November 24th, 2009
07:52 PM ET
13 years ago

Pelosi keeps door open on war tax

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Speaker Pelosi said Tuesday that 'there is serious unrest' in the House Democratic Caucus over funding the Afghanistan war."]
Washington (CNN) - Speaker Nancy Pelosi kept the door open Tuesday to a proposal by several senior House Democrats to impose a graduated surtax on American taxpayers to finance the war in Afghanistan.

While Pelosi wasn't pressed about the details of the new war tax, she pointed to strong reservations among Congressional Democrats about the costs of the war during a conference call Tuesday with several economic writers and bloggers.

"But let me say that there is serious unrest in our Caucus about can we afford this war?" Pelosi said.

Two years ago when House Appropriations Chairman David Obey, D-Wisconsin, floated a similar war tax to pay for the war in Iraq, Pelosi quickly rejected it. But on Tuesday Pelosi said the costs of the war and the impact they will have on other domestic priorities should be part of the discussion over U.S. strategy in Afghanistan.

In addition to Obey, several senior Democrats close to Pelosi have signed on as co-sponsors of the "Share the Sacrifice Act." These include Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Murtha, D-Pennsylvania, Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel, D-New York, Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, D-Massachusetts, and the third ranking House Democrat John Larson, D-Connecticut. Obey projects that an escalation of significantly more U.S. troops to Afghanistan will cost about $1 trillion over the next ten years.

Filed under: Afghanistan • Democrats • Extra • House • Nancy Pelosi • Popular Posts
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Independent in NC

    Awesome. You can start by giving back the $4700 pay raise you all gave yourselves this year. There's 2.5 million right there. Share the sacrifice, Nancy.

    November 25, 2009 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  2. Merritt

    And we can't afford universal healthcare. I don't know about you all, but raising taxes for healthcare seems a lot more worthy a cause by comparison.

    November 25, 2009 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  3. Karen

    So, this will be imposed on everyone? Even to all the current military, retirees and those who have served in uniform in other sections of the military? Not only do I need to send a loved on to war or have him or her serve, I have to pay taxes to do so? I hope this does not pass because it is ridiculous.

    November 25, 2009 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  4. Jeff

    Better yet, how about we end the war in Afghanistan? This is just what we need in the US especially during a slumping economy, another tax.

    November 25, 2009 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  5. Malcom

    Wow another tax from Democrats. Surprise surprise. Maybe if they scrapped their outrageous health care debacle and capped their cap and trade and stopped bailing out companies b/c "their to big to fail" we'd be able to pay for a war which is necessary. One which if we fail to follow through on will only lead to disaster, a resurgent Taliban and further open this country and our allies to terrorist attacks. Democrats think we middle class have money trees in our backyard that we can just go to when ever Democrats feel like being whimsical and further expanding our federal gov't.

    November 25, 2009 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  6. USAF Veteran

    Just end the stinkin war already

    November 25, 2009 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  7. Jamey Columbus

    How about a waste of money pork stimulus tax? on California..
    I dunno maybe?

    November 25, 2009 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  8. Bob

    Don't send more troops. Bring ALL OUR TROOPS home, NOW...


    November 25, 2009 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  9. rjt

    hey pelosi..instead of always proposing new taxes for everything how about just pay for it by eliminating completely wasteful porkbarrel spending on everything and anything you are pushing.

    November 25, 2009 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  10. Anonymous

    Quit spending on unneccesary programs, pork projects and un-needed trips for politician

    November 25, 2009 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  11. Sean

    Of course, we pay more taxes to support our national defense so we can provide health care to people who pay no taxes. How about the people of this country who can afford cellphones, cable, and new cars "share the sacrifice" and buy their own health insurance instead of making me pay for it.

    November 25, 2009 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  12. Keith Wills

    The solution to everything to Nancy is tax the rich. Redistribution of wealth is a socialist principle. I wonder if she would be willing to set her salary to be the same as a teacher or about $40,000 per year and then live off of that to show that her wealth is not necessary? I wonder if she would sell everything she owns (because wealth is "evil") and put it toward the national debt she has helped create? I doubt it. Count up all the different taxes we pay now and there is little left. Time to say NO to spending Nancy.

    November 25, 2009 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  13. Liz

    Pislosi how much more do you think the people of this country are goiing to take. What else are you going to tax – the air we breathe. Get a clue. Quit all the spending especially on pork and maybe this country can see an end to debt. You have decided not to give Cola to seniors for the next few years but you all got an increase. THATS FAIR ISNT IS. Hope it wont be too long before you will no longer be Speaker of the House along with a lot of other Democrats who have no backbones

    November 25, 2009 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  14. Mike H.

    What? Someone in Washington endorses the idea of having us PAY for war? I hope the "war tax" passes. I'm curious to see how many chicken-hawk Republicans will continue to support the war. I'm thinking that it won't be too many.... I reckon Americans, when faced with a direct financial stake in the war, will demand that we get our troops out.

    November 25, 2009 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  15. Eric

    Why should the American taxpayers be taxed again, and repeatedly, for a war whose true intentions- and benefits- are not clearly defined or understood, nearly 8 years in?

    If you poll the average American, you would find that the perception is that we (American government) went into Iraq- under false pretenses presented by a true American hero who was lied to- to secure oil.

    Afghanistan, ostensibly, was about capturing the leader of Al Queda and establishing yet another democracy. While I agree that life for the Afghan people was miserable under the Taliban rule and that human rights were squashed on a regular basis, what is the real and tangible benefit to Americans?

    I think before Pelosi and/or the Senate proposes yet another tax on an already depressed American society, intentions and expected results be presented to in an understandable manner and agreed upon by the American people- the ones already paying for something we don't understand.

    November 25, 2009 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  16. Nea

    To me debt is debt The Republicans is worried so much about the debt so they say, isnt war a debt too? so its ok to spend money on a war but its a disgrace when it comes to health care and other issues at home we are spending too much. And then they complain about the economy getting no better so the Republicans say well they still have their jobs dont they if it was going so bad then why havent they lost their jobs and their homes and their health care.

    November 25, 2009 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  17. Steve in Kentucky

    Yeah. Let's see where all these fiscally concerned hawkish Republicofacists are on this one!

    I'll bet not a single one of them will stand up and pay for a war that was mismanaged under a blank check by the Bush administration for eight years and now Obama has to fix.

    The Republicofacists are only concerned about spending money for health care for Americans. But when it comes to throwing it away killing people completely around the globe, there's no problem.

    November 25, 2009 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  18. Rick

    A war tax is essential. It is immoral for us to wage war and pass the cost on to our children. We are stealing from future generations.

    November 25, 2009 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  19. Tony Hood

    Nancy Pelosi,

    What ever happened to pulling troops out of Afghanistan like Obama promised?? Oh.. and shuttin down Gitmo?? How about creating new jobs?? How about all the stimulus money? How typical of Democrats to move on to other "issues" such as taxing the middle class without delivering on what got your boss elected.

    Maybe we should just tax you and the morons who spent all the stimulus money ( 400+ million ) on their special interests and pork projects instead of where iit might really help.

    p.s. Tell Obama to stop apologizing to every foreign country and start apologizing to Americans for not living up to his promises.

    Note to Pelosi: Fix your screwed up state ( CA ) first before you ruin America. We all see how well that state's economy is the envy of the U.S .. NOT!!

    November 25, 2009 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  20. Frank

    "...can we afford this war?"

    Can we afford to not fight this war?

    I realize it has been a long eight years, but have we already forgotten that the al Qaeda terrorists that attacked our country on 9/11 (and on repeated occassions prior to this) were provided free reign and protection within Taliban-ruled Afganistan? Can we afford to return to this?

    We cannot reason with extremists
    We cannot debate with extremists
    We cannot impose sanctions on extremists

    We are faced with a simple choice...take the war to the extremists or allow them to take it to us. Which can we afford Speaker Pelosi?

    Perhaps it does not fit into your political agenda, but how well do you think your government sponsored universal health care plan will cope with the mass casualties of another 9/11 or worse?

    November 25, 2009 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  21. Dan

    Pelosi's new tax won't work. Obama said he wouldn't raise taxes and you can't tax 10% of the used to be working, who the Dems. put on the unemployment line.

    Let's see, steal from the seniors to pay for Pelosi, Reid and Obamacare.

    Ignore the voter, threat them as the huddled masses they are and do what we want because we are so much more intelligent than they.

    Nov. 2010 elections will be the ignorant huddled masses opportunity to remove dems.

    November 25, 2009 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  22. Bruce

    Gee, why not? She's already going to tax the heck out of us for her failed healthcare plan. Geez....she is a complete lunatic. good thing she wasn't around during WWII or we'd all be doing the Hitler salute.

    November 25, 2009 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  23. Dog Bite It

    She would tax any thing.
    She is very dumb selfserving goverment employee.
    Takeing away from those who make this country great will soon distroy our country. She wants to make Subjects out of us.
    Down with this kind of action.
    Let free enterprise take its course.
    Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

    November 25, 2009 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  24. Constitutionalist

    "But let me say that there is serious unrest in our Caucus about can we afford this war?" Pelosi said.

    Yes but they never have any serious unrests in their Caucus about can we afford the OBAMACARE! Or how about CAP AND TAX! or CASH FOR CLUNKERS! Or any of the bullcrap they've been trying to pull off.

    If I trusted you Mrs Pelosi I would pay 99% of my income as tax to go towards supporting our troops. But I don't trust you, or your union thugs. So you're not getting a DIME!

    November 25, 2009 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  25. Mike in Green Bay

    Seriously. How out of touch are our politicians? Wars not supported by the public, dubious bailouts not supported by the public, stimulus package (s) of questionable economic benefit. A health care bill barely supported by the majority of citizens. New taxes, increased deficit spending to record levels, political corruption in both parties. Now Pelosi wants to tax us all for a war, no wait, she won't tax everyone, just some of us. Please, can't we do better than these clowns? Where is the political middle?

    November 25, 2009 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
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