The Happy Leftie

For lefties and other normal people who have considered suicide when the mainstream 'news' was enuf

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Thursday, March 09, 2006

It's the PRIORITIES, Stupid!: The Common Sense Budget Act

Rep. Lynn Woolsey

I'm joining my fellow Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Barbara Lee in introducing the Common Sense Budget Act (CSBA), which would divert $60 billion of unnecessary Pentagon spending to underfunded domestic priorities. Among the cuts: $7 billion from the National Missile Defense Program and $13 billion to reduce the American nuclear arsenal to 1,000 warheads.

These obsolete Pentagon expenditures have been identified by a team of military experts led by defense scholar Lawrence Korb, whose knows a thing or two about what and how the Pentagon spends -- he was President Reagan's assistant secretary of defense for Manpower, Installation and Logistics.

The $60 billion would be reallocated as follows:

Children's Health Care: $10 billion annually to provide health care coverage for the millions of uninsured American children.

School Reconstruction: $10 billion over 12 years to rebuild and modernize every public K-12 school in the country.

Job Training: $5 billion per year to retrain 250,000 Americans who have lost their jobs because of foreign trade.

Energy Independence: $10 billion each year to kick the imported oil habit by investing in efficient, renewable energy sources.

Homeland Security: $5 billion a year to make up for funding shortfalls in emergency preparedness, infrastructure upgrades and grants for first responders.

Medical Research: $2 billion a year to restore recent cuts to the National Institutes of Health budget.

Global Hunger: $13 billion a year in humanitarian assistance that allows poor nations to feed 6 million children who are at risk of dying from starvation every year.

Deficit Reduction: $5 billion devoted to putting a dent, however small, in the $8.2 trillion national debt.

We can do all that, without a single tax increase or one additional dime in federal spending. And the right wing can save the demagoguery about patriotism and supporting the troops -- this legislation doesn't touch outlays for the war in Iraq or the so-called war on terrorism. Those are funded separately through a supplemental appropriations process. We're simply talking about diverting that fraction of our overall defense spending that is doing nothing to defend us.