Alibi V.19 No.16 • April 22-28, 2010 


How to Not Pay Taxes

Dear Alibi,

Nothing in my life is more important than refusing to pay federal income tax for war! No job, no salary, no romantic relationship, no house, no car, no degree, no art, no furniture, no trip, no gadgets ...

The best way to refuse to pay federal income tax for war, with no fines and no threats from the government is to live simply—below the taxable level. I lived well for all of 2009 on $3,965—less than one half the federal income taxable level of $9,350 for me as a single person.

Half of every federal income tax dollar goes for past, present and future wars. If someone came to my home collecting money, I would not donate even a dime if I knew any of the money collected went to a local gang to rob and murder neighbors on my street—no matter if the rest of it went to schools, libraries and homeless shelters. My neighbors in Iraq and Afghanistan are no less human, no less precious than neighbors on my street.

The main purpose of the U.S. war machine is to make sure that most Americans keep on stealing and hogging the wealth of the world. Why spend time analyzing, protesting and cursing the deadly beast if you keep feeding it federal income tax dollars for war? If you spend like crazy for crap no one needs, you will insist on having an income much larger than the taxable level. Your addiction to buying crap keeps you paying year after year for the U.S. to rob, terrorize, blind, cripple, paralyze, make homeless, and murder our sisters and brothers in many nations.

The U.S. empire exploits and kills far more people than all the street gangs, armed robbers, drug dealers, Ku Klux Klan, rapists, serial killers, mafia and suicide bombers combined. I know of no street gang, no mafia that pays a preacher to ease their consciences and to pray with them for help in slaughtering their enemies, but the U.S. military does—paid chaplains in uniform.

I refused to be a soldier in 1969 during the Vietnam War draft. For me as a conscientious objector to all wars, to pay federal income tax to train and equip other Americans, largely the poor and people of color, to become professional hired killers to murder on command with no conscience would be more evil than being a soldier myself!

June 12, 1982, about a million of us rallied against nuclear weapons in New York City. Secretary of State Alexander Haig under Reagan saw us that day and said, “Let them demonstrate all they want as long as they pay their taxes.”

Marching for peace while paying for war is like praying for health while hogging out on junk food.

I have paid no federal income tax for 31 years. I pledge publicly to live simply, to own no car and to pay no federal income tax for war for the rest of my life!

Don Schrader

French Cuisine in America

Dear Alibi,

I read with interest and some sadness Ari LeVaux's description of his culinary tour of Paris [Food, “Le Nouveaux Mexique,” April 15-21]. What was interesting about it was that he was curious in finding out how the French would execute Southwestern cuisine. I learned that they certainly need some help in that direction.

The sadness resulted from the fact that French—and I don't mean just Parisian, but French—cuisine has moved on, and I disagree that it can be held to some arbitrary standard that's all about crepes, quiche and boeuf bourguignon. Which goes to show just how tragic Albuquerque can be if all French cafés in this town insist on serving dishes that, while undoubtedly classics and the backbone of any bistro, are simply "Disney-fying" a glorious and varied cuisine. And Paris is not France.

Amanda Don
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