Rep. McCollum supports surtax to fund Afghanistanby Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Minnesota Congresswoman Betty McCollum offered few details Tuesday about proposed legislation to create a temporary surtax to fund the war in Afghanistan.
McCollum and seven other Democratic legislators have co-sponsored the "Share the Sacrifice Act," which was introduced by Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., on Nov. 19.
Under the bill, households earning between $30,000 and $150,000 a year would see a one-percent increase in their regular tax level.
Those making over $150,000 would pay more. The president would set the tax rate for high earners based on current war costs.
Military service members and their families would be exempt from the increase.
"I think the American people understand that their national security is worth a latte at Starbucks," McCollum told MPR's Tom Crann on Tuesday.
McCollum characterized the legislation as a "starting point" to discuss ways to fund the war without increasing the national debt.
She rejected criticism that Democrats have proposed the legislation as a way to oppose the troop surge. "I intend to be very supportive of what President Obama's plan is, even though I've yet to hear all the details," McCollum said.
"I'm not playing any kind of game with this," she added.
If the bill passed, the tax would take effect in 2011, but the legislation would allow the president to delay the tax by a year due to a weak economy.
- All Things Considered, 12/01/2009, 5:10 p.m.