Two facts you might not know: Congress isn’t required to pay for any of their spending in the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) and because of the sequester, our war fund isn’t subjected to any budgetary caps.
In other words, paying for war is literally like handing over a blank check. Spend however much you want, when you want, and don’t worry about covering it or offsetting it. Talk about fiscal responsibility. Somehow we can’t afford Meals on Wheels or Head Start, but when it comes to funding our very expensive military operations? Eh.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and current Democratic candidate for the 2016 presidential election, is telling Republicans in Congress to literally put their money where their mouths are and fully fund their expensive and hawkish agenda.
Calling it a “war tax,” the socialist progressive is putting forth an amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that requires Congress to fully offset the costs in the OCO by raising revenue, i.e. new or raised taxes. The new revenue would come from higher taxes geared towards millionaires and billionaires. Such taxes would cover the costs for all continuing operations in Iraq, Afghanistan as well as any operations against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
If Republicans want boots on the ground in Iraq and Syria, they’ll have to truly pay for it. If Jeb Bush becomes president (God forbid) and wants a war with Russia, he’ll have to pay for it. No more putting it on the credit card without paying the bill.
Isn’t it the Republicans who say nothing is free? If they want buckets and buckets of money to pay for their agenda overseas, they need to cough up the funds somehow. If they don’t want to raise taxes, oh well, cut the budget. Isn’t that what they’ve been preaching for decades? I guess when it comes to funding social safety nets it’s their mantra, but when it comes to their lust for war all bets are off.
At least Sanders is calling them out on their “fiscally responsible” hypocrisy. There is nothing conservative about putting trillions of dollars onto a virtual credit card and not paying it off. That’s why the United States’ credit rating was downgraded. That’s why we lost our budget surplus and fell into a massive deficit. Well, one of the reasons. Those massive tax cuts during a time of war (the only time the U.S. did that) didn’t help.
Of course it will be an uphill battle. Republicans talk the big talk about “fiscal responsibility” but balk when it comes time to be responsible.
Featured image via video screen capture