It’s always good to see people getting out there and making a real difference on the important issues of the day. Take war for an example. Nobody likes it, but what can you really do about it as one citizen? Enter David Gross, a technical writer from California who was opposed to the war in Iraq shortly after it began. He was making six figures at his job, but determined that it was immoral for his federal tax dollars to go to paying for military action. So he did the only thing he could think of.

He went to his company’s HR department and asked for a 75 percent pay cut, which would help him avoid paying federal taxes, and make sure his money wasn’t going to fund the war.

They said no.

Rather than continue working, Gross embarked on a drastic lifestyle change. He quit his job, and started working as a freelancer, earning enough to make a modest living, but little enough to avoid paying federal income taxes. He now works about 500 hours a year.

Obviously if you reduce your income to a low enough level, you will owe no federal taxes. Brilliant! Now he’s not contributing to funding the Department of Defense. Of course, he’s also not contributing to schools, maintenance of roads and infrastructure or any of the myriad other things that government does and liberals seem to love so much. But hey… let’s not quibble over details here. His efforts – or lack thereof in this case – have clearly had a major impact. After doing this for more than a decade the number of countries that the US is actively fighting in or bombing, plus the number that we’re seriously considering fighting in or bombing, is down to under a dozen at last count.

Gross isn’t the only one living a trimmed down lifestyle. The Atlantic lists a few others who are getting by on radically lowered incomes, such as Extreme Retirement Specialist Jacob Lund Fisker. Or freegan enthusiast Rob Greenfield who is educating us all about being wasteful, selfish capitalists. Or Glenn Morrissette, a self professed analyst of careless consumerism. (I’m guilty of consumerism to the best extent I can manage, but I could definitely work on being more careless about it with a little more cash.)

I do have to wonder about one thing, though. Given the number of people with no jobs, horrible jobs, or so few prospects that they’ve given up even looking for one, does David Gross feel at all guilty about walking out on a good one just to make a point? Or is he perhaps relieved that he made room for somebody else to take that position? Life is so complicated sometimes.