Tuesday, November 24, 2009

War tax

As President Obama deliberates over his Afghanistan strategy (thought he had one during the campaign — guess that was just rhetoric), some Democrats are proposing the imposition of a “war tax” to cover the costs of escalating what is sure to be a long-term commitment with uncertain goals and exit strategy.

Of course, this is political posturing, but I’d prefer to take it seriously.

There should have been a war tax from the beginning. Putting billions of dollars of war spending on our credit card is bankrupt in every sense of the term.

Sen. Carl Levin of the Senate Armed Services Committee wants a tax on the wealthy to cover the costs of escalation. Bah. Should be across the board. All of us should bear the burden. Or decide we don’t want to.

That, of course, is why we don’t do the war tax thing. Wars that start showing up in a clear and unmistakable way on our tab run the risk of getting really unpopular really fast.

If the mission is worth pursuing, it’s worth shared, national sacrifice. Why should military families be the only ones feeling a direct impact? If the whole nation is not on board with the mission, maybe we should reconsider the mission.

Jim Cornelius, Editor

1 comment:

  1. Jim, I too am confused by Levin's proposal. Setting aside the payroll tax for a minute (I know for some that is hard to do), currently 30+ percent of the tax paying pool pays nothing in State or Federal tax. It's anticipated over the next two years that will exceed 50%. I believe that our President used the term "skin in the game" to describe "shared sacrifice" a while back, I for one am not sure that is really happeneing. I believe we are quickly approaching the point where the top 10 or 15% of the tax paying public will be unable to fund all of these "things". I guess my question would be, what happens then ?