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

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 12:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 12:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 4:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J10 11:58PM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M30 10:20PM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 12:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 1:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 2:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 3:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 2:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 1:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 1:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 4:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM


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

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

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Democratic Socialists of America J14 4:57PM

Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's J14 4:18PM

Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento J14 12:54AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Cleanup J13 4:14PM

FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution? J13 3:52PM

Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians J13 2:59PM

The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally! J12 4:36PM

Social Policy as Social Infrastructure J12 3:38AM

Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud J12 1:50AM

Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner.. J11 6:48PM

June 2018 Honduras coup update J11 3:35PM

Maria Estrada doubles down on racist support J11 1:40PM

New York Women in Film & Television Announces 2018 NYWIFT Ha Phuong Scholarship Recipients J11 10:14AM

Trapps de la domination, trapps de l'aliénation J11 1:31AM

Please Work For The Defeat Of Brett Kavanaugh And Why J09 8:54PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 1:27PM

Transinhumanisme ( transe inhumanisme ) J09 12:44PM

Google, World's Biggest Censor, Was Founded By The CIA J09 10:25AM

For a World Free of Nuclear Risks J09 8:29AM

Corrupt CDC Ignores Meat Fish Recalls J09 4:55AM

The (Temporary) End of Globalization J09 3:03AM

Aternatives to Abortions such as Plan B the pill, condoms and IUD J08 4:03PM

U.S Congressional Legal Minds Know Better Than Allowing Texas To Murder Hank Skinner J08 3:37PM

ACLU in many US states defends in court KKK and American Nazis Sometimes for Money J07 11:28PM

Judge Brett Kavanaugh: 12 Of Many Reasons To Oppose Him J07 9:00AM

Insensibilité engrammée J07 2:37AM

Silver Lining J07 12:21AM

The Shortwave Report 07/06/18 Listen Globally! J05 4:38PM

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