Mark Trahant: Raise taxes to pay for war in Iraq
"President Bush is expected to announce a new Iraq war strategy this week and an increase in troop levels seems to be part of that package. Estimates about how many fresh troops will be sent to Iraq range from 8,000 (mostly to reinforce Baghdad) to as many as 40,000 men and women.

I agree with Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., who has called the surge the "absolute wrong strategy."

Wrong strategy or not, a new Iraq strategy is a thorny political problem for Democrats because Bush is still commander in chief. While Congress does have the power of the purse, cutting funds for troops in a field of battle is a repugnant thought.

But Congress has another power of the purse: It could raise taxes to pay for the war. Call it the tax surge.

Democrats "have ruled out defunding the war," writes Neil Howe for Facing Facts Quarterly, a publication of The Concord Coalition. "Indeed, many Democrats will support the president's recent request to expand the size of the Army and Marine Corps. Raising taxes is an option, though party leaders say they want to preserve the president's middle-class tax cuts."

Raising taxes should be more than an option during a war; it ought to be a patriotic act. Perhaps the president will even open the door to this option if he makes the case for national sacrifice as part of his new war strategy."

Get the Story:
Tax increase for war a patriotic act (The Seattle Post-Intelligencer 1/7)

More Mark Trahant:
Mark Trahant: President Gerald Ford and Indian health (1/2)
Mark Trahant: Congress finds time to do nothing (12/11)
Mark Trahant: Wake up America and smell the bills (12/4)
Mark Trahant: States seek 'share' of tribal cash (11/20)
Mark Trahant: Critics wrong on affirmative action (11/06)
Mark Trahant: Yet another column on economics (10/30)
Mark Trahant: Voters look at the bigger picture (10/23)
Mark Trahant: Governments lie because politicians lie (10/16)
Mark Trahant: Americans know spending out of control (10/9)
Mark Trahant: Washington ignores huge debt (10/2)
Mark Trahant: Generation tested by challenges (9/25)
Mark Trahant: The bubble bursts on our credit (9/18)
Mark Trahant: Forget the rethoric about Iran (9/11)
Mark Trahant: Everyone can't be that good (9/5)
Mark Trahant: Immigration reform only solution (8/28)
Mark Trahant: What if scenarios of terror attacks (8/21)
Mark Trahant: Finding common ground on the issues (8/14)
Mark Trahant: A government program that works??? (8/7)
Mark Trahant: The anxious state of the economy (7/31)
Mark Trahant: An Internet-based democracy (7/24)
Mark Trahant: It's time for the U.S. to keep its word (7/17)
Mark Trahant: Immigration a solution for work force (7/10)
Mark Trahant: No economic paradise in America (06/12)
Mark Trahant: What went wrong at Fannie Mae? (6/5)
Mark Trahant: A hip, cool place in Washington DC (5/29)
Mark Trahant: Border fence a bad idea for U.S. (5/22)
Mark Trahant: It's time for U.S. and Iran to talk (5/15)
Mark Trahant: High gas prices a wake-up call to America (5/8)
Mark Trahant: Stark choices define American politics (5/1)
Mark Trahant: Hope for the best, plan for the worst (4/24)
Trahant: We should decide how our taxes are spent (4/17)
Mark Trahant: Entering the immigration debate (4/3)
Mark Trahant: America is a blending of cultures (3/27)
Mark Trahant: Unsaid debates dominate agenda (3/20)
Mark Trahant: Bush and human rights in Pakistan (3/13)
Mark Trahant: Hank Adams, Indian visionary (3/6)
Mark Trahant: Health care spending on the rise (2/27)
Mark Trahant: Future taxpayers will cough up dough (2/13)
Mark Trahant: Sooner or later, America will go broke (2/6)
Mark Trahant: Bush will tell us everything is great (1/30)
Mark Trahant: Abramoff turning into blame the Indians (1/23)
Mark Trahant: Cultural changes come, some slowly (1/9)
Mark Trahant: Starting new year off with correction (1/4)
Mark Trahant: How about a coin for Vine Deloria? (12/19)
Mark Trahant: The really great state of the economy (12/12)
Mark Trahant: America's numbers don't add up (12/5)
Mark Trahant: Few writers as powerful as Deloria (11/21)
Mark Trahant: Media sometimes isn't fair (11/14)
Mark Trahant: No one wants to talk about immigration (11/7)
Mark Trahant: The ultimate power of the Fed (10/31)
Mark Trahant: Is there no trust in the government? (10/24)
Mark Trahant: The next pick for Federal Reserve job (10/10)
Mark Trahant: I was wrong about voting by mail (9/26)
Mark Trahant: Rebuilding New Orleans, a unique city (9/19)
Mark Trahant: Katrina testing limits of charity (9/12)
Mark Trahant: Democracy an unfinished experiment (08/29)
Mark Trahant: You write the news, you pick it (8/15)
Mark Trahant: Tribal stories don't matter to science (8/8)
Mark Trahant: Congress focuses on real issues (8/1)
Mark Trahant: Judicial debate conceals big issue (7/25)
Mark Trahant: Wasting time at work can be productive (7/18)
Mark Trahant: Appoint Indian to U.S. Supreme Court (7/11)
Mark Trahant: Readers offer junk mail solutions (06/20)
Mark Trahant: Junk mail invades home, office (6/13)
Mark Trahant: Social Security needs new compact (6/6)
Mark Trahant: Readers upset over military cartoon (5/30)
Mark Trahant: Healing the world with totem poles (5/23)
Mark Trahant: We're all as young as we feel (5/16)
Mark Trahant: Social Security debate masks failures (5/9)
Mark Trahant: Public sees bias in the news media (5/2)
Mark Trahant: Few salmon left for tribal ceremonies (4/25)
Mark Trahant: Tax system unfair and complicated (4/18)
Mark Trahant: Our nation must pay its own tax bill (4/11)
Mark Trahant: Latest numbers on economy scare me (4/4)
Mark Trahant: C-SPAN just as important today (3/28)
Mark Trahant: Does democracy mean supporting Bush? (3/21)
Mark Trahant: Academic freedom for Churchill too? (03/07)
Mark Trahant: Journalism more interactive than before (2/28)
Mark Trahant: Social Security debate all about 'me' (2/21)
Mark Trahant: Social Security push ignores big issue (2/14)
Mark Trahant: Human beings only react during crisis (2/7)
Mark Trahant: Election tales usually one-sided (1/31)
Trahant: Public school system not good enough (01/24)
Mark Trahant: Three cheers for the First Amendment (01/10)
Mark Trahant: Did my vote count? Did yours? (12/20)
Mark Trahant: Bush plan leaves no room for salmon (12/13)
Mark Trahant: Two friendly faces on the news (11/29)
Mark Trahant: Mainstream media doesn't matter (11/22)
Mark Trahant: Do political endorsements matter? (11/8)
Mark Trahant: So what happens after the election? (11/1)
Mark Trahant: Vote early and avoid campaign sleaze (10/25)
Mark Trahant: Congress should abide by laws too (10/18)
Mark Trahant: Election changing as we speak (10/11)
Mark Trahant: NMAI must change the story (09/27)
Mark Trahant: Media's view of elections should change (09/20)
Mark Trahant: What happened to Pakistan? bin Laden? (09/13)
Mark Trahant: Payroll tax not fair to all Americans (8/23)
Mark Trahant: Bush's answer was slightly better (8/9)
Audio: Bush explains meaning of tribal sovereignty (8/6)
Mark Trahant: The one that didn't get away (08/02)
Mark Trahant: Living in a world of easy credit (7/26)
Mark Trahant: Congress still stealing Indian land (07/12)
Mark Trahant: Raising the next peace generation (7/6)
Mark Trahant: How far does 'terrorist' definition go? (6/28)
Mark Trahant: The big five-oh a good time to reflect (6/21)
Mark Trahant: Ordinary Reagan was extraordinary (06/14)
Mark Trahant: Indian girls team had game back in 1900s (06/07)
Mark Trahant: Voice mail filled with views on Iraqi war (05/17)
Mark Trahant: A familiar story of cultural change (03/22)
Mark Trahant: One Indian in Senate is wrong number (03/08)
Mark Trahant: Division marked another major war too (2/23)
Mark Trahant: We're still fighting the Cold War (01/26)
Trahant: Selling democracy to Indian Country (11/17)
Trahant: Can't trust Uncle Sam with Indian money (11/10)
Mark Trahant: Bush needs to note success and failure (10/20)
Mark Trahant: Technology and the news world (09/29)
Mark Trahant: Preparing for the unthinkable (09/22)
Trahant: When tribes succeed, someone changes rules (09/1)