To the Editors:

Your readers may be interested in a letter I wrote recently:

January 15, 1968

Collector of Internal Revenue,

120 Church Street, New York 7, N.Y.

Dear Sir:

As a patriotic American concerned for my country’s good name, I can no longer find it in my conscience, or in my common sense, to continue to pay taxes in support of my government’s military operations in Vietnam. The enclosed check for $731 is 25% less than the $975 due for the fourth-quarter installment of my 1967 income tax. This is my rough estimate of the proportion which would go toward the prosecution of President Johnson’s increasingly senseless and genocidal war.

If 25% is too high, please let me know, with supporting figures, and I will remit the balance due. If it is too low, I shall expect a refund. I want to have no part, financially or otherwise, in this dirty business. I’m sure you will understand my feeling, unofficially.


Dwight Macdonald

P.S. It’s too late for the 1968 tax forms but for the 1969 ones may I suggest you consider including a line stating the exact percentage of the income tax that will go for the Vietnam war? And perhaps also another line or two giving a statistical projection for other wars imminent or in progress—Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, Malaysia, to name some of the dominoes? China I don’t expect—too many variables, and too massive ones. Maybe most practical would be a box—with deductions to be estimated later—in which the taxpayer could check off the war of his choice.

Dwight Macdonald

New York City

This Issue

February 15, 1968