Mike Palecek, Green Party candidate for the United States House of Representatives, 5th District of Iowa, says he is considering some form of tax protest in response to the proposed plan by the Bush administration to increase military spending.
"George Bush is an idiot," says Palecek. "This emperor has no clothes. To follow him is to support immorality."
Palecek says he agrees with others who have said that Bush has taken advantage of the fall attacks, in that before September 11, "he was the most immature 55-year-old in the country, with little clear idea of why he became President. The attacks gave meaning to his life, and the graver he makes them out to be, the more important his role."
The United States is already more dominant militarily in relation to the rest of the world than the British and Roman Empires at their zenith, he said.
"And in all, the military spending plan amounts to a 14 percent increase over current spending (a $48 billion boost to a total of $379 billion). That's the largest annual increase since former President Reagan's first year in office and a total matching the Pentagon budget during the height Vietnam War," Palecek said.
Palecek says it will likely drain our Treasury of much-needed funds for rebuilding schools, ending poverty and homelessness, and providing universal health care.
"When we were children," says Palecek, "we were told to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the war: some war, there's always a war, because those who make their money on weapons of war control our political process, whether we believe this is a democracy or not. We were told to say the Pledge, and then go on to the next thing, cutting out pictures from magazines or painting with our fingers perhaps.
"As adults we are told to pay our taxes, tell a standard joke to the next person in line and then go on about our business. But as adults there are consequences to our unexamined actions.
"We paid for the bombing of Afghanistan and received back quality color photos of dead children.
"To pay taxes to support our military would be to consent to that evil, to the killing of children. I cannot do that. And so in the next few weeks I will consider not cooperating with the American tax system, and I encourage others to do the same."
Palecek, 46, of Sheldon, was the Democratic Party candidate in the 5th District election of 2000. He is the former editor of the Cherokee Daily Times.