Letter to the Editor Campaign: 15 Facts & Ideas
Minnesota Arms Spending Alternatives Project
Tax Day - Global Day of Action Against Military Spending 2014
Letter to the Editor Campaign
15 Talking Points & Ideas to Help Write a Letter to the Editor
A few ideas...
Have an issue you really care about, such as environmental concerns or childhood literacy? Don't be afraid to mention it! Share what you would rather fund than the Pentagon.
Visit National Priorities Project (www.nationalpriorities/tradeoffs.org) and break down Pentagon spending to the local level. Find out how much your town or county pays for either specific programs or the whole Department of Defense. Also find out what could have been funded with the money (ex: Head Start slot for a child for a year or a Veteran receiving VA medical attention for one year).
A few startling facts...
Since 1999 student debt rose 500% while the base Department of Defense budget nearly doubled (not even counting spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan).
If we had spent the same amount on student scholarships we would have provided 100,000 students with $11,000 scholarships each year for 25 years.
More money will be spent on the war in Afghanistan in 2014 than the U.S. food stamp budget!
Pentagon spending ranks last as a way to create jobs when compared to investing the same amount in healthcare, clean energy or education. We will strengthen our economy by eliminating wasteful and unnecessary spending.
The largest percentage of the federal discretionary budget – 57%! – is taken up by the Pentagon.
Our defense budget has risen 600% since the 1960s and we spend more on our defense budget that the next 13 countries of the world combined.
This problem is not going away. Many people heard Secretary of Defense Hagel say the 2015 budget would bring the military back to levels not seen since World War II and take the country off war footing for the first time in a decade. However, the numbers do not match the rhetoric. The proposed 2015 budget allots $640 billion, of 55% of the discretionary fund to the military. The number the Defense Secretary shared, $496 billion does not include nuclear weapons or war spending.
A few opinions you might share...
The budget should reflect our nation's values and priorities. If we made some smarter choices in Pentagon spending, the cost savings could help us avoid harsh cuts in other areas – from community block grants for domestic violence shelters, funds for nutrition programs for infants, or food safety.
We need to plan for 21st century security but Pentagon contractor lobbyists and CEOS are trying to protect costly Cold War-era weapons the Pentagon knows are outdated and unnecessary. Outdate and enormously wasteful programs that don't make us safer should be eliminated. Examples of wasteful outdate and unnecessary programs include F-35 Strike Fighter jets and our enormous nuclear arsenal. We should focus Pentagon cuts on wasteful programs and those that promote militarism and the rush to war. As Congress negotiates future budgets we must ensure that Pentagon spending is not exempt from fiscal discipline.
Our community is constantly bombarded with budget shortfalls and growing needs – give an example.
We don't need to continue to contribute to the record profits for Pentagon contractors who do thinks like pay enormous CEO salaries and send lobbyists to Washington.
The Pentagon must be reshaped to meet 21st century security needs in a strategically, fiscally responsible, accountable way. We need to prioritize the needs of the men and women in the military over outdated expensive weapons system.
Our continued over funding of the Pentagon is a failure of imagination.
Jimmy Carter mentions the military budget during a talk at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum sponsored by Augsburg College in Minneapolis, March 6, 2015, saying that the country is preparing, with President Obama's approval, to spend a trillion dollars on defense. And, during the Question and Answer period afterward, he noted that the reason we weren't focusing on solving social problems is we give so much money to the military ...
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