Lieberman: Congress should consider war tax

Congress should consider a wartime surtax to fund a troop surge in Afghanistan, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said Wednesday.

Lieberman, a centrist who allies himself with Democrats but who often stakes out hawkish stances on defense issues, said lawmakers should examine a surtax.

"Generally speaking, if you feel that a war is worth fighting...then you've got to be willing to pay for it," Lieberman said during an appearance on MSNBC. "I wouldn't hold it up because of a failure to pay for it, but, to me, we have to be open to adopting some kind of taxes to pay for the additional expenditures for the effort the president announced last night in Afghanistan."

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Lieberman has backed President Barack Obama's plan to surge 30,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, putting him to the right in his caucus, though his support for a war surtax may put him a bit to the left of other colleagues.

Many Democrats were reluctant to back the tax in the midst of a recession, The Hill reported Wednesday.

Lieberman said that any war surtax should be sensitive to the current economic difficulties facing the U.S., suggesting that a surtax may go into effect in the future, once the brunt of the recession has passed.

"The one caveat here...is when such taxes would go into effect," he explained. "We're obviously working our way slowly, anxiously out of a very deep recession."

"When you're at a moment like that, you just don't want to increase anyone's taxes," Lieberman added. "So timing is the key."