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Monday, February 14, 2011


Defense "cuts"

News reports have it that President Obama is proposing "cuts to defense spending" of $78 billion. Really? Well, it's easy to propose things (like ending wars, for example) for some time in the future. How about now?

Here's the reality:

The White House proposed on Monday to spend $671 billion on the U.S. military next year, handing the Pentagon a short-term boost even as it prepares for tighter budgets in coming years.

The Obama administration budget proposal for fiscal 2012 includes $118 billion for the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, on top of the base budget of $553 billion.

That base budget figure is $22 billion above the level enacted for 2010, setting a new record even as the government faces an overall freeze in federal spending.
Obama says his budget will spend $1.1 trillion less over the next ten years. That's $110 billion a year, almost exactly the amount being spent for war and occupation in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan. In other words, his budget could propose no cuts at all to social services if he were willing to end America's wars and occupations. How many voices will be raised in Congress or the media offering that solution? That's why we have to raise that demand ourselves in the streets on March 19 and all the time.

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