Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Thumbs up for tax resisters

It's April 15, the day on which Americans ritually submit to a mugging by federal and state governments. It's an especially painful day for those people who not only resent being deprived of their hard-earned money, but have to watch as the cash is then spent on programs they bitterly oppose -- which, in their opinions, do harm rather than good. Prominent among this segment of the population in these days of seemingly eternal war are people who oppose the government's military adventures. Democracy Now! has a timely interview with Pat and John Schwiebert, a Portland, Oregon, couple who refuse to pay federal income tax in protest of military expenditures.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, it’s good to be back here. John, how long haven’t you paid taxes?

JOHN SCHWIEBERT: Well, it’s been over thirty years. I’m not exactly sure. I think it was 1977 when we stopped paying.

AMY GOODMAN: Talk about your decision thirty years ago.

JOHN SCHWIEBERT: I think we just pretty much together came to the realization that we’re conscientious objectors to war, and if you object to war, you don’t participate. The only way we could participate at our age at the time is by refusing to support it. And so, we just said, well, we won’t send in the military portion, the military percentage of our taxes.


AMY GOODMAN: And in terms of the percentage, what are you calculating, for example, this year, the percentage that would go to the military? What percentage aren’t you paying?

JOHN SCHWIEBERT: Actually, we’ve gotten to the point we’re so upset by the direction the country has taken and the demise of democracy in this country, that after the Iraq war broke out we completely stopped cooperating. So we’re paying nothing now. So the percentage that’s estimated by the War Resisters League is more like 50 percent. But I haven’t paid any attention to it this year, because we—

PAT SCHWIEBERT: We don’t care.

JOHN SCHWIEBERT: —we just didn’t give anything. We’re in total non-cooperation with the federal government.

There are other reasons to hate taxes, of course, and other harmful government programs funded by the money raised through taxation. But whatever their reasons, I think it's worth saluting folks who go out of the way to avoiding feeding the beast.

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Blogger BobG said...

"The difference between death and taxes is death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets".
--Will Rogers

April 16, 2008 3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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March 19, 2009 12:46 AM  

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