War Mongers Are Furious About Proposed War Surtax On Wealthiest 2%

by on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 4:35 pm in Afghanistan, Politics, World

Those on the right — the same ones who claimed to be ‘fiscal conservatives’ while they doubled our national debt with trillions in tax cuts for the wealthy, while simultaneously fighting two wars — are now up in arms that the richest two percent may be asked to pay a war surtax to help fund the wars they so eagerly mislead us into fighting.

It all began when two prominent democrats floated the idea to the press.  The chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, David Obey told ABC News in an exclusive interview:

“There ain’t going to be no money for nothing if we pour it all into Afghanistan. If they ask for an increased troop commitment in Afghanistan, I am going to ask them to pay for it.”

Obey, a Democrat from Wisconsin, made it clear that he is absolutely opposed to sending any more U.S. troops to Afghanistan and says if Obama decides to do that, he’ll demand a new tax — what he calls a “war surtax” — to pay for it.

“On the merits, I think it is a mistake to deepen our involvement,” Obey said. “But if we are going to do that, then at least we ought to pay for it. Because if we don’t, if we don’t pay for it, the cost of the Afghan war will wipe out every initiative we have to rebuild our own economy.”

Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told Bloomberg Television much the same:

Higher-income Americans should be taxed to pay for more troops sent to Afghanistan and NATO should provide half of the new soldiers.

An “additional income tax to the upper brackets, folks earning more than $200,000 or $250,000” a year, could fund more troops.

White House Budget Director Peter Orszag has estimated that each additional soldier in Afghanistan could cost $1 million, for a total that could reach $40 billion if 40,000 more troops are added.

That cost, Levin said, should be paid by wealthier taxpayers. “They have done incredibly well, and I think that it’s important that we pay for it if we possibly can” instead of increasing the federal debt load, the senator said.

Sounds reasonable to me.  One of the chief reasons many in our country were so quick to buy into Bush’s call to invade Iraq was because only the troops and their families were being asked to make any sacrifice.  If Bush had imposed a war surtax, Americans would have required some serious convincing that Iraq actually posed a threat to this country — of course it never did.

The unfortunate truth of the matter is most people are not altruistic by nature; most are narcissistic.  They only care deeply about the things that impact their and their family’s lives directly.  All the chicken-hawk, neo-cons gladly mislead our nation into invading and occupying Iraq, where other people’s children would lose their lives for some ulterior agenda — something we’ll probably never fully get to the bottom of.

If you want to prevent unnecessary wars; prevent open-ended commitments to wars based on Presidents’ political calculations; and prevent our nation from going bankrupt in the process, it is imperative to demand financial sacrifice from the citizens of this country.  Only then will the country wake up, and start asking questions.  Only then will our wars be conducted for reasons of absolute necessity.  And only when that happens, will it be money well-spent.

Which is probably why Fox News, the Heritage Foundation, and other right-winged war mongers are up in arms about this proposal.  The frenzy has just begun:

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2 Comments

  • | 30#
    Leahn Novash
    Nov 25th, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Please avoid posting video without a transcript. It is not easy for foreigners to understand the voice on those videos, and not everyone has a quick connection.

    • | 31#
      Stan
      Nov 25th, 2009 at 3:12 pm

      Thanks for the feedback, Leahn.

      I’ll remember that for the future. Some of the video feeds I get (such as this one) don’t have transcripts available, but from now on when a transcript is available, I’ll be sure to provide a link to them.

      -Stan