War Tax For Profiteers?


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Hello Everyone :)

I am in the States, so forgive me, but much of this post will deal with the situation here. However, I do think it is an issue that affects everyone.

I’ve been wondering about something lately, and while I’m quite certain this idea is nothing new, I sure don’t hear very many people discussing it. I can’t help but wonder—if those who profit the most financially from war were taxed according to those profits, how quickly do you think we might be able to bring the troops home?

If one types in “war tax”, search results will mostly be in reference to an ongoing resistance movement by those who refuse to pay for the war through telephone bills and other methods. This is not what I am talking about. Neither am I talking about having the wealthy pay more out of a sense of patriotism. But these are the ideas most people seem to think of when the subject arises.

I am talking about taxing corporations or individuals on a scale which directly corresponds to the financial gains they receive as a result of war. (By the way, I’m not talking about the individuals who serve in the military—they pay with their service and often with their lives.)

By now, I wonder how many of you may be snickering. I don’t blame you. I am no political science major and I’m most certainly no financial genius. But this is an idea that I just keep mulling over. Obviously, something like this would meet with a great deal of resistance, especially right now—in fact, I’d say it would be impossible at present, but then I am one of those who also thinks that the people of the U.S. and others have been betrayed and are temporarily being held captive by unscrupulous leaders. Sorry--that is just how I see it.

Anyway, after much searching, I did find the following link. I don’t know very much about this woman, but I am posting her thoughts here because they come very close to what I have been thinking.


I’d like to hear what others think about this, since, like I said, I’m no expert in this area. I realize the link is an old one, so surely there has been more talk about this idea than I know. I figured there was probably no harm in asking about it, since this is a community of thinkers with opinions. All I ask it that even if you think I am daft, try and be as kind as possible. No need for ugliness, eh?

(I will be offline most of the day, but I will check in as soon as I can.)

Taxes suck.... Special taxes for things I do not support.... I should surley be able to say... You know what... I got a car sure you got me... Here is some car tax... But should also be able to say... "Your violence is a bunch of bs.... I do not support it nor do I wish to be any part of it in anyway I am pro-life and peacful... I am not paying your blood for oil tax...." I can't see how that makes you a criminal :|
Hi 17th--

I only have a minute here and then I gotta go for the day--

What I am thinking is that, unless you were making direct profits from making war, you would not owe this war tax. Like I said, I'm not talking about the current resistance movement which involves withholding one's taxes in protest--I haven't thought that one out yet. This is something else.

Hi 17th--

I only have a minute here and then I gotta go for the day--

What I am thinking is that, unless you were making direct profits from making war, you would not owe this war tax. Like I said, I'm not talking about the current resistance movement which involves withholding one's taxes in protest--I haven't thought that one out yet. This is something else.


Yea... I know, I just tend to go on about anything... It is amazing that I was quite close. I tend to just rabble on about something at random... Amazingly close this time however.... lol

War = Big profit.... There is much to gain from a war.... And kind of as an overall "thing" lol.... You do benefit from the glorious bounty of wining a war... As people of that nation... Didn't you notice how clear it is? :D
Hi InLove...Logically your idea is a good one, but in practicality it probably wouldn't work in the long run.

If we could have the foresight to do this sort of thing lesislatively during peacetime (Hmmmm...when might that be as concerns the USA ?) then it would have a chance and might even deter some of those who are always beating the war drums. But then also you see, the system would be opened up to similarly left leaning overtures (not that they are not sorely needed these days to restore a sense of balance in world affairs). Some pinko liberals might suggest things like an environmental tax for petroleum, coal, automobile, and utility companies geared towards the degree that their activities and products pollute the earth's environment.

The proposals and conflicts in this line pf thinking have no end in their potential for conflict within our society. And therefore, our legislators would NEVER consider such things. Not to mention the fact that lots of side money that they get through lobbying activities would be severely curtailed.

In an ideal world, what you say makes lots of sense. In our real world the idea would be totally ignored, as it has been.

This would fall under the category of cost of doing business.

Today when you enter the business world, be you buying a McDonald's Franchise or sewing in your basement, building web pages, start a pizzaria or build bombs, jets, cruise missles etc.

Now in any business we've got what we call 'burden' cost of doing business, insurance, workman's comp, futa, suta, fica, rent, lights, phone bills, payroll whatever expenses they are. You total up your costs you add some profit (between 1/100% and 10,000% depending on what the market will bear) and then you price your work accordingly. Sometimes this is contract bid and sometimes you are selling pizzas.

Now if you were Haliburton, responsible for providing soldiers with pizzas, and 3 squares a day and movies, and fuel and sleeping and office facilities and...and...and...and you had to do this in the middle of the desert thousands of miles from your headquarters and you had to provide this at a moments notice for men that are on the move and need to be fed and housed...and they get pissed if they aren't fed well and you have accountants, GAO, gov't watchdogs, news teams, investigative reporters, DOD invoices filled out in triplicate....first of all you can't provide a fixed bid for this kind of work so it ends up an unbid open contract with cost of services plus a fee....and your cost of services includes death benefits to family members of your employee you lost, the cost of the truck that was blown up by a roadside bomb, the cost of hiring private security for your convoys...and some of these costs don't get totalled up or impact until months after the job is complete...and oh yeah...we moved you need to dismantle that temporary cafeteria, depot, and quarters for 5,000 men and get it out of country before you are fined...

Well if you add a war tax...I just add a handling fee on it and bill it back to the gov't....it becomes part of my burden, my expenses, cost of doing business...so who in the end pays...always the consumer and if the consumer is the federal gov't....the taxpayer.
Hi guys--thanks for the interesting comments. Had an eventful day today, but I'm still thinking about all this, and I'll post responses as soon as I am a little more rested. In the meantime, I'd love to hear more from anyone who would like to add an opinion. :)

While wil and flowperson are pointing to the confounding impracticalities and bazillions of details that go into this kind of governmental game, I will simply stand up and voice my support for taxes on war profiteers.

Damn right there should be a war tax for war profiteers. And as Marjorie Cohn points out in the article that InLove linked to, excess profit war taxes are not unprecedented in American history:

Marjorie Cohn said:
It is wrong for huge corporations to profit from war. During the Civil War, there was a public outcry in Georgia against profiteering from that national tragedy. Georgia's General Assembly responded by enacting a special profits tax.

Congress itself enacted "excess-profits taxes" during World Wars I and II and the Korean War, to prevent firms from making windfall profits from these conflicts. Democratic Rep. Clement C. Dickinson of Missouri eloquently stated the rationale for an excess-profits tax on the floor of Congress in 1917. He said that "those who reap large war profits in times of distress should help to bear the burdens of government, increased by reason of the very conditions that add to the wealth of those who flourish and fatten on the misfortunes of the country."

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his first radio address following the outbreak of World War II, declared that "no American has the moral right to profiteer at the expense either of his fellow-citizens or of the men, women and children who are living and dying in the midst of war in Europe." The U.S. had not yet entered the war at that point.

In a message to Congress in 1940, Roosevelt sought "a steeply graduated excess-profits tax" to ensure "that a few do not gain from the sacrifices of the many." The members of the U.S. armed forces who have served in the war on Iraq are not making excess wages for their sacrifices. Many will suffer for the rest of their lives with injuries and, likely, with Gulf War II Syndrome.

On Feb. 13, 2003, former Sen. George McGovern suggested on MSNBC's "Buchanan & Press" that Congress impose an excess-profits tax. "I don't think people ought to be making money out of young American blood in Iraq," McGovern said.

Excess-profits taxes are generally calculated in one of two ways. Any return on capital over a fixed percent may be considered excess profits. Or they might be defined as net income in excess of prewar levels.

It's simple enough to overanalyze the impracticalities of something like this and thereby (inadvertently?) justify doing nothing in the halls of government, justify the status quo. In my opinion, what we need to do is stand up and voice strong support for a movement that would tax those who make excess profits on war, and then work out the details. Let's not kill a dove of peace before it has a chance to fly, y'all. Sheesh. All this hemming and hawing and "it'll never work..." to me it is shameful.

But that is just me, and my ideals are always bigger than my desire to enter into calculations and so-called "practical considerations."

;) :D :)
I will simply stand up and voice my support for taxes on war profiteers.

Damn right there should be a war tax for war profiteers. ...But that is just me, and my ideals are always bigger than my desire to enter into calculations and so-called "practical considerations."
It is quite interesting to me that you wish to pay more for war than you are currently paying. ie all war taxes will be in the end paid by the taxpayer. And not only will we pay the war tax we will pay for the profit made on the war tax and the increased bureaucracy to administer it.

There may be a point to it all in my mind...eventually making war so expensive that peace is the only option...or make corporate profits so burdensome that no company is willing to work for the US on defense spending...in which case we'll simply outsource it to foreign companies..

As for Gov't waste and incestuous spending the first I know of is when George Washington's quarry got the contract to supply stone to build DC, it wasn't the best stone, actually it was inferior, but as all good politicians when you leave office you have power to lobby and influence those that control the budgets...
wil, I am so poor that I hardly pay taxes. Partly that is a choice.

I know what you and flow are saying. I do grasp your logic. I'm not sure if it really has to be that way, though.

Hi Everyone--

Thanks for posting from the Marjorie Cohn link, Pathless. I think she makes some pretty good points.

Wil, I know that profiteers are very skillful at finding, creating and utilizing loopholes of all kinds. This very often does involve individuals and associations within our govenment(s), and that is why those loopholes are often written very cleverly into bills and passed. That is also why we have to keep an eye out for these things, and continue to make our voices heard on this issue. Closer attention needs to be paid to the riders attached to bills whenever we are given the chance to vote on one. Honestly, I wish each issue could be voted on separately. People tell me that things would get so bogged down that nothing would ever get done. But I am not so sure about that. It is too easy for a proposal to get buried from plain sight. We need to take a good look at the things you mentioned, such as those handling fees and and the incredible amount of outsourcing that is so widely practiced, and determine whether or not they should be prohibited by law in some cases. I know it may prove difficult and it may seem impossible, and I realize it ain't happenin' immediately, but I think right now is a very good time for concerned citizens to search out these matters, become more informed, and start speaking up. And we have got to get better at letting the lawmakers in all branches know that we are watching them. The law is supposed to hold princes and paupers in equal regard, but if the only ones watching and acting are the profiteers, then the rest of us can expect to continue to be ignored.

Flow & 17th--I planned on responding to you both, but I am getting kind of tired, and so I think I will do that real soon, but not right at the moment. I know you understand.

Thanks for the conversation, everyone. Pros, cons, all of ya! (lol)
(InLove inserts strange-looking green pumpkin icon to indicate humor, just in case-->:D)

all war taxes will be in the end paid by the taxpayer. And not only will we pay the war tax we will pay for the profit made on the war tax and the increased bureaucracy to administer it.

Part of me wonders if this is fitting. After all, America is responsible for her actions, and we are America. Sure we can blame the current administration, but also the sorry and repressive "War on Terror" is being waged in our names, and most of us cheered and jeered for this War to be waged in the aftermath of September 11th. Even a few years later, we were as a nation all too ready to take the fight into Iraq. So maybe it is fitting that we all should pay, should buck up and sacrifice a bit. After all, the common people of Iraq are sacrificing, and they weren't given much of a choice, were they? Same could be said for Afghanistan.

The fact is that the American people have been complacent and complicit with the oppression of the Iraqi people for decades. Saddam Hussein? A meany-pants for sure, but then again he was Don Rumsfeld's and Reagan's buddy at first, no?

Democracy Now! | The Reagan-Saddam Connection: "We Create These Monsters And When It's Not Convenient We Cover Them Up"

Yeah, we can all claim victim-hood and that, as common people, the wool has been pulled over our eyes. Gosh, it's not our fault! We're not responsible! It's those bad people in office. And there is some validity to that, I think. The system is sick and we, as common Americans, can feel particularly helpless when faced with the ridiculous bureaucracy and military juggernaut that the federal government has become. Yet we can only make excuses for so long. Eventually, I believe, we must own our actions, and take responsibility for being citizens of the most influential nation in the world.

What form this takes may vary. Direct political action? Perhaps. Yet the system is corrupt. Are there other ways to create lasting change? I think so, and I think they are simpler than endless protesting and lobbying.

Gandhi and Martin Luther King after him were both fond of saying, "Be the change you want to see in the world." It is especially important for more and more of us to take that philosophy and live it. And I think more and more people are. And of course not everyone is a politician, thank Gawd!, and not everyone is famous or influential, given the opportunity to grandstand and make speeches or whatever. But we all have our things that we do. It can be something as ordinary as cooking. Do it with Love, and put it out there. When we make efforts to positively effect the world, these things don't have to be overtly political. What matters is the intention, our spirits, and our understanding of what we are doing.

War tax? Do I want to pay it myself and support war? No, of course not. Yet I am already supporting war by the simple fact that I live in America, which is waging war. By being a citizen of this country, I am by default a war-monger. I have to try that on and see how it fits. Not too well, as you might imagine. Don't like it. So that's part of me, unfortunately, but I also refuse to buy into it more than I have to. I certainly am not defined by it. I would rather be defined by things like: I am partner to a wonderful woman; I am an advocate for civil and human rights; I am a writer with a social conscience; I am a great decorator; I keep my house clean; I love my family and am loved. I prefer to focus on those things.

Nattering and bickering with each other doesn't seem to create any positive change, to my mind. So I stop nattering so much, try to make my words concise. I consciously cut back on my criticisms of others, instead fixing what I can see that I don't like so much about myself. That's possible and really not all that difficult! I know that as much as I know that twisting someone else's arm doesn't get results. And the more I change myself, shaping myself to be the world that I want to live in, the more I notice that the little critic man in me isn't standing up and yelling in his pestering, tinny voice so much anymore. That makes me happy and peaceful, which makes my actions more happy and peaceful.

But I am nattering on about myself...

that is all for now.

Hi Guys--

Sorry for the delay in getting back to the discussion. Had some computer problems. Waiting to see how many files have been lost....ratz! I'll have to try and keep my comments brief for the moment, since I'm getting used to a new screen and keyboard. The upside of this is that it is all sleek and streamlined and the best part is that it was all FREE, thanks to a good friend who happens to be in the computer repair biz. But, alas, now I have a cold, and chemo and colds do not mix well, so like I said, just a quick word for now.

Pathless, I do appreciate what you are saying about how we need to keep a handle on our personal peace and our everyday lives. There has to be a balance between this and what we see as our role in society. While I really do think it is most often counterproductive to go about continually railing wildly against the injustices we see, I still see the need to speak up in order to protect the aforementioned balance--or at least try. My views are hardly ever mainstream, although they may seem that way to some. And I don't try to be this way, it just happens. I suppose I am just a bit leary of anything that too quickly and completely, for reasons I just cannot see, enthralls the multitudes.

No, I don't blame myself for this war--I really don't. I have NOT been complacent. I know many people are saying this now, but from the beginning, I could see no reasoning in the way we were addressing the attack on this country. No, I was not in favor of the war on Iraq. To put things even more bluntly, I literally wept when the present administration took over the first time. I hate to be that way--I always want to be supportive where I can, even if I do not happen to like the politics of my country's leaders. But even at that, I did not know how far things would go this time. I may have kept relatively quiet here in C-R, because this is not just a political forum, and I have friends and acquaintances here with whom I would like to continue the exchange of spiritual ideas and such. But out there in this world, and in other places on the net, I am slowly, steadily, and somewhat moderately trudging forward where I can. Like flow says, there will be all kinds of reasons why reason will be ignored, but maybe every once in a while, I'll hit a nerve. I just cannot support what I don't believe in, and I certainly will not take the blame for it. Don't you either!