President Bush Breaks 150-Year Tradition Of Wartime Taxes


President Bush Breaks 150-Year Tradition Of Wartime Taxes
by Jacob Cherian

Washington, D.C. (AHN) – Though it was once thought to be a patriotic act to pay increased taxes during wartime, the Iraq war is the only conflict aside from the 1846-48 Mexican-American War, in which U.S. citizens have not been requested to make extra financial sacrifice.

The fact remains that President Bush does not like tax increases, although the cost of operations involving the conflict in Iraq far exceeds estimates – and more troops are to be deployed soon.

Elliot Brownlee, an economic historian retired from the University of California, Santa Barbara told Bloomberg, “It’s a reflection of either a lack of public support for the war or perhaps an unwillingness of the Bush administration” to test its popularity.

The Bush administration decided to take an alternate route, borrowing money for the fight in Iraq…


Arizona Republican Senator John McCain said he’s “not averse to asking for more sacrifice,” he does not support a tax increase.

McCain, who supports Bush’s troop buildup and a potential presidential candidate in 2008 told Bloomberg News in an interview last week, “I’m not sure what the point would be.”

He added, “I would ask them to make other sacrifices, but I’m not sure I would want to raise their taxes just because we’re in a war.” 

Skeptics of the plan say borrowing money pushes the cost to future taxpayers who will end up paying it back with interest.

Judd Gregg, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee said, “(The war) is being fought on our children’s shoulders. You’re probably talking about around $750 billion that is going to be spent on this war that will end up not being funded.”

The cost in Iraq is escalating at an alarming rate and is now tagged at $8 billion dollars a month, according to the independent Iraq Study Group’s estimates in December.

That figure emerges from spending on the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, projected at $170 billion for fiscal year 2007, edging the war on terror higher to more than $600 billion.

The study group said, the final tally could reach $2 trillion – if caring for the disabled veterans and replacing military equipment is included.

Alarmingly, that amount is more than 30 times, what the White House estimated before the 2003 invasion, reports Bloomberg.


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