Robert, AKA “Beto” O’Rourke has announced a new policy plan which includes modifying military spending and overhauling the veteran care system. According to O’Rourke’s campaign website, “we must pay any price, and bear any burden, to support all those who have worn the uniform and keep America safe. “
It turns out this cost will be paid via a new war tax on families that don’t have any current or former military members. The war tax money will be used to create a trust fund for veterans at the beginning of each new war.
According to O’Rourke, “This new tax would serve as a reminder of the incredible sacrifice made by those who serve and their families,”.
The idea of the War Tax is that at the start of every war America becomes involved in, Congress should establish something called a Veterans Health Care Trust Fund, or VHCTF, to provide for the health care needs of the future veterans of that war. That VHCTF would be funded by an income tax surcharge, ranging from $25 per household for the poorest families to $1000 per household for the richest, to be assessed every year until the war ended. War Taxes would be stacked—one war, one surcharge, five wars, five surcharges.
O’Rourke had introduced similar legislation establishing war taxes while serving in the House in 2016 and 2017. During his time in Congress, O’Rourke also served on the House Veterans’ Affairs and Armed Services committees.
O’Rourke’s plan also includes a series of reforms to the Department of Veterans Affairs, including requiring the public reporting and display of staffing rations and wait times, expanding telehealth offerings, pushing for an industry-wide standardization of electronic health care data, and mandating a new focus on mental health, addiction treatment and suicide prevention.O’Rourke is also calling for National Institutes of Health spending on Alzheimer’s research to double to $5 billion per year “to confront risks stemming from” military service.