be found.

        Fight.

        http://www.benkler.org/wealth_of_networks/index.php/Main_Page

        by MrrarA on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 08:55:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wow, it's "unpatriotic" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Kresnik

      Please share with us your definition of patriotism.  Mine would certainly include a love of the Constitution, a respect for the rule of law.  How is refusing to fund a war based on an unconstitutional act by Congress of abrogating its sole power to declare war to the President, unpatriotic?  
      As Sam Johnson and Ben Franklin said, "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."  When you can't argue an issue on the merits, then accuse your opponent of being unpatriotic.  How ridiculous.

      One cannot deny the humanity of another without diminishing one's own. James Baldwin

      by CarolynC967 on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 04:56:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Spineless Democrats, meet spineless Republicans. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril

    I have a theory that Congressmen of both stripes want this bullshit war on terror. It's a system of equal graft for all, and they are both beneficiaries of an authoritarian rule. Else, why stand down the airforce on 911?

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -Mohandas Gandhi

    by ezdidit on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 12:37:00 AM PST

    •  C'mon (0+ / 0-)

      We may have created a monster in funding bin Laden against the Soviets, but it wasn't intentional. The extremists that want to destroy the United States are not just a made up entity.

      •  as far as i can see the extremists (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ezdidit, geez53, kyril

        who want to destroy america include not only bin laden but also cheney, and shumer and feinstein, whatever their motivations, give this destruction important support.  our government is making our situation in regard to terrorism far, far worse, and it is a cooperative project of the Republican and Democratic parties.

        Politics is not arithmetic. It's chemistry.

        by tamandua on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 01:41:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  ...cooperative project??? (0+ / 0-)

          Sure, it benefits our allies, but the money goes to "starving the beast" and shrinking government so it can "be drowned in a bathtub."

          Hillary raised it to a $500 check. We'll see if it works.

          First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -Mohandas Gandhi

          by ezdidit on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 12:05:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  lol....and tsk...tsk.... (0+ / 0-)

    Being a radical democrat makes one chronically aware of the limitations of any political coalition

    This is the problem with being a radical....

    You make drawing the line on matters of principle very difficult for yourself.

    If you start with holding back your taxes on this, then you need to apply similar principles in other areas, don't drive a car, don't use electricity, every soldier then is complicit therefore they need to be condemned, every one who supports the war dosen't deserve your business, so you shouldn't buy from certain stores.... etc etc etc .....

    This stance ( how ever honorable it may seem ) becomes hypocritical and ridiculous, not to mention that it is also breaking the law.

    The big print giveth and the small print taketh away

    by spinaltap on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 12:44:13 AM PST

    •  Actually, at least one good idea (0+ / 0-)

      "every one who supports the war dosen't[sic] deserve your business, so you shouldn't buy from certain stores..."
      The other things you mention have no relationship to MB's actions, because they are not in the same category.  Please think more clearly before you comment.

      One cannot deny the humanity of another without diminishing one's own. James Baldwin

      by CarolynC967 on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 04:59:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  no...I was pointing out the "principle" of... (0+ / 0-)

        Association.
        I know what I was talking about and the principles are the same, if you start along this way of thought or action then you have to go the whole hog in other areas as well.

        My point was in showing how ridiculous this kind of thought can get.

        As an example" Al-qaeda state that every one in the US is a target whether military or civilian because they are complicit with "their" governments actions.

        You see the silliness of it?

        The big print giveth and the small print taketh away

        by spinaltap on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 01:41:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  remember, remember (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril

    the 5th of November, eh?

    Now, if 100 million more Americans would join you . . .

    "No conceivable threat to this country is worth compromising a single civil liberty for. Not one."

    by DavidHW on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 01:06:09 AM PST

  •  Hey Meteor...Can't you just find a tax deductible (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    acquittal, Caldonia

    peace charity to give some funding to so that it reduces your overall taxes by 15% (although I realise that it would probably then not be much of a protest).

    I just worry for you and your wife as the Feds are controlled by some real bad thugs, who could care less about your protest, and in fact might even throw the book harder at you because of it.

    Whatever you do please get some seriously good, professional legal and taxation advice before you go through with it. Anyway I am sure you probably are. If you ever need a Meteor Legal Defense Fund, I am sure many on DKos would be keen!  Count me in!

    Good luck, I admire and respect anyone like you who takes a civil disobedience action especially when you clearly realise and are willing to take the consequences. I just hope the consequences are soft, but with these rethug-driven Feds, it seriously frightens me.

    Just remember the environment needs you!!

    I like the silence of a church, before the service begins better than any preaching. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by Norwegian Chef on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 01:10:07 AM PST

  •  The Media and your idea (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril

    Our governments mouthpiece has already handeled people like you-Jane Fonda,Joan Biaz. I wish I was a brave as you, or maybe as pricipaled. I fear losing the shit I worked for.Honesty sucks.
    If this movement gained power, you'd be labeled "Anti American" and free loaders-hence the momentum would end.
    Sacrifice is something our media, government and people know nothing about.
    Take the ban on French products at the beginning of the war. WHOPDY FRIGGIN CRAP! China also signed with France, but Boycotting them would require sacrifice-something Americans arent willing to do.

    Your idea is actually heroic, I applaud it. But in all honesty, fear of my government cripples my desire to participate.
    I truely admire anyone who could do this-but fear would never allow me to participate.

    •  The Fear Mongers will eat that up. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CarolynC967, kyril, James Kresnik

      This is exactly the sentiment the FerMongs want to see in sheeple. You should never live in that much fear of the governent, clouds the rest of your thinking.

      I belong to no organized political party, I'm a Democrat. -Will Rogers

      by geez53 on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 01:43:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They do now! (0+ / 0-)

        Call waterboarding torture in public, and the media blitz labeling you a traitor supporting the terrorists is on!
        We cant even say anything to Burma, because they are only waterboarding monks.
        And what of waterboarding, a mere catch phrase, which dismisses what it actually is. Its simulated drowning- hear that anywhere?
        Ever heard of the countries that did it? Japan, on WW2 POW's-havent heard from the self imposed "Greatest Generation" on this one. It was used in Algeria by the French against rebels, it was also used by the French in Vietnam, then in Vietnam against our POW's. It has been used by some really brutal armies, but no one in the MSM mentions that-they cower to our corprate government in fear.
        But here I am, in fear of the IRS. Name 1 person you know who isnt afraid of the IRS. Not some person you heard of, but someone you know.
        I know a man who was audited and fought it,seriously. He went to court over about 9 grand. He lost. And he has been audited every year since. EVERY SINGLE YEAR. He had justice taken away from him, and is now a target.
        How do I look at my family when we lose our house?
        Great, I stuck to my pricipals-but I lost my home as a result.
        Christ, I keep a job that sucks becuase it pays more than any of the other crap jobs out there. Doing what I love would cut my salary in 1/2-I can be miserable for food,more importantly I can be miserable for my families food.

        I get what your saying. But Ive seen what happens when your right and you lose.
        Fear permeates society. The constitution forbids income taxes. and a supreme court decision in 1912 agrees with it. But still corprate taxes are gone and personal income taxes rise even higher.
        Those who stick to the constitution are labeled nut jobs. Id love to join their fight, but when I look at my son and think how he'd look living on the street, I back off.

        True life honesty is far harder than internet honesty. I am trying to be honest. Maybe this is a cry for help ? Maybe I want to do this but I want to learn how to get past that crippiling fear.
        Maybe being a sheep in a home is whats wrong. Maybe, being honest is my problem. In an ideal world our president would not have been appointed then stole the next election.
        Maybe, had we fought harder when we were right we wouldnt be living in as much fear as we are now!
        Maybe, if the internet was removed from existance, we'd see people for what they really are-sheep.

  •  I admire you. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CarolynC967, CParis

    If even 10% of our population did this, it would amount to a revolution.

    "Men use thought only to justify their wrongdoing, and employ speech only to conceal their thoughts." Voltaire

    by chimpwatch on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 03:16:39 AM PST

  •  You need to change your diary title. (3+ / 0-)

    Because you are not personally defunding the war.

    You don't even know if any of your dollars have even been spent on the war. For all you know they could have  all gone to Social security or Medicare. Especially since most of the war funding is borrowed money.

    Even if it did go to fund the war. You not contributing is not going to result in one penny less being spent on  the war. It won't even being making any kind of point political, moral or otherwise, other than you don't want to pay your taxes.

    The reason there isn't going to be a point is because there is no direct relationship between you having to pay taxes and funding of the war. Your paying taxes directly funds the government. The government gets to spend those funds at its discretion as directed by Congress. Congress decides where your dollars go not you.

    If you don't like how congress directs that spending you need to change the people who are sent to congress to better reflect your wishes. All your not paying taxes does is very slightly increase the amount of money the government will need to borrow, which will need to be payed by someone eventually.
    There is an indirect link in that if everyone refused to pay their taxes there would be no money to spend on anything not just the war without borrowing for it. And I think if it ever came to that I don't think at that point there would be much of a country left to be worried about paying taxes to. And I for one don't want to see that happen.

    And don't try the civil disobedience argument. It doesn't wash here. One persons noble civil disobedience is another's criminal act. Should Pro-life protesters be cheered for their civil disobedience  when they block access to an abortion clinic? Saying you are not going to pay your taxes to protest the war is exactly the same as saying you wouldn't pay your parking ticket to protest the war.   Both are rather absurd claims.

    So in summary as this is too long already.

    1. Your don't accomplish any tangible goal by withholding your taxes
    1. You don't really make any ethical or moral point either despite what you may want to claim or intend.
    1. at the end of it all you wind up only hurting yourself financially for no apparent reason. It might feel good, but thats about it.

    I would liken it to the pro-lifers misguided attempts to make abortion illegal instead of taking real concrete steps that would drastically reduce and potentially almost eliminate abortions from being needed in the first place. It makes them look  stupid and extreme without making any progress towards their goal.

    •  The same arguments are upthread (0+ / 0-)

      "There is an indirect link in that if everyone refused to pay their taxes there would be no money to spend on anything not just the war without borrowing for it."
      MB's withholding taxes may be criticized on various grounds, but saying he is wrong because the government may respond in hypothetical ways A, B, or C, is irrelevant.  The Bush/Cheney regime has acted immorally and illegally from the outset.  Whatever MB does, they may continue to act in this way.  That is not an argument that MB should ignore his conscience and continue to fund the regime and it's illegal war.
      You state, "There will be no money to spend on anything.."  So, correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't you saying that it is more important to you to keep the status quo here in America, where we have a comfortable existence and a chicken in every pot, than to stop the killing of innocent people in Iraq?  Can't you see that that is incredibly selfish?  

      One cannot deny the humanity of another without diminishing one's own. James Baldwin

      by CarolynC967 on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 05:13:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  incitement (0+ / 0-)

    be careful about how your publicize.  It's one thing to violate an existing law yourself, but quite another to encourage and collude with others to violate a law.  I would definately visit with an experienced protest lawyer or criminal defense lawyer before you try to start a movement around this effort.  

    Unsustainable is unsustainable, which means it will eventually end. So there is much hope. -Nati P.

    by Must Have Been The Roses on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 04:12:54 AM PST

  •  I s'pose I'll take heat for this, but (3+ / 0-)
    How are you any better than those idiots in New Hampshire (Ed and Elaine Brown) who decided they wouldn't pay their taxes as a protest? Answer: because your cause is just. Their answer, too.

    You cannot simply decide that you are not going to pay some portion of your taxes because you disagree with one position the government takes; government is only possible through a common agreement to do things together and if you decide to withold tax money for this reason then I should withold it for some other reason - I can certainly cite things the government is doing that I disagree with vehemantly. And fundamentalists who think the government has no business in family planning can withold whtever they think is appropriate, as can those who disagree on school prayer, etc. Christ, everybody disagrees about some aspect of where their taxes go!

    This is a terrible idea. I understand and sympathize with your anger and frustration, but this is not the way to do anything effective about it.

    •  Yes, and? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JessicaDrewSW

      How are you any better than those idiots in New Hampshire (Ed and Elaine Brown) who decided they wouldn't pay their taxes as a protest? Answer: because your cause is just. Their answer, too.

      If I were to tackle some innocent stranger on the street down to the ground because jebus told me they were demons.

      Or if I tackled someone down because they whipped out a gun.

      In both cases I would be claiming that my cause was just, but only in one case would I actually be right.

      •  Maybe... (0+ / 0-)

        In both cases I would be claiming that my cause was just, but only in one case would I actually be right.

        Depends who was on the jury, wouldn't it?

      •  Not if you believe in demons (0+ / 0-)

        and Jebus. You just don't, that's all. Everyone's cause is just when seen from his own corner. That's why we have laws - to try to sort all this out.

        It's not an a la carte menu; you don't pick and choose which laws to obey. I know someone who says that traffic laws should not apply to him because he's a good driver; I'm not kidding - he really says this.

        Of course, you can choose to disobey any law you like; it's your choice. And if you can get enough people to do it with you maybe it will have an effect. Or you can try to change the law you disagree with first. We don't seem to be doing too well with that lately (hello, Earth to Harry and Nancy?) and I wish it weren't so, but the premise of this diary is fundamentally flawed IMO. You disagree.

  •  There is one thing everyone can do legally... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mikedallas23, James Kresnik

    and that's stop giving the Government an interest-free loan to help run the war. Make sure you adjust your withholding so as not to get a refund next year. You can go further and make sure you wind up paying any shortfall in April: as long as you had at least 90% of total income tax for the current year or 100% of the previous year's withheld (check my numbers), you would avoid interest and penalty. If enough people did this, there would be an effect as the IRS counts on those millions of interest-free loans made during the year.

  •  Do you plan on putting (0+ / 0-)

    the withheld money into an escrow account, or something of the sort?  It would be nice if the withheld dollars could be doing something socially positive in the meantime, rather than just sitting in a CD somewhere.

    Also, do you know what the stats are on prosecution of tax resisters?  I seem to remember reading that the IRS has placed a somewhat low priority on enforcement of war tax protests.

    Oppose the Demopubs: Democrats and Republicans intent on Demolishing the Republic.

    by iheartfreedom on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 05:48:56 AM PST

  •  The problem with this philosophy... (0+ / 0-)

    is that this administration has never had this war in the budget, what with their "emergency" funding measures. They also have shown they would drive this nation into bankruptcy than admit they are wrong to have troops occupying a foreign country.

    The only spending you will hurt by your actions are the programs you may actually support. They will never fund SCHIP or anything domestically "off-books" as they have with military spending, in truth our priorities will be the first programs to go if receipts drop. Your own personal finances will also take a hit when penalties and interest are assessed to your tax bill.

    While I admire Thoreau, times have changed since his day. Many of us do not have the choice of resisting our taxes as they are withheld from our paychecks.

  •  thanks to Meteor Blades and his family. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, blueness

    yes, everybody should pay their taxes or face the consequences. MB is willing to face the consequences.

    Which, I expect MB and his family know already, may well include eventually giving up far more money than they would've owed in the first place! Astounding how much a small amount can increase w/penalties over a few years. And, unless you give up all assets, including a checking account, they WILL get that money, even if it's unlikely they'll pursue you on tax resistance charges. (unless you get "famous" for it? hmmmm. thanks again to you and your wife for your willingness to face that possibility)

    War tax resisters don't want me, since my moral waters are already muddied with an existing debt (still being disputed) to the IRS over back taxes, even though I've paid my taxes properly every other year. So I continue to do what I've always done: take some solace from the fact that apart from a couple years, including the time period in dispute, my generally low-income lifestyle means that most of what I've paid to the feds has been (at least in theory) Social Security taxes.

    if there's ever anything I can do to help, doesn't seem likely, really, but if so: just ask.

  •  Quite a brave move. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueness

    And a laudable ethical and moral stand. You have me inspired to think about what I might do to fight this war and this criminal administration's policies more effectively.

    "They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time. [...] That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary." -Handmaid's Tale

    by Cenobyte on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 07:00:40 AM PST

  •  http://wartaxboycott.org (0+ / 0-)

    http://wartaxboycott.org

    The infrastructure is being put in place for April 15th.  Please, read more, find your rights and stand against our imperial juggernaut.

    Peace

    Rick

  •  Be ready to go to jail and lose your vote (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tom Paul

    Once it becomes clear to the IRS that yours is a case of deliberate defiance (rather than one of the myriad reasons taxpayers underpay or fail to file such as laziness, ignorance, hardship, procrastination, etc.) they will make it a priority to win a criminal case against you.  If they succeed, as they usually do in these cases, it'll pretty much end your participation in US politics.

    Don't expect much publicity for it, other than here.  Cases like this are a cliche for the IRS and for the media.

    It's for you to decide whether your private moral victory is worth the cost, but don't kid yourself about the practical outcome.  It won't be romantic.  And you won't get to make heroic speeches about the war in court, either, because your motives will be legally irrelevant.  (IANAL)

    •  In the public perception (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tom Paul, Justanothernyer

      ...it's a quick and easy way to go from intelligent, principled, and even feared political critic to garden-variety tax-protestor crackpot.

    •  oh, (0+ / 0-)

      I don't think it will "end [his] participation in US politics."

      Meteor Blades was a winter soldier during the Vietnam era: he went to prison, rather than the war. Didn't seem to much "end [his] participation in US politics."

      You underestimate the man. He knows what he's doing. And he's not doing it for "publicity," to be "heroic," or "romantic." Sheesh.

      And your prediction of what may happen could very well be 180 degrees off. Because of who he is, and because of his forum, the government may very well not "make it a priority" to go after him, because doing so would inevitably give the idea of tax resistance more publicity than it's already getting--which, currently, is none.  

  •  Or you could achieve the same effect legally (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mikedallas23

    By making a sufficiently large charitable donation.  If you want to defund the government by 15%, you could donate half of your income to charity.

    Yeah, that would probably hurt.  But consider:

    (a) It would hurt less than jail, which is where you are currently headed.
    (b) It would hurt less than getting killed in a useless war.
    (c) A charity of your choice would benefit substantially.
    (d) In the end, your money really would stay out of the hands of the IRS - unlike that of tax resisters.

  •  Have fun in jail (0+ / 0-)

    The IRS loves to make examples of people in the public eye.  If you know that's the inevitable consequences of your actions and you're willing to do it anyways as a form of protest, then more power to you.

    I would consider doing the same if I really thought it would make a difference.  But I'm not convinced it would do a thing and I'm not willing to sacrifice a year of my life for no reason.

  •  You made my day... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueness

    Thank you for giving me hope...

  •  I am sorry if I am merely repeating something (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shock, James Kresnik

    said elsewhere in the thread, but I saw this on the fly on have no time to read through. I just wanted to add my thoughts here.

    Rather than not paying period, wouldn't it be more effective (in terms of getting greater participation) to get people who wish not to support this war but also do not wish an IRS reaming to eliminate their withholding but then pay at the end of the year.  This would be for the w-2 wage earner crowd.  Normally we avoid a high tax bill end of year by letting them siphon year round, but in this case go to zero and hold the money out (and don't spend it!) but pay at the last second or fuck around with them for extensions and the like.

    I think more people would sign on to withhold tax payments(or not withhold from their paychecks as it is put) and then pay, with lots of threats that many might not, creating some uncertainty over steady/smoothed fed tax revenue.  If large numbers of people force the treasury dept to go back to the well during the year more frequently through more bond issuance then already hard pressed foriegn buyers of our debt, whom are already looking at the falling dollar with some trepidation, might more agressively rethink their own folly in regard to sucking up our debt for what is often trade and political reasons.  It would be embarrasing to the government, adds uncretainty to an already uncertain bond market, and is a perfectly legal and easily defended political gambit which many more would sign on to than if you ask people to break the law and face sometimes serious consequences.

    Not paying your taxes is like telling your boss to fuck off and paying the immediate price of the retaliation.  Eliminating your regular withholding from paychecks, keeping the cash, then paying at the end is the type of technical compliance that gets nobody fired and tells your boss to fuck off in a way that still gets the message across.  Basically, not a tax strike, but a tax slowdown.  It works for unions, it could work here to better affect than going out in a blaze of glory.  And, this type of milder action is much easier to get people on board with.

    We should do a tax slowdown with heavy publicity and create enough uncertainty as to whether we all buckle in the end and pay so that the issue gets a lot of chatter and lingers rather than going out in a blaze of glory as anonymous individuals.  Its not as though our individual taxes make up enough to "stop the war" or anything, its that politically we create a new debate they probably don't want to have.  Average joe's can go to zero withholding relatively easily, privately, and still be perfectly within the law by paying at the end.  meanwhile, the treasury has to do more funding by bond issuance and there is the implied threat and uncertainty many don't ever pay and have to be chased.  Yoou can create the threat of individual defunding for the war without having to break the law and get more participants.

    I don't know the exact ramifications of such a campaign (ask bondad for some numbers?) but I remember the carville quote about wanting to come back as the bond market... so fuck with the bond market a little.  they hate uncertainty, so give them some, and when they get unhappy, issues get better dealt with (hopefully).

    sorry to run on and then run, but have been thinking about this for awhile and am late to school.  bye.

  •  I disagree with this. (0+ / 0-)

    My response is here.

  •  You went from being (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades

    one of my most admired people to one of my heroes MB.

    BUT DO NOT DO THIS.

    Nonviolent resistance, Disrupting business as usual, especially that yes. Even stronger.

    But they wont come after you as you think. They'll freeze your bank accounts. Garnish your income to far below the poverty line, take your property, all without any recourse. Without due process of law. Because congress has made the IRS a law unto themselves. Suicide isnt the way to go buddy.

    Having said that, when you do get in trouble. Let me know by email and let the rest of us know via DK. I'll personally do absolutely anything i can to help you recover from whatever the corrupt sons of bitches do.

    I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever TJ

    by cdreid on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 07:50:44 PM PST

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