The Corner

Surtaxes are the New Black

Surtaxes are the new rage this year. Nancy Pelosi wants a 5.4 percent surtax on the rich to pay for half of the health-care-reform costs and now senior House Democrats have introduced legislation that would impose a surtax beginning in 2011 to cover the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Congressional Quarterly has some of the details:

The bill would require the president to set the surtax so that it fully pays for the previous year’s war cost. But it would allow for a one-year delay in the implementation of the tax if the president determines that the economy is too weak to sustain that kind of tax change. It also would exempt military members who have served in combat since Sept. 11, 2001, along with their families, and the families of soldiers killed in combat.

Here is my question: If the Democrats believe that fairness requires that everyone shoulders a piece of the cost of the war, why shouldn’t that rule also apply to health-care reform?