Two Quakers Tell the US Why They Won’t Pay taxes

April 12th, 2024 - by David and Janet Hartsough / Special to EAW

Two Quakers Tell the US Why They Won’t Pay taxes
David and Janet Hartsough / Special to EAW

(April 5, 2024) — Dear Friends at the IRS,
We cannot in conscience pay for the jet fighters and bombs which are killing tens of thousands of civilians in Gaza and bombing their homes, hospitals, schools, refugee camps, churches and mosques. This is a crime against humanity and a war crime.

We are Quakers and cannot in good conscience pay for the killing of other human beings, or pay for war and preparations for war.  Human life is too precious to drop bombs on people because we do not like their governments.

Developing a new generation of nuclear weapons that could put an end to life on our beautiful planet is immoral and insane.

Giving the Pentagon hundreds of billions of dollars does not increase the security of our people.  Real security requires increasing funds for education, health and human well-being, and demanding a shift from militarism to diplomacy.

People around the world see the climate crisis as the biggest threat to our future, and it cannot be solved by the military.  In fact, the US military is the world’s biggest polluter.  The massive militaries of the US and NATO did not prevent Russia from attacking Ukraine.

Our tax dollars are being used to prepare for wars with many countries, including China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea.  We are fueling a new nuclear arms race and a climate catastrophe.  We need to redirect our tax dollars from the forever wars and preparing for nuclear war and bring our tax dollars home to meet the needs of the American people.

Fifty-three percent of US tax dollars go for wars and preparation for wars.  So, together with our IRS 1040-SR Form, we are sending a check for 47% of what we owe made out to the Dept. of Health and Human Services.

We ask that you designate all those funds for meeting human needs and NONE for war and killing.  The other 53% that goes for war and killing, we are contributing to organizations working for peace and justice, and for programs meeting human and environmental needs in the US and around the world.

We join together with others to build what Martin Luther King called the “Beloved Community.”  We hope and pray that all the taxes from people worldwide can go to meet human needs and address the climate crisis.

David and Janet Hartsough