Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Who Should Pay for the Iraq Occupation

If I made a major decision that I later came to regret because it is costing me much more than I can manage while still living my life of 'luxury,' what options do I have. Should I ask strangers to make up the difference so I can continue my comfortable lifestyle? Or should I take a look at my situation, my rationale for the bad decision, my way of life, my other resources, and then take responsibility and make some adjustments?

Most of us would probably take responsibility and work to figure out our own solution. More than that, most of us would probably not have made such a bad decision in the first place. Most of us would have considered the long term risks and decided not to jeopardized the future of our family.

On the other hand, we have an Administration that hasn't done as we would have done. Instead, they have made multiple bad decisions (invading Iraq, ignoring New Orleans after Katrina, tax cuts for the rich, unregulated subprime loans, etc.) and are asking other countries (China and Japan) and future generations to pay for their mistakes. Not only have they performed poorly as our leaders, they have actually made themselves, and their rich supporters, richer and more powerful (unitary president, over compensated CEOs, unchecked Blackwater Inc., suspension of habeas corpus, etc.) in the process.

The administration, their small group of avid followers and friendly media moguls actually don't mind having China and others pay for their expensive mistakes as long as they are getting richer in the process. These rich and powerful know as long as China is willing to loan the US much of what it needs, they can continue to enjoy their 2006 tax cuts. Isn't it time to take away their tax cuts and make them pay for their mistakes?

If you're not quite convinced, maybe a little historical perspective on income taxes would help. Take a look at US individual federal income taxes in effect during WWII in the tables below. The rich of the time were taxed at up to 94% of their income over $200,000 in 1945. After inflation, these 1945 dollars become $2,090,800 in 2005 dollars.

(Click on image to see income tax rates during WWII)

If The Greatest Generation supported WWII with higher taxes, shouldn't those who support the Iraq occupation pay with higher taxes?

(This posting was originally published on The WAWG Blog.)