David Obey’s War Tax

Here’s a Rush Limbaugh partial transcript from today on the subject of House Appropriations Chairman David Obey’s call for a “war tax” to fund, as this stirring Congressional leader put it, “whatever we’re doing in Afghanistan if we decide to go ahead” (that sound you don’t hear is Osama bin Laden quaking in his boots):

RUSH: David Obey wants to raise taxes on everybody to pay for the Afghanistan war. Last night ABC’s World News Tonight Jonathan Karl had an interview with him.OBEY: If we don’t pay for it, then the cost of the Afghan war will wipe out every other initiative that we have to try to rebuild our own economy whether it’s the president’s; whether it’s the Democrats in Congress, whether it’s the Republicans. Ain’t going to be no money for nothing if we pour it all into Afghanistan.

RUSH: That’s just not true. It’s another fraudulent lie from one of the Four Corners of Deceit: Government. “Ain’t gonna be no money for nothing if we pour it all into Afghanistan”? We don’t have any money now, you locoweed! We’re $1.4 trillion in debt. I’ll tell you what we should do, given what he said here. “If we don’t pay for it, then the cost of the Afghan war will wipe out every other initiative…” Let’s pay for the Afghan war then and wipe out every damned one of these stupid, destructive initiatives. There was more. Karl said, “Talk us through exactly what you’re proposing here.”

OBEY: We’ve been told for the last year that we have to pay for every dime that the new health care reform bill will cost, and that’s estimated to be about $900 billion over two years.

RUSH: Not true. It’s $2 trillion!

OBEY: At the same time we’re being told by people who support General McChrystal’s approach to expanding the war in Afghanistan that we need to be prepared to hunker down and accept what could be a decade-long commitment in Afghanistan. If we do what has been in the papers about the size of that package, that also is about $900 billion. Except that’s not being paid for. So what we’re suggesting is that if we’re going to pay for health care, we also ought to pay for whatever we’re doing in Afghanistan if we decide to go ahead.

RUSH: We’re not “paying for” anything. How can you say we’re paying for it when we’re $1.4 trillion in debt? It’s not $900 billion, it’s $2.5 trillion. The whole thing is rigged. The tax increases start three years before the payouts. That’s how it’s made to look like it doesn’t cost anything. Deficit neutral? When’s the last time anything government did did not cost more than what they projected? When’s the last time a government program came in below cost? Well, Medicare Part D did, but that was Bush. And finally, “Let me ask you about your motives. Two years ago you proposed a similar tax on the war in Iraq. It was a nonstarter then. What makes you think your colleagues are going to support it now?”

OBEY: I don’t know if they will, but two years ago the economy had not yet collapsed. Two years ago we didn’t have a runaway deficit which we have now thanks to the collapse of that economy. And two years ago, we weren’t being asked to expand another effort in Afghanistan that we’re told might last ten years. We saw the progressive movement in this country back before the twenties wiped out by World War I. We saw Harry Truman’s Fair Deal wiped out by Korea. We saw Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society wiped out by Vietnam. I don’t want to see the restructuring and reforming of our own economy wiped out because we get stuck in a ten-year war, a war that isn’t paid for.

RUSH: What in the name of Sam Hill is he talking about? Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society wiped out by Vietnam? It was no such thing. That’s insane! Spending on the Fair Deal, the New Deal, the Rotten Deal, the Raw Deal, and the Great Society, never stopped. We’re still spending on it! It’s an entitlement. The Vietnam War didn’t wipe out anything except the United States. It didn’t wipe out any of these programs. This is what I mean, folks. They live in The Universe of Lies and Fraud. The Four Corners of Deceit are government (who you just heard from) academia, science, and media.

Rush is right (as usual! — I’m happy to admit I’ve been a dittohead since being introduced to Rush — at least, his non-KQV persona — at the famed Howell Heflin “offshore drilling” CNP meeting circa, I think, 1988 [Rush says it was ’92 or ’93, but I think he’s off by a few years. I believe I went home after that speech and found Rush on the dial for the first time, and had to listen to a Baltimore station if I wanted to catch all three hours of the show, because WMAL in DC only ran two hours.]).

On the war tax itself: National defense is one of the few things the federal government should be paying for, so go ahead, Rep. Obey, make us pay one — but we’ll expect you to drop most of the other taxes.

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