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A Tax Increase for What?

By       Message David Model       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink

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Surprises have become a relic in Washington and particularly after the Presidency of George Bush and the appearance on the scene of a very rare bird, Sarah Palin, next to whom Bush almost seems intelligent, knowledgeable and wise. But the proposal by Rep. David Obey's, D-Wis, Chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee and Sen. Carl Levin's, D-Mich., Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, call for a war tax to pay for any increase in troop deployment in Afghanistan at least raised my eyebrows.

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Politicians are horrified and apprehensive by the thought of supporting a tax increase yet here are two powerful members of the House and Senate proposing a war tax which they openly admit will primarily affect the wealthy.

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One might be tempted to applaud the audacity and courage of two members of Congress ostensibly risking their political careers for a new tax on the rich. The eye-brow lifting idiosyncrasy of this proposal is that the new taxes will be imposed to fund a war. Is war the only cause worthy of a tax increase and in particular, a war that is both illegal according to international law (Geneva Conventions, Convention on Torture etc.) and the constitution of the United States?

To my knowledge, not a single politician uttered a single word about tax increases to fund healthcare for the purpose of expanding its universality and affordability. Not a single politician uttered a single word about a tax increase to alleviate the hardships of the poor, unemployed, or homeowners. Not a whisper of a tax increase for reducing greenhouse gases or developing alternate forms of energy was audible in the hallowed halls of Congress.

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These two members of Congress have clarified beyond any reasonable doubt that the priorities of Washington are in the category of "none of the above". It would appear that at least two of its priorities are banks and war given the huge bailout and the unspeakably obscene amount of money spent on wars since 9/11.

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I have been a professor of political science at Seneca College in Toronto. I have published five books the last of which "Selling Out: Consuming Ourselves to Death" was released in May/08. As well, I have been featured in CounterPunch, Z (more...)

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