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Rep. Alan Grayson Introduces the ‘War Is Making You Poor Act’
Posted on May 24, 2010
By Joshua Holland, AlterNet
Secondly, it takes the money saved from the wars’ separate allocation and it uses it for a very important purpose. With the economy the way it is, people in America are suffering. It takes that money—or 90 percent of it—and it uses it to make $35,000 of everyone’s income in America tax free, and $70,000 for married couples. Let’s be clear about that; let’s be clear about what I said. With the money saved from the "War Is Making You Poor Act," we could give $35,000 of every American’s income tax free, and $70,000 for married couples. And in addition to that, it takes the remaining money and reduces the federal deficit and the federal debt. I think those are three things, all of which need to be done, and this bill brings them all together.
Let’s start with the fact that the administration has asked for $549 billion to basically keep the lights on in the Pentagon, and beyond that asked for another $159 billion for the wars. Let’s see exactly how much that means. On this chart here you can see that the U.S. military spending is as much as the entire rest of the world combined. And in fact, the ones who come in second are our NATO allies in Europe, who I don’t expect to be attacking us anytime soon. Beyond that, you have to go all the way down to China to get to any country that is conceivably ever going to be a military enemy and we outspend China by almost five to one.
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And I think most people would be surprised to learn that that is so much money that we’ve been spending in the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq that every single taxpayer in America would be able to get his first, her first, $35,000 of income completely tax-free. You won’t see dollar one of tax, until you make more than that. And in fact, almost a third of Americans don’t make more than that, so they will simply be excused from the federal income tax system, and all we need to do is to stop separately funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Now, I’ve heard many complaints from the people on the other side, and some complaints from the people on our side about the federal debt and the federal deficit. Here’s something concrete that you can do. If this bill passes, we’ll be able to reduce the federal deficit by 1$6 billion. You don’t have to take my word for it, it’s been scored by the joint committee on taxation. The joint committee on taxation staff has determined that the tax cut that’s needed to give every single person in America $35,000 tax-free, would cost less than the wars, and would leave after that $16 billion. Mr. Speaker, this is an idea whose time has come. It’s time for the American people to see that there is no longer any need to go beyond the base, exorbitant defense budget that’s presented to us by the president, not withstanding the fact that there’s a war in Afghanistan and a war in Iraq. It’s simply not necessary; you can see for yourself that enough is enough…. $549 billion is plenty, especially when we’re using a Chinese credit card to pay for it. So I ask for your support Mr. Speaker, and I hope the chamber will consider the H.R. 5353 "War Is Making You Poor Act." Thank you.
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