Tuesday, July 31, 2007

House Dem Proposes "Iraq Tax"

Just as it was revealed that next year's war tab will exceed the administration's existing request, The Hill reports that Democratic Rep. James McGovern is proposing an “Iraq tax” to "drive home the cost of the unpopular war to all Americans as it helps to pay for it."
“It would make everybody sacrifice,” said McGovern. “So far, the only ones who have felt the impact of this war is a small sliver of the citizenry.”

McGovern would exempt service members and their families. Beyond that, he says many of the details, such as whether it would be an income or other kind of tax, have not yet been worked out. But he expects to introduce it before Congress leaves for its August break.

The measure would carry forward the Democratic talking point that the only sacrifice the general public has made for the Iraq war is President Bush’s tax cuts. It also comes as some anti-war protesters are taking their protest fights to American’s wallets.

In a dozen U.S. cities, the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker pacifist group, is displaying seven-foot banners that stress the cost of the war and what else the money could be spent on...

McGovern said he hasn’t discussed the matter with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). But as a member of the powerful House Rules Committee, he is considered a Pelosi ally and a bridge between the Speaker’s office and the Out of Iraq caucus.

He emerged as a significant player on Iraq in the caucus when his withdrawal legislation was introduced in May, with Pelosi’s blessing, to appease anti-war legislators and smooth the passage of the Iraq supplemental budget. Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) also threw his backing behind it, and the bill is now considered the official barometer of anti-war sentiment in the caucus.

McGovern notes that the full cost of the Iraq war has not been subject to full scrutiny because the Bush administration has asked and received permission to pay for it as “emergency supplemental spending,” even in the war’s fifth year.

“George Bush has gotten away with paying for this war on our credit card,” he said.
Many have written more eloquently than I could about how President Bush cut taxes during wartime for the first time in history and how, unlike in past wars, Americans have not been called on to sacrifice at all for this one (they have been called on to keep shopping instead), so I will just say I support the measure. Bring it up for a vote. The only thing Republicans love more than the Iraq war is their precious tax cuts. I wonder which they'd choose to keep?

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