We are three billion in the hole and will be three billion more next year, and not a Congressman has got the nerve to ask voters to pay part of it. — January 29, 1933 Will Rogers
Obviously this quote was said long before even Grover Norquist’s parents were born but it is equally true today as it was in Will’s time. The fact of the matter is up until President Bush, taxes have always gone up to help pay for our wars. But when so many from the GOP crawled up to the altar of Mr. Norquist with their pledges to NEVER raise taxes this tradition was very unwisely flushed down the toilet. When will we ever learn to never say never? Sometimes it seems that those guys in congress love their party more than the love their country. I don’t know; I’m just a simple guy but it seems that way to me.
Here is some now insightful words from 2007:
Source: Bush Breaks 150-Year History of Higher U.S. Taxes in Wartime – Bloomberg.
Republican Senator John McCain said that while he’s “not averse to asking for more sacrifice,” he rejects a tax increase, even one on wealthy Americans, to help pay for the war. “I’m not sure what the point would be,” said McCain, who supports Bush’s troop buildup and may run for president in 2008. “I would ask them to make other sacrifices, but I’m not sure I would want to raise their taxes just because we’re in a war.”
Unlike apparently Mr. McCain I am a history buff and I firmly believe in learning from the past in order to keep from making the same mistakes over and over again. The sharpest rise in the national debt in the last sixty years came as a result of taking President Bush’s wars “off the books”. It is the primary reason we are where we are today.
As Will says their doesn’t seem to be a congressman, especially those of the GOP variety, who have the nerve to ask at least some of the voters, especially those who have profited greatly during these times, to help pay for these wars.
It seems pretty simple to me that if wars are necessary then asking citizens to pay for at least part of them is the right thing to do. But maybe the problem with this one, and in fact most of them in my lifetime, is that none of them were really necessary.
When we get into hard times in this country we have always asked those who are much better off than the rest of us to chip in a little of their wealth to help out and in the past they have for the most part gladly done so. There is a bible verse that goes something like this, “For those who have gained much, much is expected”. When will we start living by that code again?