New War Bill Enough to Make Americans' First $35,000 Tax Free

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How about this for a tax cut: If you take the president's request for $159 billion of supplemental war spending and send it to American taxpayers instead of Afghanistan, you could make every American's first $35,000 completely tax free for one year.

Yes, Rep. Alan Grayson's War Is Making You Poor Act is a gimmick. No, nobody will vote for it. That's for the best, because supplemental spending is necessary to keep our soldiers safe, nourished and effective. But as an effort to shine a light on budget games and to force Americans to see war spending on par with domestic spending, it's a smart piece of PR (via Wonkroom)

GRAYSON: So I believe that the thing we need to do is to take that $159 billion that the President has set aside - we're not saying he has to stop the war, we're not giving a cut-off date for the war - we're simply saying you need to fund that out of the base budget of $549 billion. And we take 90 percent of that and give it back to the American people.

And I think most people would be surprised to learn that that is so much money that we've been spending on the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq that every single taxpayer in America will be get his first or her first $35,000 of income completely tax free.

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Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

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