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CONTACT: Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA)
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
Obama: Cut Domestic, Increase Military
Executive director of the National Priorities Project, Comerford said today: "President Obama's plan to freeze 'non-security' discretionary spending could spell disaster for a broad range of federal programs. ... The proposed 'freeze' is actually a cut. The proposal caps non-security spending at $447 billion for each of the next three fiscal years. During that time, inflation will erode the purchasing power of that total, requiring additional cuts in services in each successive year. While meaningless in reducing the deficit, these cuts could be devastating to non-security discretionary programs such as nutrition, education, energy and transportation. These types of programs account for only 17 percent of total federal spending, yet they will absorb all of the proposed cuts. ... Military spending, which in the current fiscal year represents roughly 55 percent of discretionary spending, will be spared the budget knife. And all indications are that military spending will go up next year. In fact, based on the Office of Management and Budget's projections as part of the FY 2010 budget request released last year, we will spend an additional $522 billion on the military over the next decade."
Kelly and Pearson are with the group Voices for Creative Nonviolence, which is organizing the Peaceable Assembly Campaign, a series of actions to mark the beginning of President Obama's second year in office and "in support of finding alternatives to U.S. militarism." Today, over 20 Minnesotans who have come to Washington, D.C. to continue lobbying their elected representatives to stop funding war are expected to be arrested in front of the White House at a "die-in, protesting the U.S. occupation and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, highlighting opposition to the Obama administration's recent military escalation in Afghanistan."
Kelly, who recently wrote the piece "Tough Minds, Tender Hearts," said today: "The U.S. government devotes massive resources and much sophistication to killing in Afghanistan. Would that it would spend a little to realize that its policies are creating anger. ... It costs about $1 million a year to have a U.S. soldier -- boots on the ground -- in Afghanistan. Imagine what good that money could do if spent to help the Afghan people. A governor in Afghanistan makes about $1,000 per year."