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April 20, 1979 - Image 37

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1979-04-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Tax dissidents refuse
to support military

By JOHN GOYER
About 40 persons, half calling them-
selves "war tax dissidents" celebrated
April 16 - the last day to pay 1978
federal taxes - by mailing their tax
forms without including the portion of
their taxes designated for the national
military budget.
The dissidents and supporters held
their second annual tax day demon-
stration, which included songs and a
short skit, in front of the downtown
Federal building Monday.
THE PROTEST ended with the
dissidents dropping their tax forms in
the mailbox at the North side of the
Federal Building.
Many of the protesters are members
of Ann Arbor War Tax Dissidents
(AAWTD), a group formed last year to
resist paying taxes for military spen-
ding. The group also counsels people
who are considering protesting military
spending by not paying part of their
taxes.
Defense spending is the second
largest expenditure for the federal
government, second only to the budget
for the Department of Health,
Education and Welfare.
"PEOPLE DON'T realize the powder
keg we're sitting" on," said Wladislaw
Narowski, a member of the AAWTD
who took part in Monday's protest. "We
just feel that this madness (military
spending) has got to stop," he said.
Narowski said the IRS audits tax
dissidents and almost always gets its
money, but war tax dissidents are a
"tremendous problem" for the IRS sin-
ce forcing people to pay taxes involves
stacks of paperwork. But Narowski
said even though the government even-
tually gets the tax money, "You're
making a statement, you're saying,
'my money is not going for war'."

"It's not out of frustration (that we
protest war taxes), it's out of hope,"
Narowski said. "The biggest obstacle
we face is apathy, it's hopelessness."
Narowski said he often finds "people
have the very dangerous feeling that it
will all blow up some day. They don't
really realize what they're saying."
NAROWSKI also claimed tax
resistance is "in the best American
tradition. Our country was founded on
resistance to taxes."
According to Bruce Graves, another
long-time war tax dissident, a public
demonstration carries a message to
people who otherwise would not have
thought of protesting military spen-
ding.
Graves has been a conscientious ob-
jector to paying taxes for military
spending since 1967. Although he pays
the full amount on his tax return, he
also claims a refund for the part that
would go to the military.
Graves and other members of
AAWTD are also supporters of the
World Peace Tax Fund Bill, a proposal
which would allow taxpayers to in-
dicate whether the government can use
their money for military spending.
Money diverted from military spending
would go into the World Peace Tax
Fund to provide money for non-military
projects.
So far, the bill has been introduced
twice in Congress and currently has 28
supporters in the House of Represen-
tatives and two in the Senate.

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