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Larson: In Defense of That War Surtax

Republicans are fuming at the thought, and some Democrats say it can’t pass in this stormy economic climate, but Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) today told CNN that a proposed war surtax is simply the fiscally responsible way to share the sacrifice of the country’s ongoing wars.

The only people we’re asking to sacrifice in this war effort have been the men and women who serve our armed services and do so valiantly. They deserve the same kind of commitment here at home from citizens.

The Democrats’ plan, sponsored by House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.), would apply a 1 percent tax to most Americans. At the discretion of the White House, those earning more than $150,000 per year could be taxed at a higher rate. Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars would be exempt, as would those who have lost family members in either conflict.

Larson says the bill would reverse the current congressional trend of heaping the financial burdens of Congress’s unfunded initiatives on future generations.

“We didn’t pay for the Bush tax cuts,” Larson said. “We didn’t pay for this war. We didn’t pay for the bailout of Wall Street and look at the problems that we found ourselves in.”

He forgot to mention that, just a few weeks ago, the Democrats passed a $210 billion proposal to hike Medicare payments to doctors — a bill that is unfunded.

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