Monday, November 23, 2009

Sen. Carl Levin is The Real Deal

The Republican Party is staking its future on people like Sarah Palin for commonsense solutions to our nation's problems. Meanwhile, Democrats don't have to look any further than Sen. Carl Levin. This is his commonsense approach to paying for the war in Afghanistan.
Higher-income Americans should be taxed to pay for more troops sent to Afghanistan and NATO should provide half of the new soldiers, said Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

An “additional income tax to the upper brackets, folks earning more than $200,000 or $250,000” a year, could fund more troops...

White House Budget Director Peter Orszag has estimated that each additional soldier in Afghanistan could cost $1 million, for a total that could reach $40 billion if 40,000 more troops are added.

That cost, Levin said, should be paid by wealthier taxpayers. “They have done incredibly well, and I think that it’s important that we pay for it if we possibly can” instead of increasing the federal debt load, the senator said.
"Incredibly well" is an understatement. The Bush tax cuts cost almost $2.5 trillion over the decade after they were first enacted and 52.5 percent of the benefits are going to the richest 5 percent of taxpayers. And, of course, we can't forget the war profiteers cronies who made a killing off Iraq, i.e., Blackwater, Halliburton, KBR, etc.

Had the Bush administration showed some commonsense and opposed tax cuts to pay for increased defense spending, he wouldn't have squandered Clinton's surplus and left office with a record budget deficit of more than $1 trillion.

Traditionally during wartime, taxes have been raised to pay the costs of war, but Bush and the GOP had some grandiose idea that Iraq's oil would pay for the war. So, they drummed up a lie to get things started and proceeded to cut taxes for their rich cronies, leaving our country in economic shambles.

So kudos to Sen. Levin and his commonsense approach to paying for the Afghanistan War. Besides, if rich Republicans have to dig into their trust funds to pay for war, it's a pretty sure bet they won't be so quick to support it.

(Cross-posted at Blogging for MI.)

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