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Unchecked Military Spending Threatens National Security!


By davidswanson - Posted on 13 July 2012

House of Representatives Should Vote:

“YES” for Jobs Program, Federal Aid to States and Vital Social Services! and

“NO” on current proposed FY2013 Pentagon Budget!

Congress is poised once again to sacrifice domestic security in the service of unnecessary wars and the profits of defense contractors. The FY2013 Defense Appropriations bill, which includes $519 billion for the Pentagon's base budget and $88.5 billion for the war in Afghanistan could reach the House floor next week. This represents 57% of all federal appropriations for the coming year. (For more detailed account visit: http://armscontrolcenter.org/policy/securityspending/articles/fy13_hac/.)

Under the Budget Control Act passed last August, if military funding is approved at this level it will mean significant cuts to vitally needed social programs, including nutrition, education, housing, job training and health care for the poor.

Since 2001, the Pentagon budget, including the wars, has grown almost three times as fast as appropriations for domestic programs.* These choices have cut or reduced the "safety net" for millions of Americans, weakened our domestic institutions, sacrificed the lives and well-being of our own soldiers, and brought immense suffering to people in other nations. New funding caps have squeezed domestic priorities even more. For example, adult job training, children’s mental health, substance abuse treatment, home heating assistance for the poor, community development funds and grants for adult education have all been cut from 2010 to 2012.

The proposed FY2013 Defense Appropriations bill is harmful to our “national security” in multiple ways. Unfortunately too many members of Congress keep voting in favor of these unpopular measures, assuming that constituents are not paying attention.

Major reasons to deny passage of the bill:

  • It insures that the costly and ineffective military approach to the threat of “terrorism” will be perpetuated -that Americans and Afghans will continue to die in the service of a failed military policy.
  • It continues the use of “drones,” Special Operations and the illegal policy of assassination, which is killing civilians and making new enemies around the world.
  • It deprives our states and cities of the funds they need to insure that all of their residents have access to adequate food, shelter, education and health care.
  • It comes at the expense of investing in our future and funding infrastructure and public programs that are the most effective form of job creation.

House members will be voting on the FY2013 Defense Appropriations bill as early as next week (July 16).

They need to hear from their constituents, urging them to:

Vote for amendments that eliminate funding for continued fighting in Afghanistan, for the use of drones, and for expensive and unnecessary weapons systems.

Vote against the FY2013 Defense Appropriations bill,unless it includes the amendments suggested above and substantially lower funding levels. Insist on sufficient funding to meet urgent domestic needs - for jobs, education, health, nutrition and human services. At a time of severe recession, we cannot afford to squander another $608 billion for military purposes.

Speak Out Today!! (Find contact information for your Rep and Staff here:http://capwiz.com/fconl/dbq/officials/.)

  • Call your member of Congress. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121.
  • Send an email or fax to their DC office.
  • Bring a delegation of constituents to their local office, with a written statement.
  • Write a letter to the editor, alerting others in your district of the upcoming vote.

Please forward this message widely!

Signed...(List in formation)

(Institutional affiliations are for identification purposes only)

Marc Becker, Historians Against the War

Medea Benjamin, Global Exchange

Randy Block, Gray Panthers

Leah Bolger, Veteran for Peace

Shahid Buttar, DC Guerrilla Poetry Insurgency

Tim Carpenter, Progressive Democrats of America

Rusti Eisenberg, United for Peace and Justice

Michael Eisenscher, Labor Against the War

Jodie Evans, CODEPINK

Rebecca Griffin, Peace Action West

Jean Haskell, Grannie Peace Brigade

Tom Hayden, Center for Participatory Democracy

Mary Hladky, Military Families Speak Out

Sally Jones, Peace Action Fund NYS

Barbara Larcom, Alliance for Global Justice

Ray McGovern, Retired Senior CIA Analyst

Michael McPherson, United for Peace and Justice

Margaret Melkonian, Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives

Gael Murphy, United for Peace and Justice

Robert Naiman, Just Foreign Policy

Jim O'Brien, Historians Against the War

Dr. Charlotte Phillips, Brooklyn for Peace

Mike Prokosch, Mass. Coalition to Fund Our Communities - Cut Military Spending 25%

Mark Roman, CODEPINK Maine

Lisa Savage, CODEPINK Maine

Alice Slater

David Swanson, War is a Crime

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