Quakers Say: Restrain Wasteful Spending
Military Spending is Out of Control
Citizens living in nations such as France and Germany are beginning their ninth year of a "peace dividend." Meanwhile, the U.S. taxpayers have yet to enjoy a military tax cut, continue to subsidize NATO, and are still spending for global war against the USSR, a country that does not exist.
The following are updates and action suggestions from the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL). MILITARY SPENDING: President Clinton announced recently that his February budget request will include a proposal to increase military spending by more than $100 billion over the next six years. For FY2000, he plans to request an additional $2 billion and to redirect $8 billion in Pentagon savings (a result of lower than expected inflation and fuel costs) toward boosting military pay, improving combat readiness, and buying new weapons.
Still, for some members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, this increase appears not to be enough. At a January 5 hearing, committee members made it clear that their starting point for the FY2000 defense authorization bill will be the $17.5 billion increase that the Joint Chiefs of Staff suggested last September. After a number of years of military spending only modestly reduced from cold war highs, it seems that the only thing in question this year is how big the increase will be. Current budget rules require that any new military spending be taken from other domestic and international discretionary programs.
There is no justification for increasing military spending now, and increasing military spending now will send the wrong message to other countries around the world about the basis of true security. Other countries' military budgets are declining, and the U.S. and its allies have no military rivals on the horizon.
More fighter aircraft, anti-ballistic missile shields, and attack submarines will not make anyone more secure either at home or abroad. Rather, such investment will undermine the economic security of millions of poor and low-income people at home and abroad by depriving them of the vital assistance that they need just to survive and to become economically self-sufficient.
Overseas, more U.S. military spending will provoke other countries to arm at the expense of meeting the most basic human needs of their people, a situation which we have witnessed in Iraq, North Korea, India, and Pakistan.
ACTION: Please contact your representative and senators (Capitol Switchboard: 202/224-3121). Tell them that you disagree with these misplaced and wasteful budget priorities. All members of Congress need to hear this message, however it especially important that legislators who are members of the House or Senate budget committees be contacted.
These messages are intended as a supplement to other FCNL materials and do not reflect FCNL's complete policy position on any issue, nor do they include all pertinent facts on any topic.
For further information, visit the FCNL Web page at http://www.fcnl.org/pub/fcnl
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