Monday, November 23, 2009

New Income Tax for Everyone to Pay for Afghan War?

Influencial Democratic lawmakers called for new income tax for anyone with a taxable income to pay for the Afghan war, which President Obama is expected to broaden by pouring in tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers.

It is the "Share the Sacrifice Act of 2010" (H.R. 4130), introduced on November 19, 2009 with 10 co-sponsors. If the bill gets passed (no one at this point seems to think it will), the new tax will be in the form of "war surtax" ranging from 1% to 5% for personal income tax, and 2% to 10% for corporate income tax.

US lawmakers: New tax should pay for Afghan war
(11/19/09 AFP via Raw Story)

"Influential US lawmakers on Thursday called for levying a new income tax to pay for the war in Afghanistan, warning its costs pose a mortal threat to efforts like a sweeping health care overhaul.

""Regardless of whether one favors the war or not, if it is to be fought, it ought to be paid for," the lawmakers, all prominent Democratic allies of Obama, said in a joint statement on the "Share The Sacrifice Act of 2010."

"The proposal came with US President Barack Obama set to announce within weeks his decision on whether to send more US troops to fight the war, now in its ninth year.

"The group included House Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey; Representative John Murtha, who chair that panel's defense subcommittee; and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank.

"The proposal, a heavily symbolic measure seen as having next to no chance of becoming law, would impose a war surtax on income beginning in 2011 -- though it would allow the president to delay implementation by one year upon deciding the US economy is too weak to sustain such a tax shift.

"It would also exempt members of the US military who have served in combat since the September 11, 2001 terrorist strikes, their families, and families of soldiers who died as a result of combat.

""The only people who've paid any price for our military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan are our military families," the lawmakers said. "We believe that if this war is to be fought, it's only fair that everyone share the burden."

"If the war is not paid for, its costs "will devour money that could be used to rebuild our economy by fixing our broken health care system, expanding educational opportunities and job training possibilities, attacking our long term energy problems and building stronger communities," they said."

How about not spending?

That aside, I strongly disagree with their statement that the U.S. military families are the only people who have paid any price for the U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. What about Iraqi, Afghani, and Pakistani families who've been killed or injured?

Non-military families of the U.S. have already been paying the price, regardless of whether they support the wars or not. The U.S. budget is a bust, thanks in large part to the ever-increasing defense budget. It is funded by selling the sovereign debts - IOUs that the taxpayers get to pay now and in the future without their express consent. In fact, the taxpayers are taxed twice - income tax, and inflation.

I don't know what the motivation is for these lawmakers (co-sponsors of the bill). Some, I suspect, signed on to this bill as a way to discourage the president from expanding Afghan involvement. Murtha may actually believe this is great idea for the military. Yet others no doubt think it is an excellent idea to grab whatever they can get away with from the least powerful lobby, the taxpayers. I don't know why AFP thinks this has virtually no chance of passing.

Here's more from's Justin Raimondo. He seems to take this seriously.


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