Of COURSE we should pay for the war

Only the hyperpartisans of Washington could screw up an issue this badly.

First, opponents of the Iraq war put up a proposal to raise a tax to pay for the war — but they don’t really mean it. Suggesting the tax is just their way of making a point:

WASHINGTON — Three senior House Democrats, seeking to highlight the costs of the Iraq war, proposed a U.S. income tax surcharge Tuesday to finance the approximately $150 billion (€105.8 billion) spent annually on operations in Iraq.
    The plan’s sponsors acknowledged the tax measure is unlikely to pass, but Democrats have been seeking in recent weeks to contrast the approximately $190 billion (€134.1 billion) cost of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars with the $23 billion (€16.2 billion) increase that Democrats want in domestic programs…

Then, being the way they are, Republicans rise to the bait of condemning the tax:

Clyburn and Spratt must condemn Democrat bully and his dangerous war tax
Dawson calls Democrat plan disgraceful, dangerous
– The South Carolina Republican Party today called on Jim Clyburn and
John Spratt to condemn the disgraceful and dangerous tactics of their
colleague, U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee
Chairman David Obey, who threatened to raise taxes by as much as 15 percent unless President Bush begins a precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.  (Associated Press, 10/2/2007)…

And I am left disgusted, as usual, with both parties.

The Democrats disgust me because of their assumption that, if we had to pay for it, we would not support maintaining our commitment in Iraq. This is based in the same kind of contempt for citizens (particularly those who disagree on issues) that leads anti-war people to call for a draft — not because they think people should share in the sacrifice, but because they believe that if asked to share, no one would support the war. Such an assumption turns my stomach.

The Republicans disgust me because they exceed the Democrats’ hopes by reacting with supreme irresponsibility — they are too childish to want to pay for anything.

Of course we should pay for the war, whatever it costs. And public education. And infrastructure. And research into alternative fuels. And all sorts of things that are worth rolling up our sleeves, like grownups, to address together, as a civilized country.

Neither political party believes that you or I have the courage, commitment or sense of responsibility to embrace both a goal and the cost of achieving the goal. And because of that, both parties deserve nothing from us but our contempt.

You know about the UnParty and the Energy Party. As I cast about in my never-ending quest to figure out what we need in this country, yet another one keeps suggesting itself: The Grownup Party. Anybody interested?

6 thoughts on “Of COURSE we should pay for the war

  1. Karen McLeod

    What leads you to believe that grown-ups are running this world? If grown-ups were in charge, taxes would have been going the other way in order to pay for it. If grown-ups were in charge, we’d have thought twice about going into a war when we had not been attacked (I’m speaking of Iraq here). If grown ups had been in charge we would not have forgotten the long gas lines in the 70’s. If grown ups were in charge people wouldn’t have to wear sweaters in mid summer when in theaters and restaurants, nor short sleeves in winter when Christmas shopping. But grown ups are few and far between. I think that if there were a universal draft we’d think twice before declaring war because we don’t like the guy (Saddam, in this case). I think that until people truly understand that what they keep their house and business temperature at makes a difference in the world, and that their children will reap the consequences of their (our) waste. I think that we would be a better people if we worried about what was happening in our own beds, rather than being concerned about what might (or might not) be happening in someone else’s. Until we are willing to exhibit the self control, patience, forebearance and determination that mark adulthood, we are likely to make a horrible mess of things, and then wonder why everything is so bad and cry for someone to fix it.

  2. Doug Ross

    We’ve got the tax revenues to pay for everything you want, Brad. We just don’t have anyone in charge who is interested in doing those things at the expense of lining their own pockets.
    The government we have is the government the people want. The people are generally ignorant and self-centered. Ergo, we get a government that reflects those characteristics.
    Change government? Start with term limits. Line item veto. Eliminating or decapitating entire departments like Dept. of Ed. and Commerce. Flat tax. Stop illegal immigrants draining tax dollars. Privatize Social Security so it can’t be robbed.
    That’s as much pie in the sky as your view…

  3. weldon VII

    Because we don’t like the guy? A butcher who thumbed his nose at us, the United Nations and anyone else who stood in his way?
    There was nothing wrong with ridding the world of Saddam Hussein. The aftermath, that might be another story, a lesson in complication and culture.
    But the last chapter hasn’t been written yet.
    Until it has, fine, tax me for the war. But tax me separately for the Democrats’ vote-purchasing domestic programs.
    Make both taxes voluntary.
    See which one gets paid.

  4. bud

    Grown-ups understand that we were led into an invasion of a non-threatening country by a president seeking revenge for insults against his father. Grown-ups appreciate the fact that the continued occupation of Iraq is costing us dearly in lives and treasure and that we should withdraw. Apparently the British have now become grown-ups (along with Spaniards, Italians and others who understand how they have failed). The real “children” in the Iraq debate are those who are immature enough to continue arguing for a policy without ever presenting any tangible evidence that it serves the long term interests of the nation.
    Why are the Democrats not grown-ups? They are merely proposing what is obvious to every grown-up: If we are going to do something let’s pay for it. I think it drives the point home loud and clear.

  5. Hubert

    the oil companies and the military industrial complex should pay for Bush’s old war. The USA spends over 9 billion a month in Iraq. Of that 9 billion, over half come back to the people and companies that sold the supplies to out military. The longer the war, the more monery is made by the pro war politicians and supporters of Bush. Remember the USA start wars get involved in civil wars, etc. to make money. Ever read about the USA war profiteers? It will make you sick. We have a few SC politicians who fall into this catorgy.
    Shame on them.

  6. bud

    This has got to be one of the most fascinating political events of all time. Here’s the latest Rasmussen poll measuring the sentiment of the American people:
    A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 64% of Americans would like to see U.S. troops brought home from Iraq within a year. That’s the third straight weekly increase in support for troop withdrawal and a 6-point increase from mid-September.
    The Democrats were elected to Congress last year in order to do the bidding of the American people on this important issue. Yet the Dems seem very reluctant to force this issue. Why? This is very easy to resolve really. The Dems offer a funding proposal that requires American troop withdrawal within 1 year. They include in that budget sufficient funding for armored vehicles, bullet-proof vests and whatever else is needed in a war zone to make the troops safe. Congressional Republicans will filibuster. Since there are not enough votes to end the filibuster the Dems can simply sit back at let the funding autorization die. Without funding American occupation of Iraq ends. It’s that simple.

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