Beto’s War Tax is a Bomb

Beto’s War Tax is a Bomb

Beto’s War Tax is a Bomb

When Beto isn’t oversharing his personal hygiene experiences, he’s on the campaign trail talking up his divisive, and ineffective, War Tax plan. His idea of taxing Americans who don’t have a family member in the Military highlights his failure to appreciate the culture of those who serve, as well as the divisive history of wealthy versus poor serving in the Armed Forces.

“War Tax” Seems Familiar….

Monday, before attending a Veteran’s round table discussion, Beto announced a planned “War Tax” to help fund services for Veterans, from CNN.

Money collected through the “war tax” — which he is proposing for future wars — would go into a new trust fund for veterans established at the outset of each war.
Households making less than $30,000 per year would pay $25; those making less than $40,000 would pay $57; those making less than $50,000 would pay $98; those making less than $75,000 would pay $164; those making less than $100,000 would pay $270; those making less than $200,000 would pay $485; and those making more than $200,000 would pay $1,000.

This fires me up in ways most people can’t understand.

If Beto had any recollection of history beyond last week, he’d understand that the concept of paying to “avoid” military service isn’t new. The ability of the affluent to bypass the draft is the topic of political campaigns over the last two decades. Tales of exemptions for college (something that was until recently only available to the “wealthy”) or payments to the draft board so as to be deemed unfit “flat feet” are rampant in politics. Lest we forget that the wealthy could pay the poor to fight in their place. From a history of Civil War era,

In 1863, when President Lincoln called for 300,000 troops, every congressional district in the North had to meet their quota. If you were healthy and were among those called, you had several options provided by federal law: pay a substitute to take your place; pay a commutation fee of $300, enabling you to avoid service; or join the fight.”

Here we have a candidate with a background of private prep schools, and wealth, talking about levying a “War Tax” on those who don’t have a family member in military service. How is this different from what was previously done? It’s not. Non Veteran citizens are paying a tax in lieu of serving in the Military. On top of taxes we all already pay to fund the Military and the VA system.

This smacks of ignorance about the history of serving in America’s Armed Forces. A history where the rally cry was “a rich man’s war, and a poor man’s fight.” But a little money solves everything through the eyes of a Democrat. Especially when it’s other people’s money.

Elitist Perception

The idea that those who serve do so because they lack alternatives is rampant in elitist circles, and this tax reinforces that belief. I paraphrase a comment from a certain liberal “perky” nationally syndicated AM talk show host – He went to Harvard… why would he go into the Military? He has so many options.

Excuse me?! This sums up a shared, and incorrect, assumption of the people who join today’s military. Including those who attend the highly competitive Military Academies, the modern service member is better educated than the average US Citizen. From the Bureau of Labor Statistics,

Educated War Fighters

The modern military members are graduates of competitive universities, hold advanced degrees, and technical speciality certifications. My Marine holds an Undergrad from DUKE and two Master’s Degrees. His peers are graduates of Harvard, USNA, USMMA, and other highly selective institutions. Commonly lauded as the “crayon eaters” of the Armed Forces, senior Marines who want promotion are required to continue their education. Those who leave service often use their GI Bill as a way to build a career through college or technical schools. The perception of an uneducated force is flat out wrong.

But of course Beto is coming to the rescue with his asinine plan to further marginalize citizens  (insert sarcasm) “who had no alternative to joining the Armed Forces.”

It’s NOT the Money

Beto missed the primary reason people join the modern military. They WANT to serve. There is a desire to be part of something bigger than oneself, and to make a difference. It’s a volunteer force, and the military turns away people who don’t meet the qualification for entry. America’s modern warfighter is smart, physically fit, and for the most part an excellent example of citizen-solder. Families are proud of their Service Member, and many of those families are solidly middle class.

Often, service is part of a family’s military legacy. I can’t count the number of my peers with children that are now enlisted or commissioned into military service. It seems my social media is filled with pictures of a parent swearing in their child. Or in this case, flying together.

For some in America, the family business is politics. For others it’s military service. When we are fortunate, the jobs cross over, and we have politicians with first hand experience beside the citizens who serve in our military. They become politicians who know the true cost borne by the families of those who serve. They know it’s higher than a $2000 tax.

How to Really Fix the System

Beto launched this terrible idea BEFORE talking to Veterans. But of course, his time on the HASC prepared him for exactly how to fix the broken system.

If Beto really wants to fix the system, without adding an divisive tax, he should do the following, and then some:

  • * Follow a retiring or separating service member through the months long VA process. Whereby they determine all injuries and physical damage done to the body by military service. It’s a sliding scale and entirely confounding how they determine disability rating. Ultimately after the percentage is determined he can enjoy the “tax offset” of his retirement. Those under 40% don’t actually get paid for their disability from service. The retirement gets sectioned off into non-taxed versus taxed amounts. Uhhh, thanks?
  • * Follow a Gold Star spouse through the process of being told they now have income offset because of competing payments, and don’t actually get all the pension they are entitled to receive. (YOU can help this issue by contacting your representative for support on pending legislation).
  • * Tax Major Defense Contractors. They make money from selling tools of war. Then take that tax money and give the Veterans a Blue Cross/Blue Shield health insurance card. With the same plan available to Congress. Eliminate the VA. If the BCBS system is good enough for Congress, it’s good enough for Veterans.
  • * Review Tricare and determine if the retirees promised “Free” healthcare for life are actually getting it for free (they aren’t).

A Bomb of a War Tax

A few examples of questions Beto’s plan leaves unanswered:

  • * If the family must have a member currently serving, does that mean my kids don’t pay the tax because their dad is currently serving?
  • * What about the families who have lost their veteran or AD member? Do Gold Star Families now pay the tax because their service member died in service?
  • * If my WWII veteran grandfather is alive, do we have to pay the tax? He’s a family member….
  • * What constitutes a “WAR”? Is it the Constitutional definition where that power resides in Congress? A Presidential action? A Special Forces covert action…. Our military is perpetually engaged somewhere.
  • * If my Service Member and I divorce after 25 years of concurrent marriage and service, do I pay the tax? What about a natural death in old age, as the surviving Widow, do I pay the tax?
  • * Don’t we all already fund these endeavors by our annual taxes?

Beto’s “War Tax” is pandering in the way the reparations plan panders to minorities. Fixing the programs already funded by taxes is a better way to help Service Members and Veterans. After 6 years on military specific committees Beto should know better.

As the wife to a 28 year Active Duty Marine Aviator, with a good number of his over 3,000 flight hours served in combat theater, I know he deserves better. Fix the system with the funding in place. Don’t further divide the citizens by forcing a tax on those who choose not to serve. Congress controls funding, if Beto couldn’t do it while he served on the HASC, why does he think I believe him capable as POTUS? Oh, I don’t.

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"CC" to her friends, she's dreaming of warm weather and open spaces. She's lived all over the USA and overseas. These opportunities are great, but she believes that the USA is the most amazing country, and we are so fortunate to have our Constitution and Bill of Rights. She's always happy to have a debate, so long as the participants understand "Feelings are NOT facts". Bring a fact based viewpoint, a good dose of courtesy (Respect is earned, Courtesy is given freely), a bit of thick skin, and fluency in sarcasm. She's happy to chat about anything from Ron Paul, to Ronald Regan. A bit of warning, she has a dedication to General Jim Mattis, and a low threshold for BS. Professionally, she spent almost a decade working in the Defense Contracting industry.

7 Comments
  • Kathy says:

    There are also those that work in critical industries. My Dad was a rancher all his life, including WWII. Food production at the time was deemed important, too.

    • SDN says:

      Or my late grandparents. My grandfather was of age to be drafted in WWII…. but he was also a skilled welder and pipefitter, with a new daughter and a wife, so he was “drafted” to go to Mobile AL and build Liberty ships.

      Due to the construction schedule being so tight, they would be installing the asbestos insulation while the welders were working on the piping in the compartments. My grandfather would come home just absolutely white with asbestos everywhere.

      It eventually killed him; he always had emphysema when I knew him, because of asbestosis. My grandmother also developed asbestosis….. because she washed his clothes when he got home from work.

      Wonder if they or my mother would qualify?

  • zenman says:

    I’d pay the tax if I could be assured it was going to help, but why should we trust D.C.

    Your solutions seem much more in line with my thinking, fix the mess before adding new things.

    • You already pay the tax. And it’s a compounding tax. For example, how many “wars” as defined by Beto are we currently fighting? Is it one, two…. none? Did Congress make another declaration of war? But his tax is for EACH war. So pretend it’s two. That’s double the tax. So now you are on the hook for $4000.
      There’s a lot in the pot to fix, but tossing in more money isn’t going to make it happen.

  • GWB says:

    he’d understand that the concept of paying to “avoid” military service isn’t new
    He sees it as a penalty to those who fail to sign up. They see it as a price to avoid signing up.

    pay a commutation fee of $300
    That works out to $6,097.43 in today’s dollars. So Beto is really not setting those taxes high enough.

    Commonly lauded as the “crayon eaters” of the Armed Forces, senior Marines who want promotion are required to continue their education.
    Well, yes, they’re required to learn to read. And some of them can even do math (without taking off their boots). If they continue their education past the 6th grade, they might even become SecDef someday!
    And the ones that just nibble their crayons to sharpen them get to become aviators.
    (Just teasing!)

    Beto missed the primary reason people join the modern military.
    He missed the FACT it’s friggin’ all-volunteer!

    But of course, his time on the HASC prepared him for exactly how to fix the broken system.
    Those are the guys that BROKE the system. *facepalm*

    Yes, this is a stupid idea. Just…. *smdh*

  • GWB says:

    You know… just had a thought….

    How about we just put this tax on those who run for national political office?
    And pro-rate it. So, Bob O’Rourke would pay less than Tim Kaine, (Kaine is older, and therefore avoided more service than O’Rourke, right?) until he hit no-longer-recruitable age.

    Oh! And you can up it for each year they’ve actually been in political office, too. So the real graybeards get hit the worst.

    Back to you, “Beto”!

    • Ryan Murphy says:

      I was going to say. I like a tax that, say, doubles for each term served in political office. And place a cap on congressional pay raises to the cost of living.

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