A reader writes:
I suggest that the war tax be put on gas. The primary reason we are in a war with either Afghanistan or Iraq is that our economy is dependent on oil from that region. We would not have had the troops in or near Saudi Arabia that so offended bin Laden had it not been for oil. I recommend that the tax float, depending on the cost of oil, to gradually raise the price so that we are not giving the economy sticker shock, but we are making sustainable energy more worth investing in.
I don't agree with McArdle's idea that the tax should sunset when we "only" have 20 advisers overseas. Bush ran these wars for nearly 8 years without budgeting for their cost at all. I suggest that the tax sunset when the wars have been paid for in toto, including the ongoing & long-term cost of the veterans benefits. Where are all the tea partiers who worry about the bill that their grandchildren will be paying for the stimulus?
I also recommend that we finance a re-engineering of the military readiness plan to eliminate the use of contractors or at least cut them back considerably, that we deny any current or future president the right to use the military reserves for more than 1 year without activating a draft, and that women become eligible for a draft. I understand a president requires flexibility to use the military in an emergency, but an 8 year war stopped being an emergency a long time ago and should have been planned for. If the American people do not feel invested enough in a war to sustain a draft, then it's not our fight.
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