War tax sought as Congress debates Bush budget
Tue Feb 6, 2007 4:54PM EST
By Richard Cowan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An outspoken supporter of the Iraq war on Tuesday called for a new tax to pay for its astronomical cost as Congress opened a debate on President George W. Bush’s $2.9 trillion budget plan for next year.
Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut proposed a “war on terrorism tax” at a Senate hearing during which he said the Pentagon’s $622 billion defense budget proposal for fiscal 2008 threatened to crowd out funds for domestic programs.
The lawmaker, a former Democrat turned independent, favors a U.S. troop buildup in Iraq.
Bush traveled to Manassas, Virginia, to deliver the opposite message about the budget he submitted to the Democrat-controlled Congress on Monday.
“This budget can work if Congress resists the temptation to raise your taxes,” the Republican president told employees of Micron Technology Inc., a semiconductor manufacturer.
As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan grind on and their costs could hit $662 billion by the end of next year, Congress is becoming increasingly worried about cutting domestic programs to keep wartime budget deficits down.
Even moderate Republicans have rebelled against tight budgets for social programs, saying last year they had been “cut to the bone and into the marrow.”
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