Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Will cutting military spending hurt veterans?
A. No. Veterans Affairs is a separate budget item in the discretionary budget. Veterans benefits currently account for 5% of the discretionary budget; military spending, 58%. Many returning vets are not getting the economic, physical and emotional support services they need. Also, reducing military spending will encourage our country to have a more responsible foreign policy which will be good for veterans and all of us.
Q. Will cutting military spending lead to higher unemployment?
A. No. We can use funds freed up from unneccesary wars and production of unneeded weapons systems to put people back to work producing the goods and services we need. This is sometimes referred to as "peace conversion." Converting industries from production of weapons to windmills or other products, or shifting spending to hire more teachers or fire fighters would result in far more jobs created per billion dollars spent.
A: The plan is to cut $350 billion over ten years during the first round of cuts. A second round of cuts is planned and our elected officials will decide where the cuts are made. We must represent our priorities. Currently, over 58% of the discretionary budget is dedicated to military spending. By ending the wars in Libya, Afghanistan, and Iraq, we can afford to redirect even more money back to state and local services, while saving lives and restoring the US reputation globally. The first round of cuts ($350 billion) sounds like a lot of money, but it is a drop in the bucket.
A: Yes. Even though state and local taxes are separate from Federal taxes there is an inter-relationship between state, local, and federal tax dollars. Citizens send money to the Federal government and the Federal Government will send money back to states.
A: No. According to the IRS, the “prohibition on political campaign intervention” refers to a non-profit advocating politically on behalf of one politician over another. 501c3 non-profits are authorized to advocate on behalf of an issue, whether it’s political or not. The MN ASAP is non-partisan. Our issue is redirecting military spending back to our local communities / Minnesota. Folks from all political persuasions agree with this goal.
A: If MN ASAP informed the MN Congressional Delegation that only the Two Harbors City Council passed our resolution, our campaign probably wouldn’t be successful. If only a handful of individuals endorsed the resolution, we would have problems being taken seriously. However, when we combine hundreds of non-profits, school boards, city councils, county commissions, and churches, suddenly we are talking about real numbers and significant influence. MN ASAP is already organizing for real, grassroots support to achieve our goals. Over time, we will prove a very powerful point. Minnesotans want to redirect military spending into essential programs and services that make our communities safer, our children better educated, our bridges stronger, etc.
A: No, the state of Minnesota has a population of over 5 million people. Amongst them are Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Greens, and others who are dealing with a $5 billion, two year budget shortfall, while during the same period , Minnesota pays $8.4 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Military spending vs. local spending priorities is not a partisan issue. For example, Ron Paul (Libertarian Republican) and Dennis Kucinich (Liberal Democrat) don’t agree on much, but they do agree that the military budget is unreasonably bloated and that we cannot afford it. Our project intends to prove that folks from all political leanings agree with a reduction and redirection of military spending back to Minnesota for local control. Within and between political parties, we are working to stimulate debate around spending priorities.
A: We are funded by the Community of St. Martin and by members of the general public who share our goals.
Note: If we did not answer your question here, please contact us with your inquiry. We will respond as soon as possible.
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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