Action Alert: Call Congress, Tell them to Stop the Hype and Cut the Pork!

February 26, 2013

There is a lot of hype around the showdown over sequestration or the across the board cuts in the federal budget. The worst fear mongering is about the impact on the Pentagon budget.

 

The New York Times editorial today said, “Some of this is plainly hype. Both the generals and the civilians in the Pentagon know that some cuts are possible and that even under the sequester American security need not be compromised. The military has many resources, and in some respects it is over-resourced.”

 

Call Congress (202) 224-3121 and tell your representatives to stop the hype and save the programs we need by cutting the waste from the “over-resourced” Pentagon budget.

 

Urge our representatives to act because the public supports  balancing the budget on the back of reductions to the Pentagon budget rather than through cuts to programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

 

Our communities cannot afford cuts in “under-resourced” programs that are investments in our future: education, healthcare, infrastructure and green energy.

 

Call Congress at (202) 224-3121 and tell them to:

1. Support cutting the Pentagon budget by $1 trillion over 10 years.

2. Fund education, rebuild infrastructure and create green energy in order to rebuild our economy and our communities.

 

Significant cuts in the Pentagon budget, closing corporate tax loopholes and getting the rich to pay their fair share of taxes is the only way to break the cycle of hype and fear mongering. The time to act is now.

 

Call Congress (202) 224-3121

 

Power to the Peaceful,

Judith Le Blanc

Field Director

Peace Action

PS Join us at the February 27 actions to Pull the Pork from the Pentagon budget in your city or town. Find locations here.


Sequester This! One Weapons Contractor Has a “Defense Backlog” Bigger Than the Entire Military Budgets of All But Two Countries! Let’s Pull the Pork from the Pentagon!

February 22, 2013

PullthePork.org

 

The “sequester” — automatic across-the-board federal government spending cuts that appears to be inevitable come March 1 — will hurt domestic discretionary spending very badly, so the poorest, youngest, oldest, weakest and sickest Americans’ plight will be significantly worse. According to the White House, 70,000 children of low income families will be kicked out of Head Start. Six hundred thousand mothers and their kids will lose WIC (Women, Infants and Children) nutritional assistance. Over 100,000 formerly homeless people would lose their subsidized housing.

Not a pretty picture, which is why so many people, including many in Congress, would like to see a last minute deal to avoid sequestration, though that seems unlikely at this point in our embarrasingly polarized do-nothing nation’s capital.

The other side of this is the Pentagon budget, which accounts for 57% of federal discretionary spending. The weeping and wailing by the Pentagon, armed services and weapons corporations over the cuts they’d need to absorb is absurd. Our good friends at the National Priorities Project have a great fact sheet analyzing Pentagon spending, comparing it to human needs cuts and global military expenditures (the U.S. spends almost as much as the rest of the world combined on weapons and war).

On the corporate side, the Boeing Corporation is mostly known for its civilian airline business, but it’s also the second largest weapons contractor on Earth, behind only Lockheed Martin (Boeing is the main contractor on the exorbitant fraud known as “missile defense”). While military contractors have been disengenously alarmist about job cuts due to sequestration, since they’ve been cutting jobs while racking up increased profits for years, Boeing noted that it had lost 9,000 “defense” jobs out of a 60,000 person workforce, but about 8,000 of those had switched over to civilian aircraft work.

But this is what really caught my eye – the “defense backlog” of Pentagon contracts to Boeing is $71 billion.

71,000,000,000 smackeroos.

That’s more than the entire military budgets of every country on the planet except the United States and China, and roughly equal to Russia’s entire military budget.

So there’s no reason to shed any tears for Boeing or the other giant weapons contractors. But there are billions of good reasons to support cutting the Pentagon budget, including getting involved in the February 27 Pull the Pork from the Pentagon actions around the country!


Action Alert – Cut the Pentagon, Not Medicare!

February 8, 2013

When Congress came to a deal over the budget negotiations earlier this month, they finally agreed to make the top 1% pay their fair share. It was a huge victory, but noticeably absent from the deal was what to do with the $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts. Instead Congress gave themselves a two-month extension to hammer out a deal. We are joining with US Action to call for cuts in runaway Pentagon spending

This could be our best opportunity to rein in Pentagon spending. We simply have to stop paying for the things we don’t need so that we can afford the things we do – like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.With a deadline of March 1st, lobbyists representing fat cat Pentagon contractors are already circling the halls of Congress to ensure they get the best deal.

Now it’s time Congress heard from the People too. Click on the link below to tell Congress to rein in wasteful military spending.

The idea that Social Security, which has not contributed one cent to the deficit, is even being considered as part of a plan to address our national debt is outrageous. Meanwhile, if some in Congress get their way, the Pentagon, which makes up more than half of all discretionary spending, is being shielded from cuts. But it only takes a little digging to see why.

With a salary of $26 million a year, some Pentagon contractor CEOs make more than all but 2 Wall Street CEOs, and they have every intention of keeping it that way.

In the last election cycle, Pentagon contractors and CEOs donated more than $24 million to influence our elections, and have given over $189 million since 1990. These campaign contributions have given fat cat Pentagon contractors undue influence on Congress. But while Congress lends a sympathetic ear to their wealthy campaign donors, the American people are getting shut out of the process.

If we’re going to end Pentagon contractors’ stranglehold on Congress, then we need to make our voices loud and clear. Click here to join Peace Action and US Action as we call on Congress to rein in wasteful Pentagon spending. No cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security! 

Humbly for Peace,

Kevin Martin
Executive Director
Peace Action


Action Alert: Sign and Circulate the Jobs Not Wars Petition!

January 17, 2013

One of the best ways to reduce the deficit is to put people back to work.  It’s time to invest in our people, and our communities. Let’s create stable jobs at living wages, rehabilitate our nation’s infrastructure and invest in programs that serve the needs of people and communities, and develop a sustainable economy that protects the planet.

That’s why I’m asking you to sign the Jobs not Wars Petition.

The extreme right has used the fiscal crisis over the last four years to force deep cuts in discretionary spending on programs that make up the social safety net.  Now, they have their sights set on Social Security and Medicare.

I need your help to make a clear statement to those in Congress, and the administration, to Move the Money from wars and weapons to fund jobs and human services.

Peace Action’s Move the Money Campaign has been all about building common cause with unions, environmental advocates and anti-poverty and civil rights activists.

When I told you about our petition campaign last month there were just over 80 groups gathering signatures.  There are now 135 endorsing organizations working to remind Congress and the Obama administration we need to fundamentally change federal budget priorities from wars and ever more deadly weapons to jobs and meeting the needs of our communities.

So please sign the Jobs not Wars Petition.  Once you have, please forward this email. Ask your friends and family to join you in signing the Jobs Not Wars Petition.  Post this link http://bit.ly/jobs-not-wars-PA on your Facebook page and tweet it to your social network.  There is strength in numbers.

In November, we voted to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and end the wars in order to reinvest in our communities.

The pressure we are building is having a real impact on the debate on federal spending priorities.  With decisions on the debt ceiling and sequestration and votes ahead on both the 2013 and 2014 budgets, it’s critical we keep pressing.

Humbly for Peace,

 

Kevin Martin
Executive Director
Peace Action


We Won’t Be “Fiscal Stiffed!” No Deal! More information and resources for letters to the editor and op-eds

December 19, 2012

You’ve called the White House (202-456-1111) and Congress (866-426-2631) and told them “No Deal!” loud and proud, yes? No get your friends, family and colleagues to call too!

 

Okay, here is more information and resources, especially for writing letters to the editor or op-eds.

 

We at Peace Action have been meeting with labor and economic justice groups daily to share information and figure out how to respond to the current status of negotiations between the White House and Congress on sequestration and/or a “fiscal cliff deal.”.

 

Of course, the back and forth is hot and heavy, but one thing is clear. We need to exert maximum grassroots pressure to say, “No deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid or ends the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest. And move the money from the Pentagon to fund jobs and human needs.”

 

The  proposed $100 Billion is not nearly enough but it is a first step in the direction that is necessary to address the crisis in the economy (the real crisis of jobs and wages, not the phony fiscal crisis). While at the same time it is a missed opportunity to cut even more and change national spending priorities at a time of economic crisis.

 

And it is a mainstream idea! Check out the letter in the Green Bay Press Gazette: Cut Military Budget to Balance Budget.

 

The Duluth City Council passed a resolution on Monday night. They said military spending is hurting their economy.

 

 

Resource and background material for letters to the editor or op-eds:

 

Center for American Progress on how $100 Billion cut from the Pentagon is a “down payment” on what can and should be cut from the Pentagon budget.

 

Paul Krugman: The Deal Dilemma: how to evaluate the deal.

 

From Politica: Some Republicans OK with Defense Cuts.

 

From Alternet: 7 Shocking Ways the Military Wastes our Money


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