Speaking to the press after reports that the White House will send 34,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, President Barack Obama said, “it is my intention to finish the job.” While we wish Obama would have definitively said “I will finish the job” instead of just expressing his intent to try, his sentiments were far more preferable than those of the leftist majorities in Congress who chose the opportunity to threaten the American people with even more taxes, should they support winning the war in Afghanistan.
Specifically, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told The Huffington Post yesterday that every dollar spent on winning the war in Afghanistan was one less dollar available for domestic priorities: “I think we have to look at that war with a green eyeshade on. There is unrest in our caucus about: ‘Can we afford this war?’” But even Pelosi seemed to realize that pitting victory in Afghanistan against more domestic government programs was untenable. She later added: “I think the American people believe that if it’s something that’s in our national security interest [then the investment is worth it.]”
But for the left in Congress, prioritizing national security should never come at the expense of run-away domestic spending. Instead, the left is using the war as an excuse to raise taxes on virtually all Americans. According to Politico, close allies of Pelosi, including Ways and Means Committee Chair Charlie Rangel (D-NY), Democratic Party Caucus Chair John Larson (D-CT), and Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chair John Murtha (D-PA), all support the “Share the Sacrifice Act.” That legislation would raise taxes on millions of Americans, including a 1% surtax on middle-class households earning between $30,000 and $150,000. So much for Obama’s promise not to raise taxes on the middle class.
And don’t be fooled into thinking that any of the tax hikes the left in Congress are pushing would be in any way temporary. As National Review‘s Kevin Williamson details, “temporary” taxes levied during war time, like the 1898 tax on telephone services to pay for the Spanish-American War, have a nasty habit of becoming permanent.
If the left in the majority actually cared about deficit spending (a laughable proposition considering their fiscal record since they took over Congress in 2006), then the Afghanistan war easily could be funded simply by eliminating known government waste. According to the Congressional Research Service, the war in Afghanistan is currently costing $43 billion a year. That sum is dwarfed by the $72 billion in improper payments (i.e. over-payments, payments made for services and goods never received, benefits and tax credits paid to people who didn’t qualify) that the Government Accountability Office said the federal government made in 2008. Or how about the $92 billion Washington spends on corporate welfare, or the $123 billion spent on programs that have failed to show any positive impact on the populations they serve? Why don’t the left in Congress eliminate this waste before taxing hard working middle class Americans?
- According to data released by the Commerce Department yesterday, the economy only grew at a 2.8% pace last quarter, not the 3.5% advertised by the White House.
- According to new data from American CoreLogic, the proportion of U.S. homeowners who owe more on their mortgages than the properties are worth has swelled to about 23%, including 65% of all households in Nevada.
- According to the latest Washington Examiner tally, 90,489 of the 640,000 jobs claimed to be “created or saved” by Obama’s Failed Stimulus are fake.
- Tacitly admitting their first $787 billion stimulus is a failure, House Democrats are drafting a second stimulus that will raise taxes on investment by $150 billion in order to pay for a government jobs program.
- According to a new forecast by the Federal Reserve, the unemployment rate will remain high for years to come.