imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

War Tax Resistance Made Simple

by Matt W. Saturday, Apr. 12, 2003 at 12:07 AM

Regardless of the specifics, the basic truth is about half of your income tax is going to the military. For all the millions of people who've taken to the streets in the past four months to prevent or oppose this war, this is like a kidney punch from behind: You may spend your days, nights and/or weekends working to preserve peace, but everyone who pays taxes is financially helping to support the war.

By Matt Wheeland, AlterNet

April 9, 2003


According to the government's Unified Budget for 2003, a measly 17 percent of the federal budget is earmarked for the military, while over three times as much is spent on Social Security and Medicare. What a great government, right? When you look at the actual budget, however (that which comes from taxes, minus Social Security funds), we're spending nearly half of our budget, about 5 billion, on past and present military expenses.

These figures are about two months old, and they're probably already seriously out of whack, especially if you consider the billion just granted to Bush for his war. Regardless of the specifics, the basic truth is about half of your income tax is going to the military. For all the millions of people who've taken to the streets in the past four months to prevent or oppose this war, this is like a kidney punch from behind: You may spend your days, nights and/or weekends working to preserve peace, but everyone who pays taxes is financially helping to support the war.

The obvious solution to this quandary is to just stop paying your taxes, right? So if it's that simple, why aren't the lines in the post office that much shorter on April 15?

The reality is quite complex, though considerably less fearful than most assume. Not paying taxes as a form of conscientious objection is much more common than is publicly known. While not difficult, it requires a level of commitment that may seem daunting to many. The beauty of this form of war resistance is that it is endlessly flexible, and there are people who have been able to maintain this protest for as long as they've been in control of their income.

The Daily Protest

In early March, before the war started, I attended a War Tax Resisters support and information meeting at a small Unitarian church in tree-lined Berkeley. About 25 people came together to learn some of the details of this movement and to share their hopes, fears and experiences.

As one attendee put it, "Not paying taxes is a way you can protest every day," as opposed to marching once a month to protest. Susan Quinlan, a Bay Area organizer for the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (NWTRCC), gave me a brief rundown of her 20-year experiences with war tax resistance – including the time IRS agents came to her door "requesting" an appearance in their office, and the time she quit her job in order to prevent the government from deducting money from her wages. ....


One form of resistance you can begin today is to reduce your taxable income. Called, among other things, voluntary poverty or simple living, the goal is to live in such a way that your traceable income is under the level that would require you to pay taxes. What level is that? Generally speaking, if you can stay under ,000 in income a year, you'll be able to skip the 1040. Obviously, this tactic becomes quite difficult if you live in a major urban area or have a job that won't pay you under the table. But you can reduce your income in a lot of clever ways. First and foremost would be to watch what you consume. Do you really need 500-channel satellite cable? Do you really need DSL, for a month? Do you really need your car? That's a tough one, I know, but especially for the city-dwellers, cars are quite often more trouble than they're worth, with parking and maintenance and now gasoline prices conspiring to make them chronic headaches.

Other ideas to reduce your expenditures center around creating a community of resisters. For instance, working with like-minded friends can create small economies of scale and barter systems that can make it cheaper to buy food in bulk, trade skills and services, and any of a million way to work within the "Underground Economy."

More policy-minded ideas in the works include the Peace Tax Fund, a noble effort that is scrambling to find a foothold in these "support our troops" times. It would, if passed, institute a non-military fund into which taxpayers could funnel their money, to then be used for health care, infrastructure, education, etc.

Other Taxes to Avoid

The income tax is the largest tributary to the Pentagon's budget, but it's far from the only one. Some other taxes have been in existence for decades, and a whole slew of others have been introduced in the past few years, especially since 9/11, to pad the DoD's pockets.

One of the first federal taxes to spark opposition is the Federal Phone Tax. This tax has been in existence since 1914, and has been specifically created to raise money for the various major wars since then. Originally introduced as a "temporary" tax, after 76 years the Congress finally made it permanent, and set its level at 3 percent of your phone bill.

Resistance to the telephone tax has a long and established history, and most phone companies will put up no fight to resisters who will not pay it, since they're just as happy to not collect taxes for the government. Simply include a note saying that you refuse to pay your federal excise tax for conscientious purposes, and pay the rest. Socially responsible phone companies like Working Assets make it easy for you by highlighting the federal tax portion of your bill.

That's the easiest non-income tax to avoid. The others are much harder to refuse, because they're intricately woven into the fabric of our daily lives. These are federal taxes included in the purchase of alcohol, gasoline, and air travel. Refusing to pay these taxes, especially airline travel in these tense times, means finding other ways to travel and get your jollies.

Go Ahead, Stick Your Neck Out

War tax resistance isn't easy. It's a constant struggle and its rewards are primarily ethereal. But the reasons underlying it, and the current need to take a stand, are profound and urgent. This is a movement that can make an enormous difference if enough people join the battle. Having spent the last month learning about the extraordinary community of people who have made tax resistance a way of life has opened my eyes to the spectrum of possibility for resistance, and has made me a believer.

For more information on tax resistance, read a short article by Gar Smith called "The Noble American Tradition of Tax Resistance."

Matt Wheeland is an associate editor of AlterNet.

Report this post as:

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

EPA Head Scott Pruitt: Of Cages And Sirens A06 2:15PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy