Institute for Public Accuracy
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JOHN FEFFER, http://demilitarize.org
Feffer is a fellow with the Institute for Policy Studies. He said today: “The United States is facing a huge budget deficit. Many in Congress are calling for deeper cuts in social services. States and cities are being forced to cut back. Ordinary Americans are being asked to tighten their belts.
“But one sector is only getting fatter. Congress is currently debating a continuing resolution for the 2011 budget that would add $8 billion to Pentagon funding. Meanwhile, the Obama administration is requesting a 3 percent increase in Pentagon spending for 2012: $553 billion in base-line spending. Military spending accounts for 58 percent of discretionary spending.
“Even though it’s doing better than other sectors in this season of budget-cutting, the Pentagon is still complaining. President Obama recently ordered the Pentagon to cut $78 billion over the next five years. This comes on top of about $100 billion that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates identified as savings that could be reinvested in ‘boots on the ground.’
“But the Pentagon won’t actually have to shrink its overall budget, which will continue rising until 2015. The Pentagon will likely have to give up some items, such as an amphibious landing craft and a surface-launched missile system. But in exchange for giving up a few token weapons systems, the $100 billion of redirected savings will mean more money for other big-ticket items. Raytheon will receive funds to build missile defense systems in Europe; Northrop Grumman is looking at a new long-range strike bomber; Boeing will likely get more orders for launch vehicles.
“Here in the United States, our focus will be on the huge portion of U.S. taxes that go to the military budget. Our call for 2011 is: No Taxation Without Demilitarization!”
The Global Day of Action on Military Spending, co-organized by the Institute for Policy Studies (Washington, D.C.) and the International Peace Bureau (Geneva, Switzerland) will take place on April 12 in cities across the United States and all over the world.
For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 421-6858; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167