Alan Grayson’s “The War is Making You Poor” Act


alan grayson.jpgFreshman Congressman Alan Grayson (Fl-08), fresh off some real victories in the House on financial regulatory reform and Federal Reserve Bank transparency, is now focusing his attention on America’s expensive wars.
He is making a direct connection between the income levels of regular Americans as well as the benefits they do or don’t receive and the costly wars underway in Afghanistan and Iraq.
From a press release (pdf) from Representative Grayson’s office:

Congressman Alan Grayson (FL-08) introduced a landmark bill last night, called the “War Is Making You Poor Act”. The bipartisan bill does three things:

1) It limits the amount of funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,
2) It eliminates the federal income tax on the first $35,000 of every American’s income ($70,000 for married couples), and
3) It cuts the Federal deficit by $15.9 billion.

Congressman Grayson said, “All three of those things need to be done. This bill brings them all together.”

Grayson says that the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars need to be paid for out of a reasonably sized defense budget — and sets up a “supplemental budget” to cut the federal budget deficit and cuts taxes on many American working families.
Read the entire press release (pdf).
I will be offering more commentary on this after I land in Doha, Qatar where I’ll be participating in the 5th Al Jazeera Forum.
— Steve Clemons


32 comments on “Alan Grayson’s “The War is Making You Poor” Act

  1. Philip K. says:

    Rep. Grayson continues to impress me. It is amazing how much money is spent on war compared to the rest of the world. I wish more of our Democratic leaders could be more straight forward and offer common sense solutions. I found a video of this guy Adam. He really gets me fired up about this sh#@.
    I am tired of Democrats as he puts it, “being afraid of their own shadow”. We need more like Alan Grayson, courageous enough to stand up and put forth ideas that address the heart of Americas issues. Posturing or not, Grayson speaks the truth.


  2. josh robinson says:

    Funny how all the “Taxed Enough Already” teabagging
    Republicans … you know those who are supposedly
    for less taxes… have crawled out of the woodwork
    to call Grayson a nutcase. You think they would be
    greatly in favor of this. It really highlights what
    Republicans think is the right way to spend your tax
    dollars… not healthcare for Americans, but keep on
    fighting a bunch of wars for… well were not sure
    why were still fighting, but as long as were blowing
    brown people up on the other side of the world, or
    in reality lining the pockets of defense contractors
    then paying those taxes is ok. Hypocrites.


  3. An non American says:

    War is not making America poor, entitlements are. Cut
    entitlements, military spending is not enough.


  4. Carroll says:

    Your Israel lobby at work: ZOA blasts Obama appointee for saying al-Quds
    by Philip Weiss on May 24, 2010


  5. Carroll says:

    Activists en route to Gaza: We won’t resist IDF if boats seized
    Pro-Palestinian activists aboard one of vessels headed for Strip to ‘break Israeli blockade’ say if seized they will not put up a fight, explain to soldiers that they are violating international law. ‘Jewish state was not established to impose blockades,’ one activist says
    Aviel Magnezi Published: 05.24.10, 00:53 / Israel News
    Pro-Palestinian activists aboard one of the ships that will head for Gaza’s shore as part of the efforts to “break the Israeli blockade,” practiced a possible takeover by IDF naval forces at the port in Piraeus, Greece.
    “We will not resist the Israeli forces. We’ll explain to the soldiers that they are committing an offense,” one of the organizers said.
    Another organizer, a former Israeli who has been living in Sweden for the past few decades said, “We are preparing for the journey. We’ve loaded the equipment onto the vessels, which are manned by Greeks and Swedes. They are being briefed on how to conduct themselves should the IDF decide to seize the boat.”
    Amid reports that the Israeli navy will prevent any attempt to break the blockade, Dror Feiler told Ynet Sunday that the crew will not resist, but rather “try to explain to the soldiers that our intentions are humane and that by boarding the vessel they are violating international law.”
    Feiler, who served in the Israeli army in the 1970s, said he was aware that the journey will end once the soldiers board the vessel. “I know how this works. I was a soldier for three years and refused to serve in the territories, but I hope the Israeli government will come to its senses and refrain from attacking a convoy of 500 citizens. It won


  6. COLINDALE London says:

    This is a terrifying indictment of the power of
    the ISRAEL lobby in America.
    May 24, 2010, 5:00AM
    Israeli Nuclear warhead sale to South Africa
    denied by Peres.
    Today’s report by the Guardian of an alleged offer
    of sale of nuclear warheads to the South African
    apartheid regime, illustrates the duplicity of the
    Israeli state and the complete nonsense of the
    subterfuge of so-called nuclear ambiguity.
    US scientists estimate that Israel now has enough
    secret fissile material to have built between 200
    and 400 nuclear warheads – enough to wipe out
    London, New York, Paris and Moscow. Yet Israel’s
    massive nuclear arsenal is still completely
    outside international agreements and the
    inspection of the IAEA.
    This is a terrifying indictment of the power of
    the Israel lobby in America. Action needs to be
    taken immediately to neutralize this potential
    threat to world peace. All it needs is one nuclear
    bomb by Israel against any one of its enemies, and
    the world economy would be shaken to its
    The Middle East needs to be made into a NUCLEAR
    WEAPONS FREE ZONE, as a matter of urgency. Iran
    must be prevented from acquiring WMD and Israel
    must have the Dimona arsenal dismantled as a
    matter of urgency.


  7. David says:

    I think you missed the point, one that dirk got. Go back and read who Grayson is, where he came from, his education and how he got it, and what he has done as a lawyer. The man is very, very bright, motivated by the best impulses, and I can assure you thinks through very carefully what he does and says, unlike the knee-jerk, talking points standard front persons.
    This is a debate that needs to occur, and this is likely the only way it will. Grayson is worlds apart from the teaparty 2d populists.


  8. DavidT says:



  9. Carroll says:

    You can sign the petition at….
    Not that petitions do any good..99% of our politicans don’t give a damn what we think…but it’s something you can do anyway.


  10. susan says:

    The status-quo hates TRUTH TELLERS.
    According to his detractors, Freshman Rep Alan Grayson (D-FL 8, the formerly Republican district around Orlando) has gone too far and is part of the thug-like culture in our discourse. He is an extremist and says outrageous things looking for a short termed pop. He is a fifteen minute fame seeker who is not a professional politician with a future. He is deranged. Unhinged in fact.
    This is what Grayson’s critics and the corporate owned media won’t tell you:


  11. dirk says:

    excerpt from Grayson’s own comments on Daily Kos:
    “Next year


  12. JohnH says:

    Ah, yes, that existential threat canard. Iran spends $9 billion per year on defense, 65% of what Israel spends, so Iran is an existential threat.


  13. jonst says:

    They have no choice but to attack the messenger. The message is radioactive to them.


  14. kotzabasis says:

    Don S
    You are forgetting that


  15. David says:

    Alan Grayson is not a nutcase, this is not a political stunt, and there is nothing looney about what is popularly referred to as the left. While “responsible” centrists have been going down the path of ecocide, intentionally or not, treehuggers have been telling it like it really is for about 40 years. Dick Cheney is a nut case. David Broder is stuck in some “received wisdom” time warp. Alan Grayson is willing to face hard truths, and act on them.
    When he struck back at the “death panel” bullshit, he was much more on target than his critcs. There is a direct correlation between mortality rates and lack of access to health care, and in America, unless you are wealthy, you are not going to get adequate health care without insurance coverage. You can’t pay for it. And Republicans don’t want the government to be involved, unless they are seniors with Medicare, which they seem to think is not a taxpayer-funded government health insurance program. And centrists don’t want to “go too far,” but neither conservatives nor centrists are up-in-arms about totally taxpayer funded trillion-dollar-a-year military costs. Remember, opponents of healthcare reform were railing against the idea of it costing a trillion dollars over ten years, which it won’t, and if it did, it would be a wise investment in the general health of the common body politic, especially children and the people who actually make and do things.
    If you are going to call someone a nutcase, try improving your aim.


  16. DonS says:

    Now Kotz, Grayson is a strong supporter of Israel. Would you say this is a case of even a broken clock is right twice a day? How can he be a nut case if he supports your signature issue? Never mind.
    As to “necessary war” and “temporary poorness”, you can keep your opinion on fleecing American pockets in your billabong. or whatever.


  17. JohnH says:

    Au contraire, kotz. The swine are pigging out, scaring the bajeezus out of ordinary Americans.
    Hell, the DOD is now so obese they can’t pass an audit. Never have. And we’re to believe that DOD is self policing? HA-HA-HA-HA. There’s so much fat there that you could probably fund Obama’s entire Health Care Bill with it–but only if DOD could ever be subjected to an honest audit.


  18. kotzabasis says:

    The playful toddlers hopped-out of their vertiginous political


  19. Franklin says:

    I can just see David Broder rolling his eyes, “when I said we need bipartisan solutions, I didn’t mean THAT kind of bipartisanship”.
    Apparently the “loony” left and the “wingnut” right CAN find common ground. In this case, it’s the “sensible center” that’s an impediment to progress.
    Of course, the bill is mostly a political stunt, but at a minimum it helps to crystallize some of the financial costs and tradeoffs associated with the current policy.


  20. Paul Norheim says:

    You have every reason to be proud of Gitmo, Dan, but as any
    teabagger could have informed you, it’s not comparable to the
    Gulags and death panels on the Scandinavian peninsula. Just ask


  21. Joann says:

    I love Alan Grayson. Thank goodness for someone who has the courage to stand up for the poor in this country. I’m sure they will try to dis him, but he’s got my support.


  22. jjm says:

    I love this title, and Alan Grayson, one of the few politicians whose
    words could not be more pointed and a propos. Go, Grayson!


  23. ... says:

    lol you 2…


  24. Dan Kervick says:

    “It’s a well known fact that there are currently no vampires left in Norway.”
    Yeah, according to Norway! I don’t believe a damn word that comes out of the People’s Communist Republic of Norway.
    I don’t care if they eat blood or lutefisk. Send all the Norwegians to Gitmo, and then let God sort ’em out.


  25. Paul Norheim says:

    It’s a well known fact that there are currently no vampires left in
    Norway (we sucked the blood out of the remaining dozen or so
    last year, the week before we ate the last cannibals), so I have no
    idea why Mr. Kervick continues his smear campaign against


  26. ... says:

    he’s jewish so what’s not to like about the guy???? do only people that are jewish get to be in the us congress?


  27. ... says:

    anything that mentions ‘war’ and ‘making you poor’ in the same bill is something americans need to be reminded of 24/7…. all the other stuff pales in comparison… it even got nadine’s girdle in a tither so you know this is good!!


  28. Dan Kervick says:

    How about some other cool names for bills:
    The We Drink BP’s Milkshake Act
    The Texting is Rotting Your Mind Act
    The Send Dan Money Act
    The Norwegian Vampires are Eating Your Children’s Organs Act


  29. ... says:

    kudos to alan grayson for putting this in focus… i am sure the corporate media will do everything in their power to silence him, so kudos to you too steve for drawing this to our attention..


  30. non-hater says:

    Snappy name for a bill, but it would be more accurate to call it the “America’s Failed Middle East Foreign Policy Is Making You Poor” Act. The two wars are just the most obvious symptoms of a larger problem.


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