The Deaf Claque

Because they’re worth clapping for…probably…

The People Pay for the War: What Did You Expect?

By Nathan Schmitt

House Appropriations Committee Chairman David R. Obey (D-Wis.) hates this ‘misbegotten, stupid, ill-advised’ Iraq war. He won’t even consider President Bush’s latest war funding request until next year. And he wants to tax Americans to pay for it.

“I (David Obey) went to Nancy a week before we did it, and I told her: ‘Nancy, I’m gonna do two things. One of them you’re gonna like, and one of them you’re not,” Obey said. He told her he wouldn’t take up Bush’s funding request for Iraq until next year. “And she said: ‘I like that. What won’t I like?’ ”

She doesn’t like that war tax. ‘We don’t go forward lightly when we’re talking about a tax on all the American people,’ Pelosi said. No problem — Obey will introduce the tax proposal anyway on Tuesday. (1)

Says an article a week ago from the Washington Post.

A war tax huh? Well, it’s certainly not a surprise. I can’t say I’m excited about the possibility of this tax, and I can’t even begin to form an opinion about it because there are so many factors pulling me in every direction.

On one hand, it seems like it’s completely permissible, if not necessary by this argument: The American people are responsible for the war in Iraq. As much as people hate to hear it, and as much as it sounds like I’m ragging on all of us (which I’m not), it’s hard to argue against. If you think we live in a democracy, then it’s pretty straight forward: the decisions of the representative government reflect the values of the people. If you look at the United States (from what is in my opinion a more realistic point of view) as a democratic constitutional republic the same representative argument still holds. In addition to that, it is written into the Declaration of Independence that,

“When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new guards of their future security.” (2)

Don’t think I’m implying support for a government overthrow or anything, this is just to show that the responsibility of the people is no new idea. In addition to that, the government itself is made up the people. There is nothing different about politicians and lawmakers except that they are people put in positions of power their peers.

At the same time, it is true that political figures can misuse power in such a way as to misrepresent the population they supposedly represent. In any case, it completely misses the point to blame at this point. There are countless factors that play into the responsibility for this war and it unrealistic and unfair, not to mention counterproductive, to try to narrow it down to one or two parties.

I guess the point is this: can the society responsible for such an absurdly costly war rightfully deny their economic responsibility to it? Regardless of whose fault it is, the responsibility of the action rests on those who permitted it, as well as those who carried out the actions. I’m not making an assertion either way, just think about it.

October 27, 2007 Posted by | Economics, General Discourse, House of Representatives, Iraq War, Nathan Schmitt, Tax | , , , | Leave a comment