“Where does the money go?” Every year tax payers wail this question as they post their tax returns, usually as late as legally possible. Once again this year, citizens from Neighbors for Peace and the North Shore Coalition for Peace, Justice, and the environment will greet late filers on April 15 in front of the Evanston Post Office on Davis Street at Oak.
Wearing colorful sandwich boards with slogans such as “Bail out people, not banks!” “Bread not Bombs,” and “Fund Schools not Armies,” more than forty volunteers will take shifts from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., distributing leaflets researched by the War Resisters League. Join this group for an hour or two by calling 847.644.2281 or by simply showing up. All materials furnished.
These leaflets contain information on the realities of the 2010 federal budget and show that over 48% goes to the military. When people ask how we can salvage the economy, strengthen security, fix the our aging infrastructure, and not bury future generations in debt, War Resisters League answers with a four-pronged budgetary approach: slash the military budget, end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, close military bases and bring the troops home, dismantle nuclear weapons and related systems. Most importantly, the League urges implementation of a foreign policy based on multilateral negotiation and not military might. As the group says, “That is the only thing that will permanently improve security, the economy, and the quality of life for all on the planet.”
Robert Moore, a retired economist from New Jersey says, “The only way these distorted budget priorities will change is if we, average citizens, put enough pressure on our elected officials to insist that it change.” During the Vietnam war, the government sought to hide the war’s cost by lumping non-discretionary funds such as Social Security together with the funds the Congress must approve. The practice has continued.
Co-chair of the Evanston event, Rosalie G. Riegle (firstname.lastname@example.org) will be available in front of the Post Office during the morning hours. Grace Richardson will coordinate the afternoon shift. Riegle points out that tax resistance is a venerable American institution and often quotes the late Wally Nelson of Peacemakers, “What would you do if someone came to your door with a cup in hand asking for a contribution to help buy guns to kill a group of people they didn’t like?”