Congressman David Obey, Afghanistan And Domestic Reform

Long time Wisconsin Democratic Congressman David Obey, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, has called upon the President to ask for a war surtax if he intends to escalate the war in Afghanistan.

His argument is that the Afghan War will cost $40 billion more per year if we send 40,000 more troops there, which is the proposal of General Stanley McChrystal being considered by President Obama. Obey says we cannot afford that cost, and that it will destroy the entire domestic reform agenda of the President, as we cannot sustain escalating the war and also pursue domestic change.

So Obey suggests that it is time for us to pay for an escalation of the war by taxing the American people, instead of just the troops sacrificing their lives, and taxpayers not having the responsibility as in past wars to pay taxes as their sacrifice for the war.

I think David Obey is absolutely correct in his statements. If we as a people are for this war, then let’s pay the taxes for it, instead of just waving the flag but otherwise making no sacrifice for the war we supposedly believe in.

Of course, a better answer is get out of this war and promote the domestic agenda. Isn’t it interesting how Republicans have no issue with spending for the war, but tell us we cannot afford a domestic reform agenda? However, is this really new, or just the old GOP hypocrisy about government spending?

Let’s remember that most of our national debt is due to militarism and war, not domestic reform, and that most of the national debt occurred under Presidents Reagan and Bush II. And yet the GOP has the gall to claim that the Democrats are the big spenders!

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