Baumgartner discusses one cent "Veterans Care Gas Tax" proposal after visit to JBLM
Sen. Baumgartner meets with Madigan Army Medical Center staff
October 4, 2012; Bellevue, Wash. - Senator Michael Baumgartner issued this statement regarding his proposed temporary one-cent per gallon federal gas tax increase to fund veterans care after visiting officials at Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma yesterday.
"I really enjoyed the opportunity to visit with veterans and military heath care professionals at Madigan on Joint Base Lewis-McChord yesterday," Baumgartner said. "America's eleven years of continuous war are taking an enormous toll on our troops and we must ensure that they receive the care they need."
"My proposal to implement a dedicated one-cent federal "Veterans Care Gas Tax' will provide a relatively small but important new stream of funding to help ensure that America's best, who have served to protect us overseas, receive the medical care they need when they return home."
"Equally important, this small tax will remind each and every American every time they fill up at the pump that there is still a war going on with nearly 70,000 troops in harm's way. Our troops and their families cannot continue to bear the entire burden of these conflicts. If they are at war, the country needs to be at war with them in spirit."
Baumgartner proposes that the one-cent per gallon Veterans Care Tax be sunsetted once the total number of US troops in conflict zones globally drops under 1,000 and be re-introduced each time it crosses that threshold.
He estimates that the tax would raise approximately $2 billion per year. Currently, the Federal government charges 18 cents per gallon on gasoline and 23 center per gallon on diesel fuel.
"Most American don't want new taxes and I agree with them. However, I have found folks on the campaign trail overwhelming supportive of this proposal. They know the debt that we owe these veterans and they're willing to be reminded in a small way each time they visit the pump."
"We've been fighting wars for over a decade and have asked our troops to give so much; from the losses and casualties they have taken in battle, to the long term injuries many will bear for the rest of their lives. The PTSD rates are real; the suicide rates are real; the divorce rates are real. Our military has been put under a tremendous strain. It's the least that we can do to ensure that our veterans get the care that they need and deserve."
"Right now we're paying for these wars by borrowing from China and asking our kids to pay for it later. War isn't free."