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. J Klein

    Any congressperson who thinks a War Tax is a good idea and claims once the war is over, the tax will be removed should take a look at the reason for creating our current Federal Income Tax. It was to pay for a World War, and was to be removed at the end of paying for that war...yet we are still paying the tax, just not for the war..

    Once a tax is instituted it is never removed, because there is always "something else to be paid for."

    A better idea than taxing everyone would be to reign in the pork barreling, and make sure that any group that received a bail out / TARP, etc be forced to pay it back WITH interest.

    November 24, 2009 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  2. Our representatives are on drugs...

    or at least should be. You had your fun Demoncrats and Republicants. We need term limits and no professional politicians!

    November 24, 2009 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  3. Mike

    The Democrats have failed to learn Bill Clinton's best message: It's the ECONOMY STUPID! A war tax, a health tax, a cap and trade tax, all of these are job killers. Why would anyone hire into that environment?

    November 24, 2009 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  4. Roger Jones

    Why dont they have a "Fool's" Tax and then Nancy Pelosi could pay the most!!!!!!!!

    November 24, 2009 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  5. Obama 2012!

    I wish there had been an explicit "IRAQ WAR TAX" item on people's paychecks before we invaded Iraq - then at least we would have seen more debate about the invasion plan! If most of America decided that invading Iraq was still worthwhile (because apparently the lack of a connection between 9/11 and Iraq didn't bother most people), then so be it. I just wish my fellow citizens took war with more seriousness, and maybe explicitly affecting their paychecks is the only way to make it real for some people. If that's the case, that would be sad, but I think measures to encourage more thought about the decision to go to war would be a good thing.

    November 24, 2009 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  6. oi

    evil Pelosi

    November 24, 2009 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  7. Matt

    How about this. Since Global Warming is a hoax and now proven so. Since that science is settled maybe we can re allocate all the money that was going to that and send it to our Troops.

    November 24, 2009 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  8. J Klein

    I also know that we are contracting out every little job that soldiers used to perform. The cooks are contractors, the electricians, and a whole lot more.

    Wouldn't it be a lot cheaper for our own soldiers to perform these functions, instead of being limited to combat only. I know the cooks in my unit 20 years ago were pretty good at what they did. and a whole lot better than the contractors. But I am sure the contracts have some political bases that has noting to do with the security of our soldiers.

    More way!

    November 24, 2009 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  9. bsmith171

    great idea.

    put it ONLY on people who support this war!

    same with healthcare.
    if you want healthcare you pay.

    if not you don't.

    November 24, 2009 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  10. John Chachas

    Mrs. Pelosi's House has been the most irresponsible spending machine in the country's history. In the upcoming 2010 budget, try to find a significant program that actually was REDUCED in the upcoming year relative to what was spent in 2009. You won't be able to find one. In short, this is a Speaker who thinks there is a printing press that can pump out greenbacks or simply deficit finance this absurd spending spree she's been on since arriving in the job. Harry Reid is now the Senate "Enabler" who will alter long-standing Senate procedures in order to pass expensive deficit-financed spending programs not by the traditional 60 votes needed on the Senate Floor to override a fillibuster but using a 51 majority in reconciliation...something rarely done before on major legislation in the U.S. Senate.

    The damage inflicted on the nationa's balance sheet by Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid's will be felt for years - maybe decades - to come.

    November 24, 2009 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  11. Ken

    Dear Ms. Pelosi –

    You site "serious unrest in our Caucus about can we afford this war?' I would be much more concerned with taxpayer unrest and revolt should you do something as stupid as invoke a war tax.

    I would ask if you've lost your mind, but you can't lose something you never had...

    November 24, 2009 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  12. Hate Republicans

    wealthy Republicans should have a 95% tax rate for what they did to America

    November 24, 2009 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  13. Flipper

    Pelosi open to a tax? Is that supposed to be a surprise or something? OF COURSE she's open to a tax.....I wish she was open to fiscal discipline and making some sort of serious attempt to balance the budget.

    November 24, 2009 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  14. Randi L.

    If Republicans want endless war at unlimited cost, then they should all support this "war tax". Any congressman who supports war but won't pay for it is a hypocrite unfit for office.

    November 24, 2009 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  15. Ohio D

    But you think we can afford your health care plan???

    November 24, 2009 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  16. Jeff

    Can we link funding for abortion in the healthcare bill to the war tax? No dead babies, no dead soldiers. Seems like a fair trade to me.

    November 24, 2009 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  17. Houston

    I personally would have no problem paying this tax if it gives an exemption for anyone who can claim a veteran's preference. However, this is a stunt by the House Democrats in an attempt to steer public outcry to an issue other than health care. It probably won't work due to President Obama's new Afghanistan policy though.

    November 24, 2009 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  18. Nick

    How about a useful tax... make everybody pay $100 to fund the effort to get Pelosi and her ilk kicked out of office.

    November 24, 2009 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  19. Milton Hall

    Just look at her. She's as crazy as a loon. When you vote for her, remember that she's never met a tax she didn't like.

    November 24, 2009 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  20. Wesley Pittman

    This sounds like King George when he ordered us to pay for the taxes of the Revolutionary War and we poured the tea down the ship into the bay in Boston. We will not pay any taxes on a war that the Democrats want us to have.

    November 24, 2009 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  21. Glad to see the Dems.....

    fighting amongst themselves.......this leaves us with hope that Obamacare will fall apart along with all of their other socialist plans....
    gonna love watching it all fall apart....

    Sarah Palin/Liz Cheney 2012'

    November 24, 2009 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  22. freebird

    Pelosi is worried about the cost of the war yet while the majority of us oppose the health care bill she doesn't have a concern over that.
    I hope California wakes up and gives her the boot. We need a leader in the house and it sure isn't Pelosi.

    November 24, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  23. jean

    The taxpayers cannot afford another tax hike to pay for this war.We barely make ends meet as it is.Let the turkeys who started this war and is keeping it going pay for it.After all they have much more money than the average taxpayer.If taxes are raised how much of the cost of the war will have PORK added to it,afterall the health insurance has pork that we taxpayers will have to pay for.Why cant the politicans for once just be honest and do what is right for the country instead of lining their pockets?

    November 24, 2009 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  24. joe pannunzio

    War tax, when will it end. We do not want this war why should we pay for it.. End the war now because there is never going to be true end.
    Do you remember Vietnam

    November 24, 2009 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  25. Rick Decker

    Where is your heart, where is your head. The people of the United States of America do NOT want this war. You betray your constituency and all peace-loving Americans.

    Worse yet, you're a woman. I would think you would know better.


    November 24, 2009 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
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