War Taxes Last Long After the Battle Ends

Published October 16, 2007

Congressmen David Obey (D-WI), John Murtha (D-PA), and Jim McGovern (D-MA) have presented a plan for a “war tax” on income to fund military operations in Iraq. Rates would range from 2 percent for low-income families to 15 percent for those with high incomes.

Don’t think this “war tax” would end with the Iraq war. The Spanish-American War ended in 1898 but a 3 percent tax on telephone calls to pay for it remained in place until last year — 107 years to be precise. The government stopped collecting the Spanish-American War tax only because of a string of court rulings against the tax.

Steve Stanek ([email protected]) is a research fellow at The Heartland Institute.