2020 Goat Rodeo contender Beto O’Rourke dropped a policy proposal today to care for veterans, and it includes something called a “war tax.” And as you can guess from the name, it proposes some sort of market-based means to pay for (future) wars.
It isn’t a bad idea, per se, a war tax that makes people pay for a war upfront (through a tax hike) might make them not want to go to war, which might make Possum Hollar vote for peaceniks! It’s possible! (Tho I will add, cynically, that Congress never declares war anymore, and I believe that under the legislation from 9/11, the prznint gets to declare wars as long as he says it’s part of the War on Terror.)
Under Beto’s plan, every new VHCTF would be paired with enactment of new war tax. This new tax would serve as a reminder of the incredible sacrifice made by those who serve and their families.
This modest tax would be implemented on a progressive basis, with taxpayers who make over $200,000 per year (adjusted gross income) paying $1,000 in a new tax for each war.
The tax would be levied on households without current members of the Armed Forces or veterans of the Armed Forces.
But if you think that the Dick Cheneys of the world—who are going to profiteer from wars—will be stopped by some $1K Amero Tax, I invite you to examine his Haliburton portfolio from before the Iraq War and after it. That $1K war tax is a rounding error and the cost of doing bidness to a man like Cheney. And he’s just one example.
Anyway, Beto’s plan is a starting point.