My proposed war tax would consist of up to a five percentage point increase of the income tax rate for the second highest tax bracket and up to a ten percentage point increase for the highest tax bracket in the event of the United States going to war with another country or becoming involved in a war within another country.
The United States would be considered at war with or within another country if either of the following conditions are met:
- Three or more American military personnel or mercenary forces are killed within that country for three consecutive months.
- Ten or more people are killed by American military personnel or by American mercenary forces or by any group at war within that country to which the U.S. Government is supplying weapons or by U.S. drones for three consecutive months.
The exact amount of the tax increase would depend on the cost of the war. The current drone war is not costing nearly as much as either the Iraq or Afghanistan wars so the tax increase needed to pay for that drone war would not be anywhere near the five or ten percentage points. If the five and ten percentage point increases are not enough to pay for the war then the increases would remain in place until the war is completely paid for.
Now, why the definition of a war? Think back to the beginning of the Iraq war. George Bush would never have agreed to a tax increase on the rich under any conditions so he would have come up with some explanation, no matter how ridiculous, as to why our invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq was not a war. Even with a definition of a war you still would have to depend on honest accounting by whatever administration is in power of the cost of the war both in terms of casualties and dollars.
The poor and middle class of the United States are already paying for our wars with the blood and lives of their children, fathers, mothers, etc. The rich are the ones pushing the most to get us into these wars, so let the rich pay for these wars with their gold.
One more thing, I think you can make a case for applying such a tax increase for as long as necessary to pay for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the entire cost both of which were put on the good old U.S. credit card without a peep out of those folks who love to complain about government deficits.
First of all I want to explain in more detail how the tax would work. Consider the Afghanistan war. After 9/11 George Bush sent troops into Afghanistan, a move which I agree with. At the end of the fiscal year the government would calculate the exact amount of the tax increase on the top two brackets, maintaining the two to one ratio, based on how much the war had cost in the previous year and the estimated tax revenues from the top two brackets. The five and ten percentage point amounts represent the maximum increase for any year.
I also want to add that I believe this proposed war tax, if implemented, would greatly reduce the likelihood that the U.S. would get into another unnecessary war. If the rich knew, in advance, that they would have to pay for the war they would work very hard to keep us out of that war.
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