Pelosi rejects McCollum war-surtax idea

WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today rejected a plan backed by Rep. Betty McCollum that would impose a 1-percent surtax to fund the war in Afghanistan.

The surtax had been supported by several powerful House Democrats, including Appropriations Chairman David Obey. McCollum said when the measure was first introduced in late November that all “additional funding necessary to achieve stability in this region should not be put on America’s credit card, but paid for today,” adding that “borrowing money to pay for the war actually undermines our national security.”

However, Pelosi’s firm opposition means the war-surtax idea is now extremely unlikely to go anywhere.

President Obama estimated Tuesday that his plan to increase troop levels in Afghanistan by 30,000 would cost about $30 billion this year.

Pelosi did not say precisely how those increased costs would be paid for. “When the president makes a request, we will make a judgment about what support it has, and some of that will relate to how it affects the deficit,” she told reporters at a news conference.

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Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Nancy Gertner on 12/04/2009 - 01:07 pm.


    Why not sell War Bonds like was done in the Twentieth Century?

    That way people that support the war(s) can do so financially, instead of buying those made outside the USA magnets to put on their autos that proclaim things like ‘Support the Troops.’

  2. Submitted by Arito Moerair on 12/04/2009 - 01:20 pm.

    Completely disagree with the surtax. We can’t have universal healthcare because we (seemingly) can’t afford it. We can’t have an upgraded infrastructure because we can’t afford it. Well, you know what? We can’t fight and endless war because WE CAN’T AFFORD IT. So maybe we just don’t fight the war. The end.

  3. Submitted by rolf westgard on 12/04/2009 - 02:52 pm.

    30 cents/gallon on gasoline would do it. Let’s see how war happy Americans are if they have to pay for it now, rather than leaving it for the grandchildren

  4. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 12/04/2009 - 04:24 pm.

    George Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy accounting for about half the annual budget deficit during his term, while the Iraq War accounted for much of the rest.

    I’d say add the surcharge of 1% to pay for current war expenses PLUS 1% to pay off the kazillions added to the national debt by Bush to the income taxes of those who benefited from his cuts — those making, let’s say, $400,000 per year and up. (Especially the “and ups.”)

    This would greatly reduce the interest on the debt to be paid by future generations and reduce our obligation to China.

  5. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 12/07/2009 - 10:20 pm.

    How much do we have to pay for the Obama part of the national debt?

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