The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: 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."

A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.