You pay for war every day you work. Half
your income tax is appropriated for war and
war debts. The Chinese banks and rich
investors who buy the debt are banking on
your spending your career paying them more
than you will pay to educate your children.
George Bush is bent on expanding his war
into Iran and Syria. The moral issues of
paying war taxes and the issues respecting
resisting them must be faced. Here are the
issues most often raised.
troops are there, we must support them."
Three out of four of those troops say they
should not be there. To stamp out
resistance, they must burst into homes in
the middle of the night, hold families at
gunpoint, ransack the house, take the men
away to hell holes, and do other things that
make them hated. The resistance thrives on
the hate. U.S. troops survive a tour only to
go back and be killed. Their replacements
are more youth desperate for work and
"My taxes pay for good things, not just
for war." George W. Bush, like Ronald Reagan
before him, cut all the good things back,
then locked the cuts in by running up
military debts. This fiscal year the
interest will be $376 billion. As the war
continues, this figure grows, and even
veterans' benefits are cut. Tax resisters
donate money they don't pay for killing to
schools and other good things.
"We have a new Congress. Give them a
chance." For the Democrats, the mandate for
peace is a bullet to be dodged. As they did
when Reagan was president, they are
rubber-stamping what the war industry wants,
saying they have no choice, and proposing a
non-binding resolution. Tax resisters can
make war appropriations a choice — even for
"What about other kinds of protest?"
Protest (rallying, marching, petitioning) is
showing our numbers. Resistance is using our
numbers. If just showing our numbers stopped
war, "Shock and Awe" would have been
"Resisting taxes means risk." You risk
losing money. You do not risk bullets,
explosives and incendiaries. You will not be
killed, mutilated or deranged. You will not
have to live knowing there is children's
blood on your hands. The word "soldier"
connotes courage. When peace activism has
that connotation, we have won peace.
"I'll wait until I see others doing it."
Those others are waiting for you. Any act of
protest or resistance is an act of faith.
"I don't believe in breaking the law."
But the government does. It is a crime to
prepare for aggressive war, threaten war,
make war as an instrument of policy, to use
weapons and tactics that do not discriminate
between combatant and non-combatant, to use
weapons that keep killing after the fighting
is over, to torture and rape. You have right
in law to refuse to be an accessory to these
George W. Bush has assumed
unconstitutional powers and declared himself
outside the jurisdiction of the courts.
Without revolt at the grass roots, Bush's
successors will exercise the powers he has
The risks of resisting war taxes depend
upon how much tax is resisted and the method
used. Examine your conscience, then call the
Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice
Center at (303) 444-6981.
Gary Erb lives in Boulder.