New priorities for our country's budget
As a result of the recent federal budget compromise, Congress must determine by Thanksgiving how to reduce the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next ten years. If they do not do so, $1.2 trillion of cuts are triggered automatically.
Join the Fellowship of Reconciliation in calling on your members of Congress to cut military spending before they decrease social services. One proposed solution by the House Progressive Caucus, the People’s Budget, would cut military spending and end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with protecting Social Security and Medicare, enacting a “public option” for health care, and ends tax cuts for the wealthy while investing in job creation. (You can view a comparison of the People’s Budget to President Obama’s proposed budget, and House Republicans’ proposed budget.)
If automatic cuts are triggered, half of the cuts must come from the military. As Robert Naiman of Just Foreign Policy wrote in Al Jazeera:
“This is very close to the $886 billion in military cuts agreed by the plan of the Senate’s “Gang of Six,” a plan endorsed by President Obama. It’s in the ballpark of — but less than — the $960 billion in proposed military cuts of the Frank-Paul Sustainable Defense Task Force [PDF], the trillion dollars in proposed military cuts of the report of President’s deficit commission, the $1.1 trillion reduction in projected military spending proposed by the Domenici-Rivlin task force [PDF], and the $1.2 trillion in military cuts recommended by the Cato Institute. Conservative Republican Senator Tom Coburn says cutting the projected military budget by a trillion dollars over ten years is ‘not hard’ and is ‘common sense’ [PDF].”
“In other words,” Naiman wrote, “cutting projected military spending by a trillion dollars over the next ten years has become politically plausible.”
A coalition of groups, including the AFL-CIO, the NAACP, MoveOn and many others has called for “national security programs” to be cut at least as much as social programs:
“While there is an effort to cut spending across the broad array of annual discretionary spending programs, national security spending, which comprises 61% of the discretionary budget, continues to grow. Without cuts to national security programs, even very deep cuts to all other discretionary funding taken together will fall far short of dealing with the deficit.”
We must demonstrate to elected officials the public support for ending the disastrous wars, feeding the hungry, and employing the jobless. Please join the Fellowship of Reconciliation in signing the New Priorities Network petition to Congress, and then follow up by writing, calling or meeting in person with your legislators’ office. (You can look up contact information online.)
We hope you will help us take advantage of this opportunity to reduce the disparity between military and domestic spending.
Oct. 6: Join us in Washington, D.C.!
Cutting the military budget is the first step to a nation with new priorities. In October, we take the next step.
October is the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan and the beginning of the 2012 federal austerity budget. It is time to light the spark that sets off a true democratic, nonviolent transition to a world in which people are freed to create just and sustainable solutions.
We call on people of conscience and courage — all who seek peace, economic justice, human rights and a healthy environment — to join together in Washington, D.C., beginning on Oct. 6, 2011, in nonviolent resistance similar to the Arab Spring and the Midwest awakening.