The wanting to go to war with ISIS seems to be growing in the Republican Party. According to a recent CNN-ORC poll, 60% of Republicans are in favor of sending ground troops back to Iraq to stop ISIS. 37% are opposed. With the repeal of the Death Tax passing through the House, we have to ask a question, and it’s a question that we CANNOT afford to just avoid: how will we pay for this war?
I’m not saying the Death Tax is something we should keep. I’m all for getting rid of it, but in reality, if you want to lower taxes, you have to cut spending, and if you want to go to war, well, that means you have to raise taxes. You cannot afford to repeal taxes and lose the revenues coming in unless you raise the rates elsewhere. It’s common sense logic.
Yet, the majority of Republicans will not think about this conundrum sadly. In their push for lower taxes, they’ll call for cuts in welfare to be able to pay for the war, should it come, to which, I hope. The tax rate cuts came under the last Bush Administration, but with a war going on, Bush only grew the deficit and the debt, and in the long run, it wasn’t a smart idea really to do it.
Take Bush’s war in Iraq. The second Iraq War was no cheap deal, and it too, involved a lot of fat that could’ve been trimmed, and a lot of inefficiencies. The total costs for the Iraq War have come to be around.. oh, nothing too bad, just $1.7 TRILLION (with a t). That wasn’t cheap. We won’t finish paying that off for a long time. That’s going to be around for decades at this point, with the current disfunction in Congress.
We cannot cut taxes and go to war at the same time. Only one of those two can happen. Neo-conservatives want to have it both ways, or at least, they campaign that way. Take Tom Cotton for example. The guy is the budding Neo-Con in the Senate, along with Rubio, who I’ll get to as well. Cotton has this petition on his website, urging people to sign it in support of lowering taxes. Cotton also wants the US to be on the offensive in the fight against ISIS. Cotton wants both of these things, but in the political reality of today, one cannot happen with the other. Only one can happen. You either go to war, and raise taxes, or you lower taxes, and don’t go to war.
My own Senator, Marco Rubio, wants to lower taxes. He put out a proposal with Senator Mike Lee (UT), who is a favorite of mine. Rubio’s plan would apparently cut taxes for 90% of the taxpayers. That sounds great. Problem? Rubio is a big Neo-Con, and that tax cut won’t help fund the war he really wants to fight with ISIS. Let it be said that Marco wants to go after ISIS.
These two gentlemen also encounter another problem: they don’t want to cut spending, even when they want to increase it. A few weeks ago, Rubio and Cotton were pushing for more that $190 BILLION in Department of Defense spending increases. They weren’t going to cut a dime. Rand Paul put out his plan to raise the same amount, but he thought smarter about this, and actually made around $110 BILLION in cuts in other areas. His amendment failed.
Rand has been, for the most part, against raising DOD spending. I can understand why he made this amendment, which if you read the last link, is critical of said amendment. The Rubio-Cotton Amendment passed, and his failed. The increases were going to come under the GOP. That isn’t that hard to see coming. Paul at least wanted something to offset the increases, and they shot his plan down.
So, to answer the question posed at the beginning in the title, no, you cannot be for lowering taxes and for going to war with ISIS. One has to be given up for the other to happen. If both are happening at the same time, then the people doing so are only making things worse for future taxpayers down the road who will end up having to pay for it.
Personally, I do not want to go to war with ISIS. I think going back into Iraq will only reopen the power vaccum we created when we first went in. We will only end up killing more innocent people, bringing home more soldiers in body bags, overloading our already messed up VA Hospitals, and for what? To get a terrorist group that’s taking a page from Osama Bin Laden’s playbook about drawing the US out onto their territory to bleed them dry? No, I won’t support that, and I don’t want anyone else to support it. At least, I see the GOP’s rising millenials moving in a more libertarian direction, and that includes being more cautious of war, which is what even the Founder’s would agree, is for the better.