Not Feeling These Wars

Wednesday, January 9, 2013
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The real “fiscal cliff” is the approximately $2 billion a week that we keep throwing at these occupations of foreign lands (some people call them “wars”) and the debt keeps discreetly piling up on our country’s credit card. Body bags are still coming home but they arrive in the middle of the night at Andrews AFB so as not to upset the populace which has stopped paying attention. Except for the families of dead soldiers, no one is feeling it. My solution: Start making people feel it. I’d propose slapping a $100 monthly “war tax” on everyone’s paycheck. These wars would stop posthaste.


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The US is in approx. 200 countries out of the just under 300 that exist. We're going to be like so big and powerful and eventually couldn't keep up with the pricetag of defending those conquered areas. We will eventually collapse.

Muggy (anonymous profile)
January 9, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Even better send the peops who want to fight it over and let everyone else be.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 9, 2013 at 4:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You've got such a sunny outlook, Muggy! But on this one, I tend to agree with you. I think it's more like 70 countries, though: check out the books by Chalmers Johnson (BLOWBACK and others). However, unlike the Roman Empire, we do employ "soft power" pretty effectively, and of course our drones are just killing machines, knocking out around 4000 people in Pakistan/Afghanistan...but utterly enraging around 40 - 50,000,000 others and creating tremendous "blowback" against our empire...and many more recruits for the Taliban and the remnants of Al Qaeda. THIS is our government out of control, violating our rule of law...none of these people have been convicted in the court of law.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
January 9, 2013 at 5:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Mr. Bellamar: Do you think the people would see the irony of such a tax?

You have more faith in the American voters than I do.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
January 10, 2013 at 5 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The thought of an explicit "war tax" is interesting. I have never had to pay such a tax, although earlier generations of my family have.

I found this interesting article which includes research data from Robert Hormats, author of the book, "The Price of Liberty":

- The first Federal Income Tax was raised to pay for the Civil War.

- Most US wars have been funded by additional war taxes.

- 25% of Civil War costs paid by war taxes.

- 33% of WWI costs paid by war taxes.

- 33% of WWI costs paid by war taxes.

- 45% of WWII costs paid by war taxes.

- 0% Iraq war costs paid by war taxes.

George Bush was pretty clever in that regard ... the only US President who didn't raise taxes to pay for a war started on his watch.

I suppose we're still paying for it today, but not sure what we got in return.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
January 10, 2013 at 12:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

While I'm not an isolationist, I'm with all of you that want us to scale down our occupation and presence. Let's start by making the draft MANDATORY for any war or police action; we'll see how many people want another Bush or Obama to kill our kids if that kid is our own flesh and blood.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
January 10, 2013 at 7:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)


I'd bet you're not a fan of Michael Moore, but have you seen Fahrenheit 9/11? It's very slanted, even considering Moore's political leanings, but he somewhat addresses this idea in the "documentary".

In one part, he takes some military applications with him to give to--I think they were congressmen--to have their children sign up. He pretty much got blown off, I think his point was parallel to yours--with the elimination of the draft, the children of those "in power" were protected from going to any war/conflict/police action.

equus_posteriori (anonymous profile)
January 15, 2013 at 10:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@EB - George Bush was clever in two regards as far as the war goes. Not only did he just tack on the cost to the national debt, he avoided instituting a draft by using the national guard and requiring successive tours of duty for those already in uniform.

Nothing would have soured public opinion on the wars faster than higher taxes and the return of the draft. If he actually had to pay for it and draft people, the war may have been much shorter or never have even started.

Botany (anonymous profile)
January 15, 2013 at 11:13 a.m. (Suggest removal)

War is swell?

Adonis_Tate (anonymous profile)
January 16, 2013 at 2:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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