Pelosi and paying for the Iraq war. With friends like her, who needs Republicans?

Several Democrats in the House of Representatives unveiled a revolutionary plan today that would radically change the way we are paying for the war in Iraq. Their shocking plan has been strongly condemned by Republicans around the country, and the Democratic leadership has responded - in classic fashion - by hiding under their desks and praying for it to go away. Their radical solution? We should do what we did during World War II and Vietnam, and add a surtax to the normal income tax to cover the (financial) costs.

Republicans were quick to attack the very concept of not making our children and grandchildren pay - with interest - for this war. Apparently, the concept of paying now for the war that we are fighting now is defeatest and an attempt to play politics with the troops. House Minority Leader John Boehner had this to say:

"Time and time again, some Members of Congress have demonstrated their willingness to write government checks for anything and everyone - except American troops fighting the War on Terror. First they fought to cut funding for our troops, and now they are proposing to cut extra funds from family budgets in order to advance their political agenda of higher taxes and more spending. It's time for everyone in Congress to support our troops and the strategy that has led them to make undeniable progress in Iraq. Republicans believe our troops are not pawns in a political game. Rather, they should be given the opportunity to solidify their gains, complete their mission, and return home after victory, not defeat."

That's a nice little paragraph. It does a good job of packing a large number of blatant lies into a small number of words. I particularly liked that bit when he said, "Republicans believe our troops are not pawns in a political game," but the bit where he suggests that paying for the war now equals not supporting the troops isn't bad, either.

The Democratic Leadership, of course, immediately jumped to the defense of their brave members, condemning Boehner's despicable and dishonest attempt to paint fiscal responsibility as an un-American, defeatist measure.

And wouldn't it be nice if I could say that last bit without being every bit the stinking liar that Boehner is. This being reality, and the Democratic Leadership collectively lacking the moral courage needed to clearly say that the sky is blue without taking a poll first, they actually did nothing of the kind.

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, said he agreed "this generation ought to help pay for" the war but that there was no agreement on backing the bill.

"One of the stories I just read said 'the Democrats propose,'" Hoyer said. "This is a proposal by Mr. Obey. Mr. Murtha and Mr. McGovern. This is not a party proposal."

Like Hoyer, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi agreed that the war is bad and that pushing the costs onto our children is bad, before bravely declaring that she, in fact, opposes actually collecting more money so that we can avoid making our kids pay for the war:

"During nearly five years of war in Iraq, the President has failed to learn the lesson that war should require shared sacrifice. He has asked for no sacrifice from the American people -- except from our men and women in uniform and their families -- while adding hundreds of billions of dollars in debt for future generations to repay.

"Some have suggested that shared sacrifice should take the form of a draft; others have suggested a surtax. Those who oppose a tax and the draft also should oppose the President's war. Just as I have opposed the war from the outset, I am opposed to a draft and I am opposed to a war surtax.

I don't know about you, but right now I'm sitting here trying my best to remember that it really is better to have Democrats in power who aren't actually fixing the problems than it would be to have the Republicans causing more. I know things would be worse if Pelosi wasn't the speaker right now, but "we don't suck as bad as they do" just doesn't get my blood flowing, you know.

Look, I'm really not an idealistic idiot. I know that raising taxes is an unpopular idea. I understand that even the suggestion that you might possibly look like you're thinking about saying something vaguely in favor of raising taxes is enough to make it harder to win an election. But I also know - as does pretty much anyone who managed to pass 4th grade math - that we can't run up the debt indefinitely. Right now, we are screwing over our own children. That's just plain stupid - not to mention immoral. We've spent the money. We cannot leave them holding the check.

Nancy Pelosi can be contacted via the House switchboard at (202) 225-0100. You can also leave her email through this form. Contact her, and let her know that if she wants to be a leader, she damn well needs to start leading.

More like this

Okay, that's it. Let the Republicans back in. Hell, let them have the whole government, no minority party to deal with. At least they'll make this national suicide quick instead of dragging it out like these useless Democrats are.

Who do I email to get political activists like this evicted from scienceblogs?

By Eric Gisin (not verified) on 02 Oct 2007 #permalink

Send your email to I'm the current Lord High Viscount of Scienceblogs, and I will definitely give the little liberal scamp the talking-to he deserves. We can't allow scientists to have political views, can we? That would be dangerous!

If the Middle-East wars had been financed thru a gas tax, they both would be over by now, the boys (and gals) would be recalled home, by angry consumers/drivers.

But those overseas expeditions are funded straight from the National Debt. Did you notice your National Credit Card ceiling was raised by $850 Billions last week ? That's A LOT of money to play with. And it costs nothing.

Eric, you sir are neither a gentleman nor a scholar and I would box your ears if I had my druthers!

By Garibaldi's Un… (not verified) on 02 Oct 2007 #permalink

Who do I email to get political activists like this evicted from scienceblogs?

I'm sure there must be someone at Seed who could use a good laugh.

Yeah, Eric, no doubt Seed is eager to get rid of the bloggers on their site who get the most page views.

By Tukla in Iowa (not verified) on 03 Oct 2007 #permalink

P.Z. Myers wrote...

Send your email to I'm the current Lord High Viscount of Scienceblogs, and I will definitely give the little liberal scamp the talking-to he deserves. We can't allow scientists to have political views, can we? That would be dangerous!

While I normally don't approve of sarcasm, I liked hearing this from you.

I enjoy reading Mike Dunford's blog and think it is a good addition to Scienceblogs.

My only complaint is that I would wish he would say more things I could argue with. I find it boring to simply say "well done". However, every once and a while wouldn't hurt.

Well done, Mike.

By Thought Provok… (not verified) on 03 Oct 2007 #permalink

Eric: Let me second PZ's advice: "Send your email to" You'll get prompt satisfaction, especially if you put your complaint in the form of a prayer.

Eric: did someone hold a gun to your head and force you to read Mike's post? Both the title and the first couple of paragraphs should have tipped you off that this post wouldn't be about science.

If you disagree with Mike, don't be a whiny coward, and explain to the spouse of a serving military officer (that would be Dunford) why every American shouldn't make some significant sacrifice in combating the Islamofacistcommielibrul horde.

What? No actual argument?

'Nuff said.

I recently helped organize a teach-in on the topic of impeachment, at which (among other things) we promoted websites such as:,,, and the like.

It was slightly disappointing that no one there asked about URLs for those actively opposing impeachment, as I was prepared to refer them to the most influential such site:

By Pierce R. Butler (not verified) on 04 Oct 2007 #permalink