To make the cost of war real for working Americans, Grayson performs a simple calculus:There's an online public petition endorsing Grayson's measure here.
“Next year's budget allocates $159,000,000,000 to perpetuate the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. That's enough money to eliminate federal income taxes for the first $35,000 of every American's income. Beyond that, (it) leaves over $15 billion to cut the deficit.
“And that's what this bill does. It eliminates separate funding for the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, and eliminates federal income taxes for everyone's first $35,000 of income ($70,000 for couples). Plus it pays down the national debt.”
The congressman is betting—with good reason—that the key to opening up a real debate about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is to make real the cost of these occupations to American families.
“The costs of the war have been rendered invisible. There's no draft. Instead, we take the most vulnerable elements of our population, and give them a choice between unemployment and missile fodder. Government deficits conceal the need to pay in cash for the war,” explains Grayson, with a reference to the mounting trade deficit with China. “We put the cost of both guns and butter on our Chinese credit card. In fact, we don't even put these wars on budget; they are still passed using 'emergency supplemental'. A nine-year 'emergency.’”
If Americans recognize what they are personally paying to maintain occupations of distant lands, Grayson argues that Americans will tell Congress: “the cost of these wars is too much for us.”
That's a lot of zeroes for destruction that benefits absolutely no one but defense contractors, defense lobbyists, and the politicians who accept campaign contributions (aka decriminalized bribes) from them.