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. jmtoth

    This is just awful, I wonder what percent of the American people want this war to continue? For 60 years now we have been at some war, isn't it time to consider stepping away ? This is going to break the back of our country, you must see that we are in serious serious trouble, jobs are gone, people are standing in soup lines. Where are the brains of the politicians?

    November 24, 2009 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  2. quartrun

    pelosi never met a tax she didn't like – so the war is so expensive there needs to be another tax, but she's all for health care legislation that americans don't want and will cost a trillion – who voted this nut into office?

    November 24, 2009 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  3. Otto

    Tax the rich white republican elite. They are the ones who start wars, profit from war, scream the loudest about being weak when it comes to war (or get someone to scream for them), never actually serve in any war, never have any solution about ending war, never have any clear notion about what war is about or what the mission is and what the end will be, or what it will mean for us all as a nation.

    Republican, so called Christians, who are essentially well-to-does, put your money where your loud mouth is. Catholic bishops in your ivory towers, what do you think about all the soldiers and civilians who have died in Afghanistan? I don't hear a peep about illegal war, torture, death of millions of civilians dying, millions dying in our own country for lack of health care....

    War Tax bring it on but bring it on fairly, with justice. Let the tax except churches pay first, richest 2% next, those who net 500,000$ or more next and so on.


    November 24, 2009 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  4. TSOL

    NO NO NO. We couldn't afford the Iraq war, and we certainly can't afford the Afghanistan war!

    What benefit does the taxpayer see for these boondoggles? Safety? Come on!

    I have a better idea – if you want safety, then take some of this proposed money and train every American on how to use a gun, then issue them one. Let's see the terrorists they're 'keeping us safe from' come on over and start some crap then.

    Preposterous you say? Not as preposterous as this idea.

    Pull out of these needless wars and fund the things that are important. $1 trillion? That money could be used to solve the healthcare issues AND education issues we have in this country!

    Rome is burning, people – all while the Senators are building their mansions!

    November 24, 2009 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  5. Pam in TN

    With all do respect , Pelosi, John Murtha, Harry Reid, Barney Frank should all be impeached...They are worried about "unrest within their caucus" about funding the war, but have no thoughts on funding the health care plan they are shoving down our throats, or the trillions of dollars they have created in debt over the past several years.... I hope America wakes up a votes these jokers out in 2010....

    November 24, 2009 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  6. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    It is not a "war" it is an occupation, and the Afghan people hate us for that, for supporting a corrupt leadership, and for killing many thousands of them in order to "liberate" them. Don't tax us, end a pointless "war" that the Russians learned first was unwinnable. 34,000 MORE troops there is NOT the "Change" millions of Americans voted for.

    November 24, 2009 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  7. lisa m

    why do we have to pay for a war? i didn't start it, & neither did any other american. go in there and finish it. these people have been fighting in the name of "God" since time began. my pitiful tax donation is NOT going to change that! we are taxed to death as it is. furthermore, they are bad mouthing the credit card companies for "getting their money from the people who are paying to compensate for those who are not". what about those of us who are fortunate to have jobs paying for all this money they are spending. what is the difference? who the hell is pelosi? they are spending trillions of dollars, that we do not have, & wanting more! where does it end? the american people need to take a stand, & tell the pelosi's that enough is enough!

    November 24, 2009 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  8. Slight of Hand?

    "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."

    Impact they will have on domestic priorities? Hmmm. I don't know a lot about congressional budgeting, but her wording may imply that she wants taxpayers to help fund the war so that she can divert funds to domestic priorities. Somehow, I'm guessing she means the health care bill that isn't supposed to raise taxes. One could counter that she simply wants to cover the 34,000 troop surge in Afghanistan, but hasn't wartime spending always been outrageous?

    November 24, 2009 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  9. doug peters

    War Tax? Sure, I'll be happy to pay. AS SOON AS I CAN FIND A JOB IN THIS MISERABLE ECONOMY.

    November 24, 2009 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  10. steve Loudon, TN

    these creeps have absolutely NO concern for the safety of our troops who fight for us. ALL of us are protected by them, not just the wealthy. If there is a way to steal money by taxing, these thieves will do it. Have they no shame? that was retorical. David Obey, D-Wisc was heard to say that we need to be moderate in providing our troops with the means to win, "so we don't jeopardize the other things we are trying to do" I personally thought the most important thing we should be doing is giving our valiant troops the means to win or get the hell out.....And they refuse to call the terrorist attack at Fort Hood, a terror attack.......our leaders are duplicitous cowards.

    November 24, 2009 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  11. Christopher Schrubbe

    The American public has heard this all before with Lyndon Johnson. His great society plans were destroyed by the Vietnam Conflict and so it looks like the pattern is repeating once again. It was proven that the fall of South Vietnam did not cause the dominoes to fall or communism to spread all over the world. As with Southeast Asia, the fate of Afghanistan lies with it's own people. large amounts of American treasure and lives on the ground will not sway this fact. Hearts and minds failed in the past and it will not make a people fight when there is no national will to save themselves from oppressive groups like the Taliban. As Johnson was told about Vietnam, "we are all in or all out'. It looks like the pentagon and the president are taking a middle road that leads us to another failed military exercise.

    November 24, 2009 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  12. Last Honest Man

    Please, someone come up with answer to get rid of this woman.
    It sure isn't going to come from the idiot voters in California. I know I live with them. All Legal and moral suggestions will be seriously considered.

    November 24, 2009 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  13. Ed

    Another tax by Democrats... Perhaps if they would stop spending the country into OBLIVION??? Guess the old Tax and Spend Democrats are in charge once again, sorry, that's not the kind of change we need right now.

    November 24, 2009 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  14. Thomas

    This is one tax Dick Cheney will enjoy paying !

    Can't wait to see what the Tea Party freaks do with this !

    November 24, 2009 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  15. Jay

    If we cannot afford the(se) war(s), then we should end them.

    November 24, 2009 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  16. TCM

    keep on taxing
    pelosi...I want to make sure the country sees you for the fraud and idiot you are, and that they boot you in 2010....keep it up!

    November 24, 2009 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  17. ROBERT

    Make it manditory on all wars and increase it every year the war continues.
    That should keep wars as short as possible.

    November 24, 2009 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  18. Ben

    It is time to vote them ALL out. They just do not listen to the people they represent anymore. They all have been bought by cooperations with the exception of Ron Paul. The majority of the people do not even support this war and now their next "great idea" is a war tax. Did they forget we are in recession no matter how much they try to say were in recovery? Afganistan bankrupted Russia back in the 80's when they invaded and now our government is stuck on making sure we do the same. Voting them out is the only way your gonna bring real "change".

    November 24, 2009 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  19. Reatte

    If it walks TAX it if it breaths TAX it that is all these dumb people think I hate that our menand women are over seas fighting but to kill us here isn't going to help either there isn't much left out there to TAX but one day this party will open there eyes and see that they have no more to TAX hope everyone like the change that they are getting. Keep on taxing the rich and they will take there self some where beside the USA and the taxing machines in washington

    GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    be careful and not breath you may be TAX what they do best and the only thing they know how to do

    November 24, 2009 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  20. D. Kisting

    We simply cannot afford to be taxed over and over. After all, we have other obligations. They have to be met, as well. Where does the "great" Pelosi want us to find a surtax?

    November 24, 2009 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  21. DallasMarine

    Well, if politicians didn't get paid so well and live the entitled life they live, maybe we wouldn't have such a problem with lack of income. And if contractors weren't overpaid it wouldn't cost so much. Let's just abuse our troops sense of duty by saying anyone who oppose this is not a patriot. America the great indeed.

    November 24, 2009 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  22. farmerbrown

    How about let’s reduce spending by Congress rather than adding Taxes? How are Obama and the Democrats going to spin this new Tax against their promise "not to raise taxes on lower to middle income families"? I think it is time the public unite (Democrats, Republicans, Conservatives, all Americans!) in our opposition to Over Taxation. Let’s force Congress to fulfill their Fiduciary responsibilities as we expect Corporate American Leaders to do. We send Billions of US Dollars out of this Country every year to Countries who hate us and many of them use the money to fund terrorism against us. We should expect something in return for Foreign Aid. Didn’t we all learn as Children that you can’t Buy Friendship????

    November 24, 2009 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  23. Yuri

    Great, another tax! Didn't we have enough tax increases in CA this year?

    November 24, 2009 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  24. Major

    Did we learn nothing from the Russians?

    On a more serious note – graduated taxes don't really help. You can only rob Peter to pay Paul so many times. If you are going to levy a tax for everyone's benefit – try taxing them all the same.

    November 24, 2009 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  25. mh

    what kind of tax would she be against? she is a typical liberal!!!

    November 24, 2009 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
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