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Federal Budget: Not Enough Debate About Military Spending – FCNL

President Bush has proposed a federal funds budget of $2,200,000,000,000. By FCNL’s calculations, about $967 billion, or 44% of the total, would be devoted to current military activities and keeping up with the continuing costs of past military programs. Removing that huge slice of the pie leaves only 56% of the federal funds budget to pay for all other government activities, ranging from the court system to child care, and to address huge challenges, such as climate change and health care.

$967 Billion Is Too Much For the Military

It’s $100 billion more than this year’s allocation (FY 2007) so far. It’s more than this nation has spent on the military in any year since the end of the Cold War, even after adjusting for inflation. It’s more than the peak year of President Reagan’s aggressive military build-up against the “evil empire.” The amount earmarked for the Iraq war ($142 billion) is, all by itself, more than the largest amount the nation spent in any year on the Vietnam War.

Take Action: Urge Congress toCut Military Spending

Congress Is Not Protesting This Big-spending Military Budget

FCNL’s lobbyists are hearing that both Democrats and Republicans either support or are unwilling to challenge the president’s $968 billion military budget. Both parties accept arguments that cuts in military spending will hurt U.S. troops abroad without examining whether additional military spending will improve U.S. security. Hiding behind that rhetoric, members of Congress are prepared to approve billions more to:

. build weapons such as the Navy DDG-1000 Zumwalt class destroyers ($3.8 billion a piece, seven planned), a “bloated acquisition program with marginal relevance to the threat landscape,” according to the Brookings Institute;
. develop aircraft – such as the V-22 Osprey which is now being produced at $110 million a copy (three times its originally projected price) – in spite of a substandard track record on safety and survivability;
. commission the production of military hardware in the home districts and states of House and Senate leaders, such as C-17 transports, that are not even requested by the Pentagon; and
. build bases in Iraq, in spite of congressional direction that no permanent military installations should be constructed there.

Congress Should Pay Attention to Human Security at Home and Abroad

Nearly 40 million people live in poverty in the U.S., lacking the most basic means to house, clothe, feed, and care for themselves and their families. The Bush budget proposal would cut support for housing and home heating assistance, food aid, welfare payments, child care, child health programs, and assistance to the elderly, among others critical programs with proven track records of success.

The Bush budget proposal also under-funds the United Nations and focuses most international aid on military priorities. Illiteracy and treatable diseases still plague the poor in the U.S. and are widespread in many nations of the Southern Hemisphere. President Bush has increased support for AIDS prevention. But the Bush proposal diminishes funding for development programs. According to the humanitarian group CARE, more than 30 million children in the world are not immunized against treatable or preventable diseases. More than 130 million school-age children worldwide have no access to school. For an additional $6 billion a year (less than 1% of the military spending proposed for this year) every child in the world could go to school.

Take Action Now

Write your senators and representative today. Tell them the president’s budget does not reflect your priorities. Urge your elected officials to cut military spending and invest the money in programs that will improve human security by funding the United Nations, providing development assistance to the poor in other parts of the world, and supporting the poor and needy in the United States.
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Friends Committee on National Legislation
245 Second St. NE, Washington, DC 20002-5795
fcnl@fcnl.org * http://www.fcnl.org
phone: (202)547-6000 * toll-free: (800)630-1330

We seek a world free of war and the threat of war
We seek a society with equity and justice for all
We seek a community where every person’s potential may be fulfilled
We seek an earth restored
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