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War tax? Why stop there?

November 25, 2009

Kay Bell reports that some congresscritters are pushing a surtax to allegedly cover the war, with the catchy slogan "pay as you fight." Joseph Thorndike flogs the idea at Tax.com. The TaxProf rounds up the coverage.

Of course cash is fungible, and the "war tax" proceeds can be spent anywhere. From the nature of the congresscritters involved -- all liberal Democrats -- funding guns and ammo isn't likely the goal here. And no war has ever been "pay as you go," as the peaceful poster below attests.

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The bill is officially called the "Share the Sacrifice Act." Dedicated taxes like this are unworkable as a matter of policy, but if they think this is such a great idea, why is it a good idea just to pay for war costs? It might be a good idea to have a dedicated "Share the Sacrifice" tax for every new program. The possibilities are endless:

- A "Give it up For Goldman" tax to finance TARP and the bailouts.

- "Reach Deep for Realtors" to finance the extended homebuyer credit.

- A "Pimp your Neighbor's Pickup" tax to finance "Cash for Clunkers."

- "Pay up for Pork" for any transportation bill.

- A "Share the Stupid" tax for the stimulus spending.

In Iowa, we could have a "Fork it over for Films" or "Bill me for Benzes" to finance the Film Tax Credit.

If they really think this is a good idea, lets apply it across the board! Otherwise we might have to conclude that the war tax is an unserious and cheap political ploy, or just another way to take more of our money.

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