• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Morning Bell: Victory In Afghanistan Is No Excuse For Raising Taxes

    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?

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    32 Responses to Morning Bell: Victory In Afghanistan Is No Excuse For Raising Taxes

    1. Ozzy6900, CT says:

      President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and every dope on the Hill have spent us into permanent debt! Now you want to pinch pennies on a War?

      It is the DUTY of the US Government to protect the People from all enemies both foreign and domestic. In other words, THAT is the prime directive, not domestic programs! It's time that Pelosi and her "puppets" realize that they have a responsibility to Our safety!

      As far as I am concerned, I'll pay for the troops and the equipment if Pelosi and Obama takes off all the other taxes!

    2. O2BNTEXAS, name says says:

      It’s a shame that poor diluted Nancy and her band of reprobates didn’t use “green eyeshades” on the other bankruptcy creating legislation that they managed to cram down our throats.

      And the really sad part of this whole scenario is that the people back in her congressional district thinks she is doing a bang up job and will reelect her!

      God help us all!

    3. Al Reasin says:

      That is just the tip of the iceberg. Just about everyone forgets and the media will not remind them, on 1/1/2011 low income Americans will receive a 5% tax increase, most will receive a 7% increase and some who pay no taxes now, a 15% tax burden, when the Bush tax cuts expire. But that is Bu-s-s-s-s-h's fault.

    4. Chris, Ocala Fl. says:

      National defense, according to the Constitution, is the #1 priority of the federal gov't. Yet time and time again it takes the backseat to liberal policies.

      Paying for our armed forces doesn't garner votes the way that giveaway programs and flawed entitlements do.

    5. Da Dog says:

      I do believe that it is past time for a serious tax revolt. The taxes that are currently collected are used for bribery, wasted on programs that do not work, given to political cronies and used to further enrich those that have been sent to D.C. to represent the people. And, those very people have broken their oaths to protect the Constitution out of their own arrogance and self-interests. Simply put, they are liars, traitors and theives. Protecting the United States is one of the few powers that they were granted in the Constitution to begin with. To suggest a "war tax" with all the current corruption and waste should push the producers (those of us who actually work and pay taxes) over the edge.

    6. stephen baron port c says:

      There is no point in complaining about the overthrow of representative government in the United States. The democrats simply want to rule by fiat. They have the majorities and the agenda to do anything they like … Yes, Tea party protests are good … rallies on the capitol mall are good … calling and writing your representatives used to have an effect, but the truth of the matter is that the democrats simply don't care. They won the 2008 election and they believe that they are entitled to do anything and everything that their little hearts desire. They are not interested in representing anybody but themselves. What they ARE interested in doing is "governing". Democrats have NO interest in public opinion. They have power .. that's it. That's all they care about. Look at how shamelessly and how casually Senator Reid bribed Senator Landreau … right out there in the middle of main street … using the public treasury .. that's the taxpayers money. By the way, Senator Landreau … we now know WHAT you are .. we only need to negotiate price. It's business as usual and the public be damned. The only realistic solution for stopping the march of the marxists is to organize at the local level and to fire congress in 2010. Find good local candidates and work to get them elected. It was a democrat Speaker of the House who said: "All politics is local." Tip O'neil was right .. you have to defeat these people on the local level.

    7. AndyB, Davie, FL says:

      I believe the tax proposal is a stalking horse for the real reason; get the American people thinking about a total withdrawal.

    8. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      The Retardocrats strike again. When will they stop trying to appease their loony left wing and do something constructive?

      WWRRD? (What would Ronald Reagan Do?)

    9. ken in Santa Barbara says:

      I was very much interested in the email headline and entertained the thought of following the authors trail to successful financing of the Afghan war.

      If you can't consider a tax on the only people left to collect a tax on don't go spending money you don't have. The middle class is broke, the lower class…..you know that one.

      This is in reference to a link from above, an article by Kevin Williamson which ended "and Democrats in Congress want a special, temporary, emergency tax on the rich to fund the war in Afghanistan. Stop them if you’ve heard this one (temporary taxes) before."

      I say postpone the skirmish since you couldn't get a declaration of "war" until you can afford the equipment and the drain on our taxpayers. Quoting Williamson again "this isn’t the Civil War, World War I, or World War II."

      Next came the paragraph:

      the war in Afghanistan is currently costing $43 billion a year…… That sum is dwarfed ……. Or how about the $92 billion Washington spends on corporate welfare,….Why don’t the left in Congress eliminate this waste before taxing hard working middle class Americans?

      Dear people, that second link goes to Heritage Foundation page (use yourself to quantify and qualify???) with 50 examples of waste….fine let's proceed.

      Go to waste #2 and click on the blue [2]

      It will direct you to a Cato Institute Policy Analysis from May of 07 written by Steven Slivinski. here is the direct link
      http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=8230
      Mr. Slivinski is Director of Budget Studies at Cato and author of "BUCK WILD"- How Republicans Broke The Bank and became the Party of Big Government.

      Read the report and perhaps you may see that it's not just the left, it's not only the right, it's you, it's me it's us allowing "congress" to pay for this waste. We're being manipulated by select factions that want their cake (and pork and pay raises, stock options and retirement benefits, and kudos for writing dribble).

      I find the author and the HF to be quick to point but slow on bringing balance to the article by claiming the left is responsible for eliminating waste to fund war. Perhaps Buck Wild should be required reading for the ones pointing the finger at budget woes.

    10. Whicket Williams Kin says:

      We MUST get rid of ALL of these career politicians, and replace them with concerned citizens who will reverse this insane spending and pay down the debt, or we will not last long enough to be a viable country by the time the Lord returns

    11. Dulce Fuller, Michig says:

      Firstly, the primary retort to the idea of creating a new tax to fund the additional troops in Afghanistan should be that the one obligation of the Federal government that is absolute is the defense of the nation. So after we have fully funded that we start discretionary spending. Now let's talk about just what we are raising more taxes for.

    12. MJP, Maryville Tenne says:

      Again these people have what between their ears???

      What part of pay as you go don't they understand. All they can do is increase our taxes. What about some sacrafice from them.

      1. Tax them at the 60% rate.

      2. If and I say If healthcare passes, they should be made to take the same options the lower class will be forced to take.

      3. How much do these people think the American People can shell out.

      4. It becomes more clear that the Senate and Congress as well as the President don't know what common sense and just reality is.

      M.

    13. Whicket Williams Kin says:

      I my life when people lie about things, I sever relations with them, because you cannot do business with someone who is lying and changing things all the time It is like trying to walk in quicksand The entire government is like this They MUST ALL be removed ASAP We as a nation will not survive until the end of this administration if we don't figure out a way so stop this lying and stealing of TRILLIONS evey month!!!!!

    14. PHILIP MARCEAU PORTL says:

      The american electort have surrendered there liberty to the elite marxis that inhabit washington DC. Surley they wont mind surrending all there income as well. 2corinthians 3:17

    15. hot dawg says:

      well now if they need an excuse to invent taxes how about a joggers tax? after all,they are emitting much more CO2 while jogging than those who ain't,imposing undue wear on the shoulder of the roads, damaging joints(more health care costs),and claiming to live longer as a result.

    16. Eric, Philadelphia says:

      I will give all of my money to the war effort, if that is what it takes. No one should be complaining about sacrificing money in war time, while Americans are sacrificing their lives for us. In my mind National defense and protection of individual rights are the only matters our tax money should be spent on.

    17. Jonathan Seid, Willi says:

      I don't know why we get our drawers all tight in the butt when we are dealing with the left. We know they are weak on military matters…we know they are supportive of higher taxes…we know they want to expand government programs and largesse…we know them because they are explicit about their intentions when they speak.

      We should also know that being weak on military matters, raising taxes during a recession and expanding government to empower their party is what democrats have done since President F. D. Roosevelt. This duck will not change.

      What we should realize is that the G O P remains a second rate political party with no chance of taking the power away from the establishment the democrats have erected for the past 70-years.

      As long as citizens with a conservative outlook and libertarian values look to republicans, the problems we are encountering today with this administration will be the problems we will have for the next 70-years.

      How difficult must it be for a party to expose the democrats for their shortcomings, for their incompetence with money and for their deliberate re-distribution of taxpayer's money to entrench themselves in power?

    18. J. White, retired [c says:

      Did you really expect anything demonstrating some semblance of intellect from this bunch of caudal vents?

    19. Sharon Van Baale, Ja says:

      If this Congress would go through and get rid of all of the pork, all of the bribes given to Democrats for votes, and pull out of everything that they have voted on just this year that invades our private lives, they would not need to increase taxes for anything.

      Our military needs to be supported in every way to win this war. We cannot allow another Viet Nam situation to exist. Give them what they need to win, not what makes the administration politically correct. This is the one thing that is the government's responsibility…to protect its citizens…with whatever means necessary.

      That said, this government is out of control in almost every area. I hope that the sleeping giant of conservatives continues to wake up before the next election. We need candidates, workers and voters to make the right "change."

    20. Doc Bob, Houston, Te says:

      75 year old disabled vet to president: trust your commanders on the ground instead of those in airconditionted foxholes in DC. Soldiers are the delivery point for beans, bullets and baseballs; if the commanding general feels he needs 40,000 more to safely do the job, just DO IT. Take the $250.00 you keep promising us old vets and use it to help pay for the war.

    21. Pingback: Defense spending stimulates the economy « American Freedom and Enterprise Foundation

    22. Ben C, Ann Arbor says:

      With any luck the 65% of homeowners in Nevada will tire of Harry Reid and kiss him goodbye. We can only hope.

      But there is more hope. The SNL skit slamming Obama was right on and when comics start to hound the administration it is a red flag that people are really getting annoyed with government. The skit did my heart good.

    23. Prevailer76AZ says:

      Isn't it interesting that the administration doesn't bat an eye over a debt of trillions for all their busy work so far: the stimulus package, bailing out major financial entities, Cap and Trade, and even the Health Care Bill, yet when it comes to anything connected to the military, it suddenly becomes an issue of financial concern. Ms Nancy's stated priorities are positively askewed, as obviously are those of our president and his chosen abettors. One can't help but wonder at a president who has traveled more air miles than any other president in history and spent record amounts on his personal pleasures. He assumes an attitude of privilege while condemning the masses to certain poverty, and short changing those who serve by offering their very lives.

    24. Pingback: In Obama’s America, Our Heroes Are Put On Trial

    25. Mike Sheahen, Hickor says:

      Such a case as that of so-called “Progressives (Leftists)” such as Pelosi using the war in Afghanistan (and/or anywhere else) as an excuse for imposing and/or raising any tax, is yet another example of how it has absolutely nothing to do with how just or right anything is and everything to do with any excuse for another government elitist and statist so-called "Progressive (Leftist)" power and money-grab, in this case through their wanting to impose and/or raise any tax or taxes, or actually imposing and/or raising any tax or taxes; which has the effect, here in the real world, of being such an income reducing disincentive against all us private citizens, outside of government, who are the ones who actually do the creating, investing in, selling, and buying which provide the existence of the businesses and jobs which provide the goods, services, income, and, (though you wouldn't know it by the way the Left talks and acts), the tax revenues which government gets, that such creating, providing, and continuing the existence of businesses and jobs is thus driven downward; so then the bad things, including unemployment, go up, and, the way so-called "Progressive (Leftist)" politicians and their bureaucrats in the U.S. have made it, especially during more than 100 years now, that means that many more ways for them to make that many more people dependant upon them, as in government, and so also they "just happen" to assure themselves of a job in and/or for government with that much more government power, at the expense of the freedoms and power of the people.

      In short, any of Obama, Reid, Pelosi, and/or their Comrades, using the war in Afghanistan as an excuse for imposing and/or raising any tax or taxes, such as and especially now when there is more than enough government abuse, fraud, and waste to more than pay for the war in Afghanistan and elsewhere, is yet another example of the government elitist and statist so-called “Progressives (Leftists)” trying to vainly "justify" yet another of their power and money-grabs.

    26. Stirling, Huntingdon says:

      It's becoming very clear that the government doesn't want the people to have any disposable income to use as they see fit (they want us to give it all to the government to make the decisions where to spend it.) Here's an idea… Let's have the politician's (with their 6 or 7 figure salaries) be the first to sacrafice their pay and lifestyles to show that they can spend their own money before that of the rest of us. So far it's just "our" money, not "theirs" as far as I can tell.

    27. audrey Mississipp says:

      Why not sell WAR bonds as was done in WWII? It would help OUR Country and American citizens rather than tax us to death.

      Of course, that would be too simple and not on their NWO agenda.

    28. Roger S., Ma. says:

      Really connecting the dots is the quote of Kevin Williamson: "…“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."

      That seems to be about the understatement of a century. — Has ANY tax ever been removed (not -temporarily- reduced, repealed) without being replaced by a similar tax to cover much the same entity? That would be a list to "study". Intuition tells me it might be short. — However the case, taxes to support entitlements are the most destructive of all, for being the most disruptive of individual responsibility. That not only applies to the recipients, but also in a far worse way to the dispensers of such "gifts", whom it apparently corrupts almost totally, even to the point of ignoring or denying constitutional mandates.

      Below, the short history of a "long" tax:

      In the very late 1800's Germany's young emperor, Wilhelm_II, decided that his country's "…future lay upon the high seas." Heavy commercial trade with China and a few "fresh colonies" in SE_Africa confirmed him in his view. Being also somewhat the "poor relation" of Queen Victoria, and a bit insecure, he felt the need to impress. He rationalized that it would be appropriate to Germany's new status as an emerging world power to have a navy able to demonstrate this "fact" to an astonished world.

      But, how to pay for it? Well, ships being traditionally christened by the breaking of a good bottle of Champagne, and the moneyed classes enjoying this beverage rather copiously and conspicuously, the good emperor thought he could scarcely do harm by imposing a tax on all "sparkling wines". So he did.

      His navy got built in time to enter WWI, where it was still out-gunned by the British. The war was lost. The emperor was exiled to Holland, all remaining ships surrendered as per armistice agreement to the Admiralty in 1919 — albeit scuttled by their own crews.

      The "young" ships of an aging former emperor now "resting" at the bottom of the ocean, guess what wasn't scuttled, to this very day? Right: the tax. What once applied to an "emperor's" more prosperous subjects survived the "Revolution" of 1919; the Weimar Republic, including the great hyperinflation of the early 20's; the Third Reich and its total collapse between 1945 and 1948. Survived, to now be "shared" by all, including the "lowliest" of free citizen who may have acquired a taste for now no longer unaffordable sparkling wine of any kind. Had Charles Dickens lived a century later, he might have written "A Tale of Two Navies and A Tax".

      Taxes have long legs. Tough to outrun them.

      Taxes have long lives. Tough to outlive them.

      Taxes adapt to a changing body politic. Tough even to out-morph them. Some would say, "impossible". I would tend to agree.

    29. Terry Dolven- Arizon says:

      Best solution to the out of control spending by Obama's administration and Congress —-We need to send Congress on a 1 year recess! We don't need any more bills passed or laws made!! When we, as individuals and businesses can't pay our bills, we cut our spending. Why can't our Congress and Obama get it thru their thick skulls that we are headed for bankruptcy if we don't stop the spending and proposed spending NOW!

    30. Athens, Alabama says:

      Instead of adding taxes to overtaxed hardworking citizens to help pay for the war, why not charge a tax on these crooked congressmen for their wasteful vote-buying projects.

    31. Brock, New Hampshire says:

      Murtha can dare mention revenue spending when he's already been exposed as the ear-mark champ he is? …. that airport in Pa (named after him, servicing about 30 people a day) is only one example and I hope he's being investigated for more

      Perhaps I'm naive (even tho a former Marine) but what are the REAL additional costs when our Armed Forces are in combat? REAL meaning over and above what is already expended (pay, basic materiel, etc) wherever they are, whatever the "wartime" situation is

    32. Datinnoth says:

      Very nice Blog, I will tell my friends about it.

      Thanks

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×