O’Rourke can also be calling for an finish to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with half the cash at the moment being spent there redirected to applications for veterans of these wars.
Cash collected by means of the “warfare tax” — which he’s proposing for future wars — would go into a brand new belief fund for veterans established on the outset of every warfare.
Households making lower than $30,000 per yr would pay $25; these making lower than $40,000 would pay $57; these making lower than $50,000 would pay $98; these making lower than $75,000 would pay $164; these making lower than $100,000 would pay $270; these making lower than $200,000 would pay $485; and people making greater than $200,000 would pay $1,000.
“This new tax would function a reminder of the unbelievable sacrifice made by those that serve and their households,” O’Rourke’s plan says.
O’Rourke had launched laws in 2016 and 2017, whereas he was within the US Home of Representatives, to create the identical “warfare tax” and belief funds for veterans of future wars.
The concept is just not a brand new one: Previous to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, america had traditionally levied extra taxes in occasions of warfare. Below former President Lyndon B. Johnson, Congress enacted an revenue tax surcharge that meant taxpayers ultimately owed 10% extra. A bunch of Home Democrats sought the same tax within the mid-2000s, however had been unsuccessful.
O’Rourke was a member of the Home Veterans Affairs Committee for all of his six years representing El Paso in Congress. He was the lead sponsor of a measure that expanded psychological well being take care of veterans with “other-than-honorable” discharge — which his marketing campaign says the Trump administration has did not implement. He additionally efficiently pushed for a measure that requires psychological well being examinations for these leaving army service.
“We have to be keen to pay any worth, and bear any burden, to supply the total care, assist, and sources to each single veteran who served each single considered one of us,” O’Rourke stated in an announcement. “Eighteen years into the warfare in Afghanistan, and practically three a long time after our first engagement in Iraq, one of the simplest ways to honor our veterans’ service is to cancel the clean examine for infinite warfare — and reinvest the financial savings to make sure each American can thrive upon their return residence.”
O’Rourke’s plan additionally features a collection of reforms to the Division of Veterans Affairs, together with requiring the general public reporting and show of staffing rations and wait occasions, increasing telehealth choices, pushing for an industry-wide standardization of digital well being care information, and mandating a brand new concentrate on psychological well being, dependancy remedy and suicide prevention.
O’Rourke can also be calling for Nationwide Institutes of Well being spending on Alzheimer’s analysis to double to $5 billion per yr “to confront dangers stemming from” army service
His plan emphasizes take care of feminine veterans, pledging to “cowl the total spectrum of ladies’s reproductive well being care, and embody the availability of contraception with no out-of-pocket prices, in vitro fertilization with out regard to marital standing or sexual orientation, and abortions to the extent they’re supplied by different federal applications.” VA hospitals would even be required to supply free little one care.
O’Rourke additionally says he would require the Protection Division to improve the service information of LGBTQ veterans who had been discharged resulting from their sexual orientation.
And he’s proposing permitting army service to be a pathway to citizenship for immigrants, in line with the plan.