War Tax Resistance overview

In hon­or of Income Tax Day here in the U.S., here are some links to sites on war tax resis­tance.
There are many ways to par­tic­i­pate in mil­i­tarism. The most obvi­ous is to per­son­al­ly fight in a war, but anoth­er way is in financ­ing its deeds. The Unit­ed States mil­i­tary makes up a huge por­tion of the fed­er­al bud­get. It is esti­mat­ed that 53 per­cent of income tax­es go to pay for past, present and future wars. Noth­ing else comes close to this expen­di­ture, and budget-cutting in edu­ca­tion, envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and the social safe­ty net is a direct result of deci­sions to put the mon­ey into prepa­ra­tion for war. For more on the rea­sons for this form of protest, check out Nonviolence.org’s own “guide to war tax resistance”:http://www.nonviolence.org/war_tax_resistance.php and the very excel­lent “Phi­los­o­phy of Nonviolence”:http://www.nonviolence.org/issues/philosophy-nonviolence.php.
The “Nation­al War Tax Resis­tance Coör­di­nat­ing Committee”:http://www.nwtrcc.org/ is a coali­tion of local groups, alter­na­tive funds, con­tacts and coun­selors work­ing to sup­port, coör­di­nate, and pub­li­cize con­sci­en­tious objec­tion to the pay­ment of tax­es for war. The NWTRCC coali­tion protests a tax sys­tem that sup­ports war, and it redi­rects tax dol­lars to fund life-affirming efforts.
The “War Tax Resis­tance Penal­ty Fund”:www.nonviolence.org/issues/wtrpf is an orga­ni­za­tion that ties togeth­er war tax resisters and their sup­ports. When penal­ties are levied, all the con­trib­u­tors pay a small amount to help defray the resister’s costs. This is a way for to sup­port the prin­ci­ple of war tax resis­tance for those who don’t feel ready to resist them­selves.
“Where Your Income Tax Mon­ey Real­ly Goes”:http://www.warresisters.org/piechart.htm is a pop­u­lar fly­er from the War Resisters League.
The “Nation­al Cam­paign for a Peace Tax Fund”:http://www.peacetaxfund.org/ advo­cates for leg­is­la­tion enabling con­sci­en­tious objec­tion to war and to have the mil­i­tary por­tion of objec­tors’ fed­er­al income tax­es direct­ed to a spe­cial fund for projects that enhance peace.
The “Friends Com­mit­tee on Nation­al Legislation”:http://www.fcnl.org/ and the “War Resisters League”:http://www.warresisters.org/ both reg­u­lar­ly com­pile sta­tis­tics about mil­i­tary spend­ing as a per­cent­age of income tax.
“Hang up on War”:http://www.hanguponwar.org/ is a cam­paign launched in Octo­ber 2003 by a coali­tion includ­ing WRL and NWTRCC.

  • Lau­ra Orabone

    It’s my under­stand­ing that no mat­ter how much one with­holds in the name of not sup­port­ing war, the mil­i­tary will still take their cut out of what­ev­er amount of tax­es one does pay. This being the case, it seems to me that this sort of thing is only “effec­tive” as a form of sym­bol­ic protest, but not in actu­al­ly “not sup­port­ing war.” I’d appre­ci­ate your views if this is not the case. 

    • Lau­ra Orabone

      Actu­al­ly, I’d appre­ci­ate your views no mat­ter what! 😉

      • What is effec­tive? A few dozen or a few hun­dred pro­test­ers not pay­ing any tax­es won’t make a dent in a tril­lion dol­lar war bud­get. If the WTR move­ment tripled overnight and was “100%” effec­tive in with­hold­ing it’s mon­ey there’d still be all the same wars. I know peo­ple who have suc­cess­ful­ly with­held all or most of their mon­ey over decades but all this mon­ey com­bined is not even a rounding-off error.

        The moti­va­tions to do this have to be deep­er. Often they’re a reli­gious wit­ness and even sec­u­lar war tax resisters often seem to have an almost spir­i­tu­al alle­giance to paci­fism. I could ask whether Jesus’ wit­ness was effec­tive. A defense lawyer would have to answer “no” because he was con­vict­ed and exe­cut­ed, but as a Chris­t­ian I mea­sure suc­cess dif­fer­ent­ly: was he true to his spir­i­tu­al lead­ing, did he effec­tive­ly mod­el an alter­na­tive to vio­lence?, etc. You don’t have to believe any­thing super­nat­ur­al to see that the most rad­i­cal wit­ness­es often work out­side the box of ratio­nal effec­tive­ness.

        • Lau­ra Orabone

          Thank you for your response. I will share that with my com­mu­ni­ty. 🙂