November 24th, 2009
07:52 PM ET
11 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. American

    Finally! Let's get real. No more war deficits. Pay as you go. If the war's worth fighting, then every American needs to contribute. There are plenty of American soldiers bravely shedding blood abroad for the "rest of us". It's time everyone had some skin in the game. Finally something I might agree with Pelosi about. We can spread the cost of Iraq and Afghanistan across the tax base and go from there.

    November 24, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  2. Peter

    Of course she's open to a tax on anything. This country's so-called political leadership is nothing of the sort. Throw all the bums out – PLEASE – for the sake of our country.

    November 24, 2009 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  3. Paul H

    Yet another tax. That's always the answer to any problem this very liberal administration can come up with. This is the most expensive Congress we have ever seen.
    And do you think a tax like that will ever go away after they implement it? NO because after we somehow end this war, there will be something else they can use this tax for, so the title will change, and the tax will remain.
    Go DEM's.

    November 24, 2009 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  4. Dale

    Pelosi would tax people that don't even have a job. This very sick person needs to be retired in 2010 and put into a rehab house.

    She is seriously mentally ill. look at her face when she talks.

    November 24, 2009 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  5. jim

    I wonder If she counting on all 500,000,000 Americans to foot the bill
    along with the health bill , the tarp and the cap & trade ? Is this also going to create job's.

    November 24, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  6. David

    So, we can afford trillions of dollars in bailouts, health insurance, and poor spending, but we can't afford to end a war that we started and ensure that the people in the country don't attack us again? We can't make certain that the price paid for this war in human lives is met with a successful victory?

    November 24, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  7. gary

    NO NO NO War Tax
    Get us out of this mess NOW.
    Revolution is what we need.

    November 24, 2009 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  8. Mike

    Didn't we leave England over taxation? Congress is out of control. Either congress needs to be replaced or states need to form coalitions and leave these united states.

    November 24, 2009 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  9. Phil

    War tax???? Wow whats next? A health care tax?????Soon we will be paying over 50% of our wages in taxes. Iam all for that. Life long democrat here, soon to be a born again Republican.
    Guess you know how ill vote in the next election.

    November 24, 2009 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  10. Cody

    It's funny to me that conservatives bash Pelosi as liberal when she is really one of them. Most people, I think, but certainly most "liberal" people want the war to end. It's not about how insanely expensive this war is (although that is, of course, a problem)... I don't give two flips if we only spend a penny a day on it. We shouldn't be there. If you want to help a country, that is what the UN is for. UNfortunately (heh) the UN is often useless on important matters because we are one of the 5 veto powers. So a lot of the time when the UN doesn't do anything, we have ourselves to thank for that.

    November 24, 2009 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  11. Jason G

    I'm all for it. Republicans have been saying we need to make sacrifices to support the war anyway, I wonder how many of them will put their money where their mouth is.

    November 24, 2009 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  12. tara

    to call it a WAR tax...don't we need to be at war? Lets quit sidestepping what we are doing and actually declare it a WAR...that way the men and women in service to thier country can get ALL the benefits that they deserve. And hopefull get the american people off thier sofa's and taking notice.

    November 24, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  13. jason

    I've pretty much voted democratic my whole life (36) years old, but i'm getting real tired on Pelosi. Tax this, tax that, it won't be long before we are paying 50 percent in taxes.
    Can we just let Mexico anex California or just please California vote this crazy lady out.

    November 24, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  14. SgtMike

    Should have started working on raising revenue back when this whole mess started in 2001, but Duhbya evidently thought wars didn't cost anything.
    Not sure about a tax, though; sounds like another "soak the rich" stunt. IMO, war bonds would be a better idea.

    November 24, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  15. democrackpipe

    Can we afford the facist takeover of healthcare, the auto industry, the banking industry, the food industry ? Mrs. Pelosi's disgusting rule comes to an end in less than a year with the 2010 elections. At that time America will be able to purge itself of the treasonous scum bags such a Pelosi and begin the difficult task of undoing everything that she has done.

    Mrs.Pelosi is the most corrupt Speaker in the history of America.

    November 24, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  16. Liberals are Hypocrites

    Well, of course Pelosi wants this tax. There's NO tax she doesn't like.

    November 24, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  17. xjraz

    It is so hard to read something like this and not get angry beyond words. I rarely post anything but this!! Here, our leaders want to impose a tax on the "wealthy" so I can pay for the protection of those who don't support our troops and have called the CIA "liars" and our Generals "Betrayors" and "Traitors" and now they want me to pay to keep them safe and protect them?? Who was paying for my protection all those years i worked my way up? It's stories like this that really make me feel like the country should be split in two – those that feel like we really are fighting a War, and those that believe terrorism is just a crime problem, the fight against which should be subsidized by the "wealthy"

    November 24, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  18. wagon

    Pelosi is beginning to look like the scary, crazy bag lady that Cheri Oteri used to play on SNL.

    November 24, 2009 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  19. Marty, Grand Rapids MI

    I'm not a big fan of adding more troops, but ....

    Yes! Finally. It's so easy for people to want to go to war when they don't have to send their kids and they don't have to pay for it. If these wars are so nessessary then we should all pay for them. Let me suggest a federal sales tax on non-essencial items (aka food, energy, housing and healthcare). How about starting the draft so we can sufficiently rotate our troops and give them a needed break?

    November 24, 2009 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  20. mike

    i honestly don't know what to say to this. these people are completely ridiculous human beings.

    November 24, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  21. democrackpipe

    For Gods sake take this photo down. It is causing millions upon millions of us to puke.

    November 24, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  22. Brad

    No. We don't want this war, I thought the only reason we went was to find Osama Bin Laden, and we didn't but we are still there 8 years later, I vote to bring our troops back home there is no reason for any more to die in that place, They are dying for our country, but for what?

    November 24, 2009 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  23. david thrall

    It is time that the American public do their fair share and help fund the war effort thru reasonable taxes. As a veteran I'm ready to step up and pay my portion.

    November 24, 2009 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  24. APV

    No bloody war tax. Just get out of there, now.

    November 24, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  25. A. Murray

    It is unconsionable for our government to commit its citizens and future generations to pay for any further military deployment, at a time when 1 in 4 homeowners' is financially underwater and can barely pay to keep their home (as reported in today's WSJ), let alone sending tens of thousands of combat troops to distant lands. We are collectively bankrupt, when the national debt, personal credit card and mortgage debt, and shortfalls in medical and social security funds, are attributed on a citizen by citizen basis. As a consequence, our sovereignty and global influence will progressively atrophy over the coming 1-2 decades, and developments in China, Brazil and Europe just in the past 2 weeks have already demonstrated that this "train has already left the station."

    November 24, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
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