Today is April 15th, Tax Day, when millions of Americans scramble to file their income taxes on time. It's also a day when people across the country are planning to protest the use of tax dollars to fund war.
In dozens of communities across the country, demonstrations are planned at IRS offices, federal buildings and weapons factories to protest ongoing massive U.S. government expenditures on drones, missiles and bombs. To learn more, Democracy Now! interviews Ed Hedemann of the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee. He has redirected the federal portion of his tax bill to non-profits and humanitarian efforts for 40 years.
"I refuse to pay 100 percent of my federal taxes, my federal income taxes," Hedemann explains. "I pay Social Security, Medicare, state and local taxes, but none of the federal income taxes. But actually, in fact, I do pay them, just not to the IRS. I take the entire amount of money and reroute it to other organizations helping to build a better world rather than helping to kill people."
According to a new pie-chart released by the War Resisters League, 47 percent of federal taxes goes towards war in some form or the other. To protest paying for lethal weapons, some Americans are taking a stand by personally refusing to fund the military. These tax resisters are risking jail time by withholding all, or a portion, of their federal income taxes -- and instead redirecting the money to humanitarian efforts.
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In 2008, Democracy Now! spoke with Pat and John Schwiebert, a Portland couple who at the time had refused to pay their taxes for the past 30 years to protest military spending.