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Published: Tuesday, Sept. 2 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Excellent letter! Letter of the year! Couldn't agree more!

Thank you so very much!

Furry1993
Ogden, UT

What an excellent idea.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

But Lew...

We really want to flex our military muscle to the world. We spend so much on it, we need to show it off.

Along with that, we want, er MUST have lower taxes. Oh, and lower deficits.

It is quite the dilemma.

I really wonder how many of the war hawks would be so "hawkish" if they had to pay for it TODAY.

Esquire
Springville, UT

This would make many in Washington think especially hard about waging war. A little more thought and discussion about why and our motivations would be most appropriate.

SuperNova
Eagle, UT

Next time someone says "Boots on ground" I want them to say the name of a Soldier they know. "We need PFC Smith to go to Iraq." Then that person needs to call PFC Smith, or better yet, look him in the eye and say "I think we need you to go to Iraq"

We have dehumanized the American military to the point were we can't even say "We need to send troops" (Troops are people) but rather now we say we need their boots over there.

I would also be in favor of re-instating the draft; just to re-humanize this War Machine. How many warmongers have their sons in the military? How many of those who vote on declarations of war have their sons in the military?

airnaut
Everett, 00

The "rich" did away with the draft, so THEIR kids won't go.
then,
The "rich" did away with the taxes, so THEIR money didn't have to go.

It's time to set things right...

Time to buck up or shut-up.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

If any President or administration could tell you what a war will cost up-front, or tell you when it will end (before it starts).... we would do that. But you can't!

Every war is preceded by the minority party asking the administration WHEN it will end, and how much it will cost. These are mostly rhetorical questions they KNOW nobody has the ansers too... It happens every time.

You can't predict what a war will cost... or when it will end.

SEY
Sandy, UT

As a corollary, I propose we should pay for all welfare programs upfront. Fair enough?

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

Well said. This is very important to the tea party. Cash on the barrelhead, reduce social security if necessary so we can win quickly.

FT
salt lake city, UT

Bush/Chenney's approach to terrorism and war was a mistake and most Americans know it. You hear the neo-cons banging the war drums once again selling fear and hoping to capitlize on any good crisis with a little more power. They don't want to send their children or their money but will criticize anyone who is prudent and patient before making a decision. ISIS and radical muslims are a threat, and will always be a threat. We can contain the threat through a long term strategy of containment and working with our allies. To listen to the same fools who pushed us to an illegal and immoral war 10 years ago would be a mistake. They put us more at risk and borrowed billions of dollars and suceeded at little.

SEY
Sandy, UT

2 bits: I believe the writer should have said "pay as you go" rather than up front. That IS a possibility, at least theoretically. It will never actually happen because citizens will likely rebel at the very thought of it.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

I agree, and have said it before. If we want a war, occupation, or whatever someone wants to call it, then it should be a line item on our annual tax return. And we should as a nation be provided budget summaries of the exercise no less frequently than quarterly.

ugottabkidn
Sandy, UT

I agree whole-heartedly but it would be a better thing that we stay out. Every crisis overseas we've had since WWII is a result of our meddling and greed. We are mistaken that our might can solve anything.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"As a corollary, I propose we should pay for all welfare programs upfront. Fair enough?"

Fair enough. I assume that you equate Medicare and SS as welfare programs? Because those, along with the military are by far the biggest budget items.

The Educator
South Jordan , UT

If we paid for all the conservative wars and foreign aid then Americans would demand that they stop making wars.

Bush and Cheney lied about the war and purposely kept the price tag off the national budget. Gee, I wonder why they did that? Could it be that they didn't want Americans to know the true cost of their war?

I demand that the GOP use their own money to invade countries. They want Iran and Iraq and Russia so bad? Go ahead, fight with your own kids and money. Stop sending my children and grandchildren while placing trillions of debt onto their backs.

SEY
Sandy, UT

Uh, Thid Barker, the topic isn't about who pays the most taxes. The problem is that NO ONE is paying for these military adventures! Well, right now, anyway. We're piling up debt faster than it can be paid for. The Fed and the Treasury combine to create money out of thin air which goes to pay for most of the wars as of late, and it all results in enormous debt! The writer is suggesting that current taxpayers foot the bill, not our children or children's children.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

@SEY,

RE: Your "pay-as-you-go" fantasy.... That may make sense in the political-rhetoric obsessed mind... but it shows how little you actually understand (or care) about reality...

1. Not being committed to finance till the end... would be the BIGGEST MISTAKE you could make. You name it, WWII, Desert Storm, even the Revolutionary War, or the Civil War)... Just quitting because you ran out of money... would leave America and EVERYBODY involved in a bigger mess (and more deaths) than what LEAD to the war! Your "Solution" would make everything WORSE!

Imagine the civilian deaths world-wide if in the middle of WWII America said, "ran out of money... we're done"... do you think Hitler would have just retired???

2. Sometimes you have to respond (whether you have the money or not). Sometimes you are attacked and can't just say "we don't have money", (Pearl Harbor, 9/11, etc).

3. Some causes are worth ANY cost (WWII, American Revolution, American Civil War, etc).

==========

In these wars... HOW would America (or the world) be better off... if we got half way in and then quit because you ran out of money?...

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Lew,
The freelance journalist they beheaded was not rich; people like him and other common folk benefit most from national security, the wealthy can hire their own.

You say those who benefit the most should pay up front, sounds like you want to increase taxes on the middle and lower classes.

If BO had not projected an image of indifference and weakness, these guys never would have developed a foothold and we wouldn’t have this problem, so by your logic everyone who voted for BO pay for this mess and let the rest of us off.

airnaut,
NO ONE’s kid HAS to go, rich or POOR since the draft was eliminated.

The rich pay the bulk of income taxes, it is THEIR money that already goes – why the lie that their money does not go?

FT,
house and senate intelligence committee dems are neo-cons? They are beating the war drums as much as anyone. BO’s man, Axelrod, said “never let a good crisis go to waste”

To listen to anyone who says we can contain the threat is “listening to fools”

What we DID succeed at was thrown away by BO’s disinterest.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Lew" but we do put up the money up front. Each year congress is supposed to set the budget for the US. Are you saying that Congress should establish a budget well in advance?

JoeCapitalist2
Orem, UT

Some on this forum seem to think that war is never justified and anything we spend on the military is complete waste of money. Some wars are definitely more justified than others, and a few were flat-out wrong. But what happens when evil aggression goes unchecked and the threat grows until armed confict is not only inevitable, but far more costly in both blood and treasure. Do we want to wait until ISIS gets a few million followers, nuclear weapons, and initiates terrorists attacks here before we respond?

I think it would be wise to pay for wars as they happen (just like I think the government should pay for everything as it goes). This would make everyone think twice before getting into a conflict that is not a good one to be involved with. The electorate would likely hold its elected officials more accountable if everyone got a direct bill every month for all the waste and mismanagement our government dishes out on a daily basis.

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