Media alert #1 – 1/18/2012:
We need a break, and as Congress returns to Washington they’re thinking of giving us one. Extended unemployment benefits and payroll tax cuts are on the table again. But check out how they might pay for that. Congress could eliminate Saturday mail delivery, cut federal employee benefits, cut healthcare spending, and sell public property to wireless companies and developers.
These proposals would ask the people hardest hit by the recession to pay for their own relief. It’s like cutting off your arm to quiet your leg.
We have a better idea: make taxes fair and cut unnecessary military spending.
At a time when some of the richest corporations pay no taxes, and some of the wealthiest families pay lower tax rates than you and I, it is outrageous to take more from working people. Let’s make the folks who crashed the economy pay a little bit of the cost.
And at a time when the Pentagon is eating 60c on every dollar in the federal discretionary budget, it’s time military spending took a serious hit. A far smaller military would make us far safer by not deploying forces around the world and getting us into wars we don’t need.
We want to make two points over and over.
One is choice. It’s either-or. Us or the Pentagon. War or economic recovery.
The other is real security. We’d be much safer with a much smaller military. Troops, bases, ships, warplanes stationed around the world aren’t defending you and me. They’re drawing us into fights we don’t need and can’t win.
Info you can cite
Few Cities Have Regained Jobs They Lost, Report Finds (article in 1/18/2012 New York Times)
Back from break, Congress faces payroll tax talks (AP story in 1/16/2012 Boston Globe)
Other budget battles coming up
Jan 24 – State of the Union address
Early February – president releases his budget, then others release theirs (GOP, Progressive Caucus, Rep. Markey); arm-wrestling over the budgets continues through March
Sometime in here – hawks introduce their “exempt the Pentagon” bill
End of March? April? House votes on budget
April 17: Tax Day and Global Day of Action on Military Spending