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Thursday, September 23, 2004

Time for a War Tax

Ever since the Iraq debacle began, we've been assured by the administration and Iraq provisional authorities that the media refuses to cover the "good news" about Iraq--all the hospitals that have been built, all the glorious schools, etc.

Let's give them the benefit of the doubt...Let's assume that the media is only covering the bad news about Iraq--let's assume that things are much, much better than they seem. Forget the past--although the neocons predicted the war would be over in weeks, although Bush believed the mission was accomplished 900 casualties ago, and although presumptions of victory after the capture of Saddam Hussein were premature, we should all assume that the administration is correct in assuring us that freedom is on the march.

Because the war will soon be over, our conservative friends should be willing to accept my proposal:

A war tax to finance the war in Iraq.

If the war ends tomorrow, the tax will amount to approximately 300 dollars per household if you divide the current cost of the war by the current population. Military families would be exempt from this tax, so the figure might be a bit closer to 300 dollars. All the same, I think most conservatives would agree that's a small price to pay if we consider that we've (presumedly) ridded the world of an evil dictator and brought freedom to 30 million people.

Adopting a war tax would enable our leaders to appeal directly to the cause at hand, thereby eliminating red tape and bureaucratic hangups--and don't the soldiers deserve a more streamlined prosecution of the war effort?

In addition, we would pay for the war right now rather than stretching out the payments over time...After all, I don't remember our creditors offering us 0% financing on the war.

Of course, one couldn't deny the therapeutic benefits of being able to see the connection between one's pocketbook and the war effort. Why the next time some greasy, long-haired liberal denounces a fifty-ish conservative as a chickenhawk, they could show them their tax receipts and ask:

"So how much money did your taxes contribute to the war?"

We could even have a little checkbox on 1040s that ask "Would you like to contribute a portion of your Bush Tax Cut to the War"? To sweeten the pot a bit, contributions to the war tax could be deductible from other taxes for superfluous things like public education, roads, and Medicare.
Now I realize that there might be some naysayers out there who question whether our conservative brethren are truly willing to face up to the true cost of war, but I'm sure that brave, patriotic countrymen and women will soon rise to the challenge.

There you have it. An equitable, commonsense solution to financing and winning the Iraq War brought to you by the Shameless Antagonist Institute. Our think tank is still working out the kinks in the proposal, so if any of you could help fine-tune the cost/citizen ratio or offer any other feedback, we'd appreciate hearing from you.

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