Veterans For Peace Denounces the Proposed Budget Released Yesterday by Rep. Paul Ryan

4/2/2014

President Obama’s proposed budget sends a whopping 57% of discretionary spending to the military, but Ryan goes even further. From a slightly smaller overall budget, Ryan grants an additional $25 billion to the military. In constant dollars, both proposals leave a ‘peacetime’ military budget the size it was at the height of the Viet Nam war. It is irrational to increase military spending at a time when we are downsizing the military.

Ryan subsidizes his lopsided budget in the familiar way: he cuts Medicare, programs aimed at combating climate change, Pell Grants to support college students and turns Medicaid and food stamps over to the states with limited federal block grants. It is irrational and very unfair to ask poor and working people to go without the necessities of life so that we can put more money in the pockets of defense contractors.

Most astonishing is that this shift of resources from meeting human needs and building our society is incredibly wasteful in its stated purpose, to prepare for warfighting. In 1996 the government began to require auditing of all government departments. The Pentagon is the only federal agency that has not complied with this law and in that time has not been able to account for $8.5 trillion in taxpayer money. <Special Report: The Pentagon's doctored ledgers conceal epic waste>

There is no accountability in Washington DC, from Democrats or Republicans to end the failed policy of endless war nor of the wasteful spending that starves our nation of resources for job creation, education, healthcare and all the investment in people we need for a peaceful and prosperous society.

The human cost of such a budget is too high. We can do better.

Based on reporting in The Hill

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