Raising Taxes to Pay for War?

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Over at liberal blogging haven Daily Kos, Jon Parr has suggested the old chestnut that if all those Congresspeople want war (this time, with Iran), maybe they should propose a tax increase to pay for it. Maybe then, the argument goes, both Congresspeople and Americans can see the great cost of war.

As we saw in the recent budget decision, there is always money for war, whether or not it fits into the budget. Neither Democrats nor Republicans have proposed substantial changes to the bloated war machine, and the initially suggested $20 billion cut to the Pentagon was rescinded in the final analysis. National Priorities Project even reports that the war appropriation ($85 billion) was higher than the Pentagon requested ($80 billion), just so the military could have extra money to buy regular equipment without being subject to spending caps from the sequestration.

We are already being assessed taxes for war every day, whether there’s a special appropriation for a particular war or not. All military funding is preparation for war. Our income tax bills reflect this enormous cost – originally estimated at 47% for the 2014 fiscal year, no doubt affected by this final deal.

The political system, in general, does not punish Congress for overspending, particularly for war. Harkening back to a “good old day” when Americans were asked/forced to sacrifice their lives and money for wars, to get us to appreciate the enormity of the situation, assumes we are so deceived by the rhetoric of the state that we don’t already find it enormously repulsive. It’s not about how much money the government spends on war, but about the lives affected and lost. Any spending for this destruction is too much. Some of us refuse to pay for war already, and will always refuse to pay.

Post by Erica