We are looking at this all wrong.
We as liberals, need to argue it this way, b/c conservatives are not moved by the "do you want to let people starve in the streets?" They don't care, it is everyone else's fault but theirs. They argue that they will be happy to use the extra tax money they could save if they didn't have to pay for the poor and put it into private support systems.
I am not asking for something for nothing. I paid for this. Every week that I have worked since I was 17 (not including babysitting, which wasn't taxed) and I'm 38 now. I paid SSI and disability insurance taxes, state and federal taxes. In new york city, I also pay city taxes. I pay sales taxes, I pay taxes on my utilities. I've paid for this for me in my time of need and for some other people in their times of need, no matter how they got there.
I'll have to look up the numbers, but isn't all the social services including medicaid and everything along those line only 10% percent of the budget? I think it might be less, I'll look it up and get back to you.
I don't want to pay for an unfair and unprovoked war. I didn't like paying for the Gulf War, I don't like paying to keep oil cheaper here than the rest of the world or covering the taxes that corporations and the wealthy don't pay b/c they've got their money tied up, hidden and otherwise excluded from paying.
If only we could choose personally where our taxes went. I'd bet the slice of the pie that went to taking care of our citizens would rise. I'd also set aside some of my taxes to pay for abortions for the poor and women in the armed services overseas that can't get them.
We already get to donate a dollar to the prez campaign if we wish, how great would it be to have a sheet with our returns that listed the things we need taxes to pay for and we could check "defense" or "police/fire/trash" or "Social Services" or "Prez trips to his ranch/camp/vacation home". I think the prez should pay for those himself, tho I will contribute to his round the clock security. Not b/c I love bush, but he and his family do need it. But he can pay for Air force one to take him there.
Unfortunately, not many people know all the places their taxes go and once they found out all the useless places, those places would either dissolve or figure out what major need they can attach themselves too.
In the end tho, no one would need to complain about what they *have to pay for*. and if suddenly there isn't enough money to pay for a war, conservatives will get the chance to contribute more, just like they believe only *private* institutions should offer social services. They could make their own grants to the war. hell, the poor already pay for it in lives.