15 December 2009

War Bonds & Dumb Senators

To piggyback off of Frosty's post, the recent debate over financing the war in Afghanistan has provided a good window into the complete vapidity of the median member of the United States Senate. The war tax proposal was introduced by Rep. David Obey last month. Obey basically made the argument that we should engage in the same sort of cost-benefit analyses for war that we engage in for domestic policies (cost control, deficit neutrality, etc.). Reasonable people may agree or disagree about the merits of the proposal (I think Frosty makes a pretty good case against it), but it's probably a debate worth having.

Then, enter one Conservadem Ben Nelson:

In lieu of a “war tax” to pay for a troop increase in Afghanistan, Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson (NE) is proposing war bonds.

“We didn’t have a war tax in the second World War,” Nelson said, and instead the government sold Americans bonds. “People invested in their country, in that fashion [and] made a lot of sense back then. I don’t know why it might not make sense today, certainly in lieu of jumping to tax.”

There are a couple things wrong with this. One, we actually did have higher taxes during WW2. Second...well, I'll let Wonkette take it from here:

...this is superfluous, because we already have such bonds: they are called United States Treasury Bonds, which we use to finance any sort of deficit spending! For how many years, as a child, did Ben Nelson drink paint-thinner on a daily basis?...Issuing, say, $30 billion in new “war bonds” means taking on $30 billion in new debt, plus interest. If Ben Nelson wants to be Fiscally Serious, then he should either (a) add a surtax to accumulate $30 billion in new revenue or (b) offset $30 billion in the Defense Department budget, at the expense of other things. That’s probably like four F-35s, seriously. Seriously.

Ben Nelson poops through his mouth.

Well said.

Over at TNR, Jon Chait advances a similar thesis regarding Senator Joe "Eeyore" Lieberman's recent asshattery on health care.

1 comment:

  1. Every time my ideals start to get the better of me, and I start thinking that maybe we should put MORE things in the hands of Congress (as the most representative branch), I remember why I might actually prefer an unaccountable bureaucracy. Between this and Hoekstra's shenanigans from earlier this year, I have no hope for Congress ever being a productive place.