Rep. Obey warns of 'war surtax' if Obama sends troops to Afghanistan

Would you pay more in taxes if it meant that General McChrystal could get the troops he needed to effectively prosecute  the war in Afghanistan?

Democrat David Obey (WI), chairman of the tax writing Appropriations Committee, thinks you should. And he is threatening the president with a tax increase if Obama sends additional troops to Afghanistan.

Jonathan Karl of ABC News has the story:

"There ain't going to be no money for nothing if we pour it all into Afghanistan," House Appropriations Chairman David Obey told ABC News in an exclusive interview. "If they ask for an increased troop commitment in Afghanistan, I am going to ask them to pay for it."

Obey, a Democrat from Wisconsin, made it clear that he is absolutely opposed to sending any more U.S. troops to Afghanistan and says if Obama decides to do that, he'll demand a new tax -- what he calls a "war surtax" -- to pay for it.

"On the merits, I think it is a mistake to deepen our involvement," Obey said. "But if we are going to do that, then at least we ought to pay for it. Because if we don't, if we don't pay for it, the cost of the Afghan war will wipe out every initiative we have to rebuild our own economy.

Of course, those "initiatives" include wildly expensive programs like cap and trade as well as the probability of another stimulus bill, not to mention national health care. Perhaps if Obey and Obama abandoned those budget busters, he wouldn't have to tax us in order to save the situation in Afghanistan.

Obey's skewed priorities hides the desire of most Democrats to pull our troops out of Afghanistan now, and leave the fledgling Afghan government to the tender mercies of the Taliban. Such cynicism will be rewarded by Obama eventually. In the meantime, Obey's idea of a war surtax will probably not get very far unless Obama himself embraces it.

Given the Mount Everest of debt he has already piled on, the president may just go for it.


Would you pay more in taxes if it meant that General McChrystal could get the troops he needed to effectively prosecute  the war in Afghanistan?

Democrat David Obey (WI), chairman of the tax writing Appropriations Committee, thinks you should. And he is threatening the president with a tax increase if Obama sends additional troops to Afghanistan.

Jonathan Karl of ABC News has the story:

"There ain't going to be no money for nothing if we pour it all into Afghanistan," House Appropriations Chairman David Obey told ABC News in an exclusive interview. "If they ask for an increased troop commitment in Afghanistan, I am going to ask them to pay for it."

Obey, a Democrat from Wisconsin, made it clear that he is absolutely opposed to sending any more U.S. troops to Afghanistan and says if Obama decides to do that, he'll demand a new tax -- what he calls a "war surtax" -- to pay for it.

"On the merits, I think it is a mistake to deepen our involvement," Obey said. "But if we are going to do that, then at least we ought to pay for it. Because if we don't, if we don't pay for it, the cost of the Afghan war will wipe out every initiative we have to rebuild our own economy.

Of course, those "initiatives" include wildly expensive programs like cap and trade as well as the probability of another stimulus bill, not to mention national health care. Perhaps if Obey and Obama abandoned those budget busters, he wouldn't have to tax us in order to save the situation in Afghanistan.

Obey's skewed priorities hides the desire of most Democrats to pull our troops out of Afghanistan now, and leave the fledgling Afghan government to the tender mercies of the Taliban. Such cynicism will be rewarded by Obama eventually. In the meantime, Obey's idea of a war surtax will probably not get very far unless Obama himself embraces it.

Given the Mount Everest of debt he has already piled on, the president may just go for it.


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