Today, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) introduced bipartisan legislation called the “War Is Making You Poor Act,” which aims to call attention to a) how much money is being spent to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and b) how budget gimmicks are used to pay for them. Grayson’s legislation would slash the $159 billion request for supplemental war funding and use that money to deliver a tax break for all Americans. Grayson demands the Pentagon use its currently existing $549 billion defense budget to fight the wars. Speaking on the House floor today, Grayson underscored that the point of his legislation is to highlight the costs of the wars:
GRAYSON: So I believe that the thing we need to do is to take that $159 billion that the President has set aside – we’re not saying he has to stop the war, we’re not giving a cut-off date for the war – we’re simply saying you need to fund that out of the base budget of $549 billion. And we take 90 percent of that and give it back to the American people.
And I think most people would be surprised to learn that that is so much money that we’ve been spending on the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq that every single taxpayer in America will be get his first or her first $35,000 of income completely tax free.
Grayson’s bill, which is currently being co-sponsored by Reps. Ron Paul (R-TX), Walter Jones (R-NC), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) Barbara Lee (D-CA), John Conyers (D-MI), and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), would also cut the federal deficit by $15.9 billion. “There is no longer any need to go beyond the exorbitant base defense budget,” Grayson said. “It is not necessary. Enough is enough.”