January 24, 2015
Drafting Dollars

Like all truly workable, practical, sensible and desirable political proposals in the world’s greatest democracy, this one too ain’t never gonna happen. It comes from a comment to this posting on The Dish.

Forget the draft. The way to make both politicians and the electorate think more carefully about our use of military force would be a war tax. Imagine if every foreign military intervention automatically triggered substantial increases in income tax rates, especially in the top tax brackets. It could be arranged so that multiple simultaneous foreign interventions would cause multiple increases, with two or more interventions leading to essentially confiscatory taxes on incomes over $1M.

I don’t know whether a draft would really cause anyone to think more about their foreign policy choices, but if I know Republicans, confiscatory taxes would definitely do the trick. It also seems more just: the draft idea deprives young people of their freedom and possibly their lives in an attempt to influence the donor class’ political choices, while the war tax would leave young people alone and directly target the kinds of people who hold influence over politicians.

Posted by Jerome Doolittle at January 24, 2015 05:20 PM
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In 1971 Art Buchwald proposed a "wealth draft" to complement the military draft. He thought it only reasonable that if 18 to 26 year olds were asked for two years of their life, men above that age should have their incomes or some portion of their assets drafted for two years to fund the war.

Alas, it was just a humor column.

Posted by: Rez Dog on January 29, 2015 11:11 PM
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