To the editor: Most people need to file their taxes by May 17 this year, so now is a good time to consider the role we play in creating the world in which we want to live.
The proposed federal budget for fiscal year 2022 dedicates $1.7 trillion (48 percent of our income tax dollars) to current and past military expenses, which leaves a lot less money for everything from building affordable housing to upgrading to renewable energy infrastructure to taking care of children in foster care. That money directly funds the largest institutional user of oil in the world --the U.S. military burns 240,000 barrels of oil each day -- and therefore literally fuels the climate crisis. Additionally, since 9/11 more than $1.6 of military equipment has been transferred to police departments. We saw that equipment in use last summer as it was turned against peaceful demonstrators, journalists, and children right here in the U.S.
It doesn't have to be this way. The payment of taxes to fund the war machine is not inevitable and the ways (small and large, legal and illegal) to resist are too numerous to share here, but now is great time to get educated about your choices. The National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (nwtrcc.org) and the War Resisters League (warresisters.org) are two good places to start. There are people right here in southeast Vermont ready to help our neighbors learn more. Over 65 years ago President Eisenhower said, "Every gun made, every warship launched, every rocket fired represents, in the final analysis, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, and the hopes of its children."
We can make a different choices. We can imagine peace. We can offer hope to children.
Pioneer Valley War Tax Resisters
Brattleboro, May 12