Tax day protests against war economy planned in USA

By staff writers
11 Apr 2009

People at post offices, federal buildings, and public squares around the USA, including passers by and last minute taxpayers, will be met with signs demanding “Taxes for Peace Not War” on Wednesday, 15 April.

Handouts will explain what protesters say the government tries to obscure: "the obscene amount of US tax dollars being spent on war at the expense of jobs, infrastructure, human needs programmes — even a healthy economy."

“It is often believed that wars and military spending increases are good for the economy. In fact, most economic models show that military spending diverts resources from productive uses, such as consumption and investment and ultimately slows economic growth and reduces employment,” according to economist Dean Baker in a 2007 study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

The Obama administration’s promises to end the war in Iraq — eventually — but leaving 50,000 advisers in the country sounds more like continued occupation of a sovereign country, say war resisters.

They argue: "The expansion of war in Afghanistan and into Pakistan brings daily reports of more civilian deaths piled onto the thousands already killed by US actions in the region. Obama’s 2010 budget includes further increases for the Pentagon, which is already funded at levels higher than any time since World War II — hardly an indication that the US is on the road to peace."

'Tax day' protesters hope to bring attention to the connection between wasteful war spending and the budget crises of states, cities, and towns that are slashing essential programmes.

Conscientious objectors to paying for war will be among those making a visible protest on tax day. “Haven’t Paid Federal Taxes Since 1998” is a sign carried by Lincoln Rice in Milwaukee.

Don Schrader of Albuquerque carries his “I Refuse to Pay Federal Income Tax for War” sign wherever he goes. Many of these war tax resisters keep their income low to avoid federal taxes; others pay their tax due to charities rather than the IRS, despite the potential consequences.

On 'tax day' Boston activists will be among the groups publicly presenting grants from redirected tax dollars to peace, justice, and humanitarian groups.

Similar events will take place around the country. More information is available at http://www.nwtrcc.org/taxday2009.htm.

The National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (NWTRCC), founded in 1982, is a coalition of local, regional and national groups providing information and support to people who have a conscientious objection to paying taxes for war. NWTRCC initiated the War Tax Boycott in 2008, which includes a list of public war tax refusers a:t www.wartaxboycott.org.

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