As Cindy Sheehan has quasi-retired from the limelight, and Al Gore seems to be garnering the press coverage, its no wonder that the anti-war movement has, at least in a populous sense, lost some leverage. Whilst it had been easy to collect thousands of excused students with bongo drums and questionable hygiene to the Capital steps, repetitive exhibitions seems to have worn out their welcome, and it seems only natural that those opposed to the Iraq war have moved onto more historical methods of garnering attention…
They’re refusing to pay their taxes.
When the United States invaded Iraq more than four years ago, war opponent David Gross asked his bosses for a radical pay cut, enough so he wouldn’t have to pay taxes to support the war.
“I was having a hard time looking at myself in the mirror,” Gross said. “I knew the bombs falling were in part paid with my tax dollars. I had to actually do something concrete to remove my complicity…”
War tax resistance, popularized by Henry David Thoreau in the 19th century and by singer Joan Baez and others during the Vietnam War, is gaining renewed interest among peace activists upset over the Iraq war.
“Clearly this year we definitely had more people calling, sending e-mails about how they decided to start resisting,” said Ruth Benn, coordinator of the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee in New York.
Its ironic, in a way, that a man with enough knowledge of tax law to understand that he could fall below a minimum standard, does not quite understand that statutes mandating payment to the federal government lack an intent standard, but he was a computer programmer, not a lawyer, and he must have been a well-off one, since he could afford to give up a six figure salary in order to deliberately de-fund troops whose salaries can’t really match that. Which, of course, is what tax dollars go to fund, along with those soldiers families, housing, meals, etc. Sadly, there’s this blanket philosophy with the IRS: he who doesn’t pay their fair share to keep their country moving gets to live a few months safe from paying their fair share–in Camp Cupcake. No exceptions.
In the end, every one of us can find some government program we’d rather not fund, whether its grants to Planned Parenthood for their “women’s health” programs, building highways, or paying Ted Kennedy’s salary. Were this dude allowed to accidentally forget to pay a portion of his taxes in order to invoke a de facto curb on the war, we might also attempt to de facto revocation of the government funds that pay for the art grants and subsidies for the subversive knitters, anti-Bush exhibitions, and the useless program we call Medicare.
Come to think of it, if they aren’t prosecuted, this could turn out to be a good thing…
E. M. spreads vicious political gossip at The American Princess.