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2001-04-16

Resisting Taxes

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When you pay your federal income tax today, if you do, 47 percent will go tothe military, while only 34 percent goes to human resources. Some people findthat emphasis on war revolting— and that’s what they are doing. These taxrevolutionaries refuse to pay the federal government to support policies theyfind ethically objectionable.

Nine Presidents have moved into the White House since President Eisenhoweroffered his famous warning to "guard against . . . unwarranted influence . .. by the military-industrial complex." But since then, the influence of theweapons industry has grown.

In 1999, the top three defense contractors reaped $30 billion in contracts for1999. And in the current administration, Vice President (and former Secretaryof Defense) Dick Cheney served on the board of TRW, a top defense contractor. Lynne Cheney, his wife, recently resigned from the Lockheed Martin board.Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld chaired a 1998 Congressional Commissionto Assess the Ballistic Missile.

Those who refuse to pay look to the examples of Henry David Thoreau andMartin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King said: "I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law."

Guests:

  • Ruth Benn, former Director of the War Resister’s League. Contact: 212-228-0450
  • Mary Lehr, Coordinator of the National War Tax Resistance–Coordinating Committee. Contact–1-800-269-7464

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