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Beto O’Rourke unveils ‘war tax’ plan, focusing on veteran health care



Beto O’Rourke on Monday unveiled a new plan that would see an end to the war in Afghanistan and US troop’s involvement in Iraq while imposing a “war tax” on nonmilitary households to ensure veterans of future conflicts are taken care of when they come home.

The former congressional lawmaker and 2020 Democratic candidate’s proposal would see Congress authorize a a Veterans Health Care Trust Fund (VH CTF) for each newly authorized war. And every new VHCTF would be enacted in concert with a new war tax to pay for it.

“This modest tax would be implemented on a progressive basis, with taxpayers who make over $200,000 per year (adjusted gross income) paying $1,000 in a new tax for each war,” O’Rourke’s 2020 campaign website states, and the tax would be imposed on households without current members of the armed forces or veterans.

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“This new tax would serve as a reminder of the incredible sacrifice made by those who serve and their families,” the plan states.

The US withdrew from ground combat missions in Iraq in 2011, but roughly 5,000 US troops remain deployed to Iraq to advise and train Iraq’s military; the US has withdrawn all but a few hundred troops from Syria after the fall of the Islamic State’s territory.

And by ending the war in Afghanistan and US involvement in Iraq, O’Rourke said the US could save at least $400 billion and reinvest half of that “in programs that benefit those who served.”

O’Rourke’s plan says it’s time to “cancel the blank check for endless war…to ensure every American can thrive upon their return home.”

Additionally, the proposal calls for offering a pathway to citizenship for immigrants who serve in the military.

O’Rourke dropped this plan just two days before the first 2020 Democratic primary debate, which is set to be held in Miami, Florida, on Wednesday night.

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