Spratt knocks down Afghan war surtax

House Budget Committee chairman John Spratt on Tuesday (D-S.C.) said he could not support a proposed "war surtax" to fund troop increases in Afghanistan.

Spratt said that the measure introduced by Appropriations Committee chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) would raise taxes during a recession, an uptick he believes the country cannot afford.

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"We don't want to raise taxes, especially a surcharge on income taxes in the middle of a bad recession," Spratt said on ABC News' Topline webcast. 

President Barack Obama is expected to announce in Tuesday primetime address that the military will send over 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan to spur what he hopes will help wind down the nine-year conflict.

Obama has faced criticism from the liberals who oppose troop increases in part because they will add to the already large $1.4 trillion budget deficit.

Despite opposing the surtax favored by many liberal lawmakers, Spratt said that the federal government might have to confront the the $25 to $30 billion he expects the "surge" to cost "somewhere down the road."

"I'm concerned about the national debt," he said, calling the increase "an incremental addition to it that we hope to offset in the future."

Spratt said that troop draw-downs in Iraq could help pay for additional units in Afghanistan. U.S. forces are expected to leave Iraq by fall 2011.

Spratt said it was important that the U.S. military "see it through" in Afghanistan and limit the influence of the Taliban and al-Qaeda via counterinsurgency.