Thursday, June 21, 2012

War and Taxes

Senator Patrick Leahy and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta finally discuss the problem that has been bugging me for a decade, the way we launched the Iraq and Afghanistan wars while simultaneously cutting taxes.

What would be the impact of going to war again without committing to pay for that war with up-front taxes, something we did not do in either Iraq or Afghanistan, for the first time in the history of the country?
We basically ran that war [Iraq] on a credit card. Now we find people who are calling for more military action in other parts of the world; at the same time, they do not want to consider any way of paying for it. . . .  Obviously, if we repeated the mistake of not paying for the war that we decide to engage in, whatever that might be, the results would be that you would simply add more to the deficit and to the debt of this country for the future. You just put that burden on our kids for the future. All of us bear some responsibility to pay those costs if we’re willing to engage in war.
Any authorization of force against Syria or Iran ought to include a mechanism for raising taxes to pay for the war.  How many Republicans would vote for it then?

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