Carl Levin Calls Calls For Tax on Upper-Income Earners to Pay for War

Senator Carl Levin of Michigan has suggested a tax on upper-income earners to pay for more troops for the war in Afghanistan. I suspect he did not note how the Democrats lost many independent voters in this year’s elections. Certainly there are many reasons why the elections are not predictive of future results, but taking a stereotypical Democratic stand of soaking the rich for everything will not help matters.

There’s no doubt that under Bush the rich were given especially favorable treatment which should be corrected. That does not mean that taxing the rich should be the answer for everything. If the government should be doing something, the cost should be spread out among all the citizens (obviously with continuation of limitations on taxes for the poor who cannot afford them).

Whether we should remain in Afghanistan is certainly debatable. If we stay, the cost should be spread among everyone. Similarly I’ve argued that health care reform is something which is beneficial for the entire country and should also be financed with a broad-based tax. Sooner or later Americans must consider government spending like adults and consider whether a program is worth spending money on. The knee-jerk opposition to any government spending by conservatives (unless it involves invading another country or torture) is a nonsensical viewpoint which Democrats should not continue to reinforce.

There would be some satisfaction if, as Ron Beasley suggests, the cost for such wars could be shifted to their rich neoconservative supporters like Bill Kristol and Fred Barnes. On the other hand increased taxes on those making $200,000 a year as Levin suggests will also affect many people who have recently begun voting Democratic.

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