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The Share Our Sacrifice Act of 2010

Continuing with the question of how Congress will meet the costs of escalation in Afghanistan, Matthew Yglesias flags this Politico piece reporting an initiative by House Democrats to place a one-percent surtax on “middle-class households earning between $30,000 and $150,000,” in addition to higher taxes on wealthier households. It has support not only from Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.), the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, but also from ethically challenged defense subcommittee chairman John Murtha (D-Penn.) and the financial services committee’s Barney Frank (D-Mass.). Here’s how Politico reports it’ll work:

The first bracket, which covers joint returns with a liability of up to $22,600, roughly corresponds with households earning up to $150,000. In this case a 1 percent surtax is levied so the maximum additional cost would be $226.

The second bracket applied to tax liability between $22,600 and $36,400 or roughly equivalent to joint returns for couples earning between $150,000 to $250,000, The third bracket applies to those earning over $250,000 with a tax liability of $36,400 or higher.

The rates in the second and third brackets would vary depending on how much needs to be raised to cover the prior year’s war expenditures. But as a rule, the added surtax above $250,000 would be twice the percentage added onto taxes incurred between $150,000 and $250,000.

So, basically, upper-middle-class families and more would be asked to pay for the war. Yglesias comments that it’s a “clear signal” from the House Democratic leadership that any “backbencher who feels like jumping on this bandwagon is safe to do so.”

What will the Republicans say? A new loyalty oath for GOP elected officials and candidates demands support for “military-recommended troop surges” but also for, of course, lower taxes, the catechism of the conservative movement. Which GOP impulse will prove to be stronger?

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