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Rep. Alan Grayson Introduces the "War Is Making You Poor" Act

The bill would cut the DoD's budget and use that money to make the first $35,000 each American earns tax-free.

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And I think most people would be surprised to learn that that is so much money that we've been spending in the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq that every single taxpayer in America would be able to get his first, her first, $35,000 of income completely tax-free. You won't see dollar one of tax, until you make more than that. And in fact, almost a third of Americans don't make more than that, so they will simply be excused from the federal income tax system, and all we need to do is to stop separately funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now, I've heard many complaints from the people on the other side, and some complaints from the people on our side about the federal debt and the federal deficit. Here's something concrete that you can do. If this bill passes, we'll be able to reduce the federal deficit by 1$6 billion. You don't have to take my word for it, it's been scored by the joint committee on taxation. The joint committee on taxation staff has determined that the tax cut that's needed to give every single person in America $35,000 tax-free, would cost less than the wars, and would leave after that $16 billion. Mr. Speaker, this is an idea whose time has come. It's time for the American people to see that there is no longer any need to go beyond the base, exorbitant defense budget that's presented to us by the president, not withstanding the fact that there's a war in Afghanistan and a war in Iraq. It's simply not necessary; you can see for yourself that enough is enough.... $549 billion is plenty, especially when we're using a Chinese credit card to pay for it. So I ask for your support Mr. Speaker, and I hope the chamber will consider the h.r. 5353 "War Is Making You Poor Act." Thank you. 

Correction: this article originally identified Walter Jones as a Republican Rep. from South Carolina.

Joshua Holland is an editor and senior writer at AlterNet.