Dear United States Treasury:
As a proud citizen of the United States I understand the
importance of maintaining a strong military, and of ensuring that our
people remain safe from threats. However, I object to the present direction
of military use on the following grounds:
- I believe that belligerence directed toward Muslim countries will
be perceived as a war on Islam, and will strengthen the hand of those
recruiting terrorists to act against us. I believe that our homeland
will be far more secure in the long run if we act preventatively
by taking measures to bolster their countries economically and socially
rather than impose ourselves militarily—fueling the humiliation
and outrage that leads to anti-Americanism.
- I believe that democracy has a better chance of taking root in the
Middle East if it happens in response to growing local pressures, rather
than if it is imposed from outside. This directs justified local mal-content
from the corrupt and repressive regimes onto the U.S.. In this case,
even if we are able to impose a lasting democracy, there is every reason
to believe that we would not like the resulting democratically-elected
fundamentalist governments. Since I doubt that we are willing to let
this happen, I question the U.S. rhetoric that we are using our military
to promote democracy in the Middle East. Rather it could only be democracy
on our terms, which is not the ideal that the American patriots I celebrate
have died for throughout history.
- I do not agree with the renewed nuclear weapons research, nor our
coerced bi-lateral withdrawal from the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty
- I believe that the “case for war” leading to Congressional
authorization for the President to use force was deliberately misleading,
and was based, in part, on obvious forgeries such as the Nigerian documents
pertaining to the proliferation of nuclear components. As such, I feel
that democracy in the US has been, to some tangible extent, undermined.
- I am not in moral alignment with the vision for the Middle East and
the world that I see being pursued militarily and which I believe the
administration intends to continue. Central to my objection is the idea
that the United States has the right to shape the world to our liking
at the point of gun—regarding local conditions and sentiments
as irrelevant. We have a right to defend ourselves, and to uphold our
interests as long as excising these rights does not infringe on others.
I believe that the calculation of imposing our will around the world
by force—even with the consequence of replacing repressive governments—actually
harms more people around the world then if we supported modernization
(and regime changes by a strictly localized evolutionary processes)
through peaceful means.
I willingly support actions of my government which I regard
as upholding our great national values. I decline to contribute to actions
which press against my heart as immoral. Instead I am contributing the
balance of my taxes withheld in good conscious to non-profit organizations
that respect the American values that I treasure.
Tax Refund due: $210
Below are the calculations that I used to figure the tax that I could
contribute in good conscious.
I estimated the amount of my taxes to be dedicated to non-military uses
including veterans benefits.
I request a refund for the portion of my taxes that would be devoted to
military purposes. * Data from FY2002
|Total Tax (1040 line 61):
|** 38% of Total Tax:
*** Total Tax whose use I support:
|Total Payments (1040 line 69):
|Amount owed to Federal Government:
|(-) indicates refund from IRS
* The estimates are based on FY2000 Federal budgetary
spending. Since the % of the budget devoted to military spending has grown
since 2000 and is expected to continue growing through the near term,
the following represent conservative estimates. The data was taken from
the web site of the FCNL (www.fcnl.org) to which I have no afiliation.
** 38% was estimated to be the amount of tax devoted to non-veteran military
spending by the following data:
$1.323trillion- FY2000 Total Budget
$4.99billion-FY2000 Budget for Departments of Defense and
Energy and related agencies, payment to military retirement, foreign military
aid, sales and training, and interest on public debt due to past military
Note: My objections do not include payments to our war veterans.
*** This is the amount of the tax whose use I support and
which I am willing to pay. I support the US government when there is reason
to believe in good faith that they are acting in the interest of Americans
and people around the world.