To the editor: During tax season we should all think about our complicity in paying for war, i.e. death. The War Resisters League (warresisters.org) estimates that a whopping 43 percent or $5.3 trillion of our income taxes fund military spending. Take a moment to let that sink in: when we pay our taxes we are giving our support to spending sums of money that most of us can't even begin to comprehend on killing people, destroying communities, decimating the natural world, and causing a never ending cycle of trauma. Furthermore these payments to the military show up right in our own communities through the militarization of the police, which, over the last few decades, have increasingly been given access to military-grade weapons and training. We may pray for/think about peace, but if we're paying for war then our actions are speaking louder than any thoughts or prayers.
There are many ways to resist this system of oppression: we can refuse to pay a symbolic amount of our taxes (like $10.40 to represent the 1040 tax form), earn less/live more simply to reduce our tax share, submit the Peace Tax Return, refuse to file, and more. Some of these options are legal whereas others are not, but there is an option to fit any situation. The National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (nwtrcc.org) has lots of resources to help those of us who don't want to pay for this cycle of war anymore.
Brattleboro, April 11
Member of Taxes for Peace New England, a grassroots group based in VT/Western MA