The National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee aided by the venerable War Resisters League and others, is organizing war tax resistance in 2011. This is the deliberate non-payment of some or all of federal income tax in protest against the bloated military budget of the US.
Some refuse to pay taxes out of deeply held religious beliefs and spiritual beliefs. Sometimes actions by a few can ignite a general movement. Indeed, this is precisely what happened in 1787 when twelve men met in a printer’s shop in London because they were appalled by slavery. It turned into a movement and within a few decades slavery was banned in Britain. So, never underestimate the power of a few determined activists.
Having said that and while I agree with the antiwar sentiment, I’m not sure that tax resistance is an effective tactic. Here’s why. First off, it’s not public. The dealings between a war tax resister and the IRS are private and the whole process can take years. The resister can certainly make it public, but still, it’s a long and drawn out procedure. Thus, from a tactical viewpoint, it loses immediacy and punch. 2.) The IRS will win. Non payment of taxes isn’t a judgment call. They will give you lots of chances to pay up but if that fails, within a few years they’ll end up seizing your assets, with penalties. Ouch.
What do you think? Is war tax resistance an effective way to cut military funding? What other methods could we use to stop funding for the US war machine?