The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

* Offense Major Portion of "Defense" Budget * State Shortfalls Could be Wiped out by Ending Afghan War


MIRIAM PEMBERTON, Miriam at, via Lacy MacAuley, Lacy at

Pemberton is research fellow of Institute for Policy Studies and co-author of the just-released report "Unified Security Budget for the United States, FY 2012," which finds that retiring Pentagon head Robert Gates' "words were never matched by the facts of his own budget requests. Closely inspected, the past and future military 'savings' claimed by the administration, even if they materialize, will leave us with military budgets even higher than they are now." The report also finds that "the ratio of offense to defense [spending is] at 11:1."

Senior research analyst at the National Priorities Project, Hellman said today: "A recent report by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities found that 41 states and the District of Columbia are projecting budget shortfalls for Fiscal Year 2012 totaling $102.9 billion. This amount could be wiped out entirely by the amount spent on the war in Afghanistan this year ($122 billion in FY2011). Further, the amount contributed by each individual state to the war's cost would wipe out that state's shortfall in roughly 80 percent of the states projecting deficits. In some cases a state's war contribution exceeds its projected shortfall by billions of dollars." See breakdown here.

Background: The Wall Street Journal reports on just one example of local budgets in turmoil: "The Day the Law Left Town: Texas City Sends Police Packing to Cut Costs; Sheriff Plays Catch as Catch Can." The piece states: "People [in Alto, Texas] are bracing for a spike in crime after the city put its police force on furlough. ... City Council members sent the police home when they decided they couldn't afford them. On June 15, the police chief and his four officers secured the evidence room, changed the passwords on their computers and locked the department's doors for six months -- longer if local finances don't improve by then."

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.