Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) announced today his support in a letter circulating through the House of Representatives for HR 3150 and S. 1634 which are amendments to the supplemental appropriations bill which would offset the spending request to fund operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

To pay for the $87 billion price tag of the request, this proposal would reduce the tax breaks given to the wealthiest one percent of Americans, those whose adjusted income is over $300,000 per year or more. 

“We simply cannot afford to put the cost of these operations on a credit card,” Smith said. “The $87 billion request should be paid for.  The budget deficit will total $455 billion in 2003 and $475 billion in 2004.  I support repealing the top tax rate cut to pay for the bulk of the operations because this is the fairest way to share the sacrifice of war, and it will have a much lower impact on our economy and the American people than dramatically cutting health care services or infrastructure investments.”

The total cost of the first Persian Gulf War was $80 billion and our allies paid for the vast majority of this burden.  In 2002 dollars, that war cost the U.S. taxpayers only $4 billion, just 5 percent of the war’s cost.

The letter calls, “on the Administration to make good on the promise of shared sacrifice and fiscal responsibility by paying for the cost of the supplemental proposal.”

The complete text of the letter follows this release. 

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October 3, 2003
The President
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing to express our strong support for HR 3150 and S. 1634, which was recently debated in the Senate as an amendment to the supplemental appropriations bill. This proposal would offset the spending request to fund operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

To pay for the $87 billion price tag of your request, this proposal would reduce the tax breaks given to the wealthiest one percent of Americans, those whose adjusted income is over $300,000 per year or more. The rate adjustment would be made during the final six years of the 10-year tax cut plan; instead of receiving $690 billion in tax cuts during that decade, America's wealthiest would still receive about $600 billion in cuts.

We strongly support the American military personnel who are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have fought bravely and have risked their lives to bring security and democracy to these troubled nations. We all agree that Congress and the Administration must do whatever it takes to do right by our servicemen and women and to succeed in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Clearly, this will require additional funds. We look forward to working with you to secure the needed funding; however, we simply cannot afford to put the cost of these operations on a credit card.

The $87 billion request should be paid for. The budget deficit will total $455 billion in 2003 and $475 billion in 2004. Repealing the top tax rate cut to pay for the bulk of the operations is the fairest way to share the sacrifice of war, and it will have a much lower impact on our economy and the American people than dramatically cutting health care services, funding for homeland security or infrastructure investments, for example

If we are not willing to make this sacrifice today, future generations will inherit an enormous national debt. Every day our soldiers put their lives at risk so that the Iraqi people - and ultimately the people of the entire Middle East as well as the United States -- will have a secure, stable and prosperous future. Meanwhile, their families back home have made enormous personal and financial sacrifices, struggling to make a living and raise a family. Despite these sacrifices by our men and women in uniform we have not asked enough of our nation's wealthiest citizens.

As you are aware, the total cost of the first Persian Gulf War was $80 billion and our allies paid for the vast majority of this burden. In 2002 dollars, that war cost the U.S. taxpayers only $4 billion, just 5 percent of the war's cost. We call on the Administration to make good on the promise of shared sacrifice and fiscal responsibility by paying for the cost of the supplemental proposal.

We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,