AMERICANISM: America is Not at War, America is at the Mall

I recently came across a photo of a handwritten sign in a US military facility in Ramadi, Iraq. The sign read, “America is not at war. The Marine Corps is at war; America is at the mall.” The sign reflects a perception among many US soldiers and their families that the American people are not sharing in their sacrifice.

It is a perception grounded in reality…, who is really sacrificing? Certainly not members of Congress. We will not wake up tomorrow in harm’s way in Baghdad or Fallujah. …I propose we change this dynamic by raising taxes on nearly every American in order to pay for the war in Iraq.

…It is reasonable to assume that the cost will approach $800 billion by the time Bush leaves office. I will soon introduce legislation to impose a “surtax” to begin paying for future war costs that have not been budgeted and paid for by existing federal revenues. This war surtax is modeled on similar surtaxes imposed during World War II and the Vietnam War to cover war costs.

…My surtax proposal is not an additional tax on income; rather, it is a tax on tax liability.For example, if a low-income taxpayer owes $100 in taxes, he would be subject to an additional 2 percent surtax of $2. Wealthy taxpayers would pay a higher percentage. Corporations, trusts, and estates would also be subject to the surtax.Needless to say, this idea of a surtax makes my colleagues – Democrat and Republican – exceedingly nervous. No politician likes to talk about raising taxes. But somebody, someday, somewhere will pay the hundreds of billions we have borrowed so far for this war.

My conservative colleagues will argue that we should cut spending to cover the costs. That’s nice rhetoric, but it’s not real. Are we going to eliminate the entire departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services? Or how about eliminating all funding for the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Energy, Interior, Treasury, the EPA, and NASA combined?

That’s what it would take to fund just one year of the Iraq war. Some of my fellow antiwar liberals believe that since the war in Iraq is wrong, they do not want to pay for it. But isn’t it also wrong to force future generations to pay for it?I voted against the war in Iraq. I have consistently fought to bring the war to an immediate end and to bring our troops home.

I believe it is the worst political, military, and diplomatic tragedy in our history.But to force our children to pay for that tragedy would only compound it. The war in Iraq has been this generation’s mistake. It should not be the next generation’s burden.We have an opportunity to say to our soldiers and their families that we are in this together; that their fellow citizens are also sacrificing just a little bit.That’s a message worth sending.

US Representative James P. McGovern represents the Third District of Massachusetts.

Ref: Boston

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4 Responses

  1. This war was started for two reasons to benefit two clear beneficiaries of this war 1) The Oil Companies make them pay a tax not on their products as that would raise their prices and pass the tax onto you and me but on their profits which if passed on to you and me would incur a higher payment. and AN EXTREMELY OBVIOUS 2) ISRAEL has benefited so much from this war it is not even funny… 1 Otherwise occupy their Arab neighbors so that they illegally sent a soldier into Lebanese territory so that he can be captured and they can start a war …which they did. 2 Attack Syria which they did…
    3 Attack Iran which they almost did. 4 Maintain their status as the big bully in the neighborhood. Nobody likes to be the bully if somebody can beat him up. …So lets cut aid to Israel … it will make our Arab enemies less hostile (Israel is the sole reason for their hostilities) it will negate the reason for us attacking an Arab country so that Israel can go into Lebanon or the West Bank or any other sovereign nation. and it will free up TONS of $ that only go towards naked aggression against its Arab neighbors… This will force Israel to abide by a Peace agreement unlike all the agreements it has previously signed and broken 1) CAmp David stipulated solving the Palestinian issue … it didn’t….
    2) Oslo stipulated the end of West Bank settlements …it didn’t 3) Madrid did the same and so on and so on and so on. enough is enough Israel must get out of the West Bank and out of the US’s Bank Account.

  2. […] Also: A Couple More Friedman Units, “America is not at War….”, America is Not at War, America is at the Mall, and How Come I End Up Where I […]

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