November 21, 2009

Tax Increase Campaign Item 3: Wars Cost Money And Rich Must Pay, MI Senator Levin Tells Bloomberg


At this point, there should be little doubt that there is a concerted attempt underway to use the war in Afghanistan as a justification for punitively taxing high earners.

Last weekend (noted at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), the New York Times discovered that wars cost money. It cited Wisconsin Democratic Congressman David Obey’s concern that funding the Afghanistan effort at the level requested months ago by General Stanley A. McChrystal would “devour virtually any other priorities that the president or anyone in Congress had.”

Thursday, as reported by AFP (noted last night at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), House Democratic heavy-hitters Barney Frank, John Murtha, and (no surprise) Obey announced the “Share The Sacrifice Act of 2010,” an income-tax surcharge that overwhelmingly targets high-income earners.

Now Michigan Democratic Senator Carl Levin has weighed in. Bloomberg dutifully carried his water, as seen in this graphic containing the first four paragraphs of the report:


Levin, as is the custom of his party, confuses “wealth” with “income.” The Michigan Senator also attempts to perpetuate the rich-get-richer, poor-get-poorer income-inequality myth, which is indeed a myth, at least as of 2007. Since Democrats took over Congress and Barack Obama has become president, that may have changed. Income inequality increased during Bill Clinton’s 2nd through 8th years in office.

Levin’s idea further supports my take on all of this, mentioned yesterday:

…. the administration is putting the idea out there now as a prelude to justifying what it and Democrats in general have been referring to as an end to the Bush tax cuts — something that should really be seen as a tax increase above what everyone has gotten used to during the past six years — as necessary to pay for the Afghanistan War, and to try to rhetorically hogtie gullible conservatives into acquiescing to it (“You do want our soldier to have what they need, do you not? Then you’ll just have to agree to let taxes increase”).

The likelihood that all three parties involved — the Times, the House members, and Senator Levin — all had independent “Eureka!” moments leading suddenly to the notion that taxing “the rich” to pay for the war is the way to go is very, very tiny.

The likelihood that anyone in the establishment media will look into and confirm that there is an orchestrated campaign to tie the war effort to a tax hike on high earners, and to see who is behind it, is even tinier.

What would really be worth knowing is whether President Obama’s obvious dithering on an Afghanistan War troop deployment decision has been purposeful. Has he been biding his time all these months specifically for the purpose of pushing a year-end “war-related” tax increase”? The likelihood that the establishment media will ever look into this possibility is miniscule to non-existent.

Cross-posted at


UPDATE: Just remembered a minor dust-up over inequality from August of last year ago that had to do with an early 1990s Gini coefficient change. The sentence about the Clinton years has been changed to reflect that.


1 Comment

  1. Since Obama took over, most people of all incomes have gotten poorer.

    Comment by zf — November 21, 2009 @ 11:34 am

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