The New Troop Surge Must Be Paid For With New Taxes

by Ben Hoffman

The biggest threat to our democracy is not Afghanistan; it’s the federal debt. We’ve passed the 12 trillion dollar mark and because of the economic crisis, the debt is increasing faster than ever. Interest alone on the debt is several hundred billion dollars a year. And the cost of the two Bush wars is about to hit the trillion dollar mark.

Because of the massive Bush tax cuts, the wars have been paid for with borrowed money. It’s time to pay for them and the only way to do that is with a temporary tax increase. That tax increase must cover yearly expenditures plus money to pay off the money we’ve already borrowed.

Obama’s plan to increase troops in Afghanistan will include a tax increase to pay for the increase in spending — some $40 million dollars per troop, but that’s not good enough. It should cover the entire cost of the war — not just the increase.

5 Comments to “The New Troop Surge Must Be Paid For With New Taxes”

  1. I agree. We cannot keep borrowing money for these wars if we expect to be successful. This was the most obvious mistake of the Bush years: cutting taxes while increasing spending. Without new revenue, we can’t pay for a troop surge in Afghanistan.

  2. Isn’t this the government that will put some 30m+ people on health care and decrease the deficit at the same time? Surely they can pull another rabbit out of the hat with Afghanistan and make that somehow reduce the deficit, too.

    Better yet, why don’t they acquire preferred stock in an oil company and then profit from all the dividends? 😉

  3. What’s a “temporary tax increase”?

  4. So according to the expert consensus on this board, our massive deficits are caused by the Reagan-Bush tax cuts and Bush’s wars.

    Expert consensus is frequently mistaken. Look at climate change, but that’s a topic for another board.

    Ok, let us look at Bush’s wars. Expensive yes. Necessary, a matter of opinion. Eventually even Bush’s wars will end.

    Let’s look at tax cuts. The Reagan tax cuts increased revenues because the private economy grew. Until 2007, when Pelosi and Reid took over, most of the deficits during Bush’s years came from increased spending not tax cuts.

    The private economy. That’s the tax paying part, as opposed to the public sector that Obama has grown during his reign. The public sector that’s the tax consumin part.

    Now Mr. Hoffman has totally dismissed the earmark part of the equation. Wasteful spending. Unnecessary spending. Corrupt spending. Vote buying spending. I admit that Republicans are guilty of this. That’s why they are not in charge anymore. Democrats are.

    Now as the party in charge, Democrats have not wasted this chance at the pig trough.

    I always say prove it.

    The following example is a personal favorite of mine because it kills two birds with one stone.

    Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate

    Now I’m truly sorry that Senator Kennedy passed away from brain cancer, but I had no use for him as a Senator. The so called Liberal Lion of the Senate was a big fat skirt chasing alcoholic waste of taxpayer dollars.

    First of all, companies who had legislation before Sen. Kennedy were given the financial shake down.

    “Drug companies, hospitals, and insurance firms have helped to amass $20 million to finance a nonprofit educational institute in Boston that will honor Senator Edward M. Kennedy, using his career as a case study of a powerful senator.”

    Second of all.

    “A large military spending bill moving through Congress contains a little-noticed outlay for Boston that has nothing to do with national defense: $20 million for an educational institute honoring late Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts.”

    “The earmark, tucked into the defense bill at the request of Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts,”

    “The item is drawing fire from fiscal watchdog groups, who assert that military funds should not be raided to pay for an institution that has nothing to do with improving military readiness.”

    Somebody should be ashamed of this. Mr. Hoffman, was this something that President Obama missed as he went through line by line to get rid of unnecessary spending?

    Nay you’re right, I just made that up.

    • [Let’s look at tax cuts. The Reagan tax cuts increased revenues because the private economy grew. Until 2007, when Pelosi and Reid took over, most of the deficits during Bush’s years came from increased spending not tax cuts.]

      You’re astoundingly misinformed, Alan. Here’s a chart from the Heritage Foundation that shows the opposite.

      After Reagan’s initial tax cuts, which were the largest tax cuts in history, revenue dropped sharply. Reagan then passed the largest tax increases in history, at which time, revenues started growing again.

      Clinton raised taxes and there was enormous growth in revenue. The dot-com boom was also responsible.

      Bush pushed through huge tax cuts and revenues dropped dramatically immediately. The housing bubble resulted in increased revenues until the bubble burst.

      The rest of your post is irrelevant to the topic.

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