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Pay the bill for war

Dear Editor: Some of the readers may have missed it, but there is a war going on in Iraq and in Afghanistan. Most importantly, “American Idol” rules! Still, eight American soldiers lost their lives the other weekend. Maybe you didn’t see it on TV. Too unsettling. Most Americans don’t think the wars are any big deal. That may be changing a bit, especially as the price of gas goes over $3 a gallon. People may start to think there is some kind of connection. Some Democrats, like Rep. John Conyers, thought the country ought to reinstitute the draft. Not because they were really looking for more fresh meat to sacrifice to the Bush/Cheney wars, but because jerking some candy-assed middle- and upper-class young people out of their cushy lifestyles might get somebody’s attention. You can see that idea got nowhere. Rumsfeld and company knew that would be the kiss of death to their merry crusades.Part of what galls me about these wars is that we aren’t paying for them. Some of us will, of course, but they are a lot younger than I am. Vietnam was a great example of not paying for a war. The huge unpaid war costs led to rampant inflation. The middle class and seniors got hammered as their savings became worthless. Today, despite being in two wars in which the total costs will be in the trillions of dollars, the president and Congress want to cut taxes even more than they already have. The current costs of this war aren’t even in the annual budget. (Rumsfeld says it is too hard to figure out the costs.)I think it’s time to hit the American public straight upside the head with a two-by-four. I propose to immediately add a 25 percent surcharge (or assessment) to every taxpayer’s income tax. That will be calculated before adjustments (known as loopholes). There was a book recently called “The Greatest Generation.” My generation is apt to be known as the worst generation. We will be known as the generation that put the country in irreversible debt, let the environment fall apart, started nuclear war in the Middle East and lost the leadership of the world. The least we can do is pay our own bills.Patrick Hunter Carbondale


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