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Draft Resolution Being Proposed to Charlottesville City Council
CALLING ON CONGRESS TO REDIRECT MILITARY SPENDING TO DOMESTIC PRIORITIES
WHEREAS, the severity of the ongoing economic crisis has created budget shortfalls at all levels of government and requires us to re-examine our national spending priorities; and
WHEREAS, every dollar spent on the military produces fewer jobs than spending the same dollar on education, healthcare, clean energy, or even tax cuts for household consumption[*]; and
WHEREAS, U.S. military spending has approximately doubled in the past decade, in real dollars and as a percentage of federal discretionary spending;
WHEREAS, well over half of federal discretionary spending is now spent on the military [**];
WHEREAS, we are spending more money on the military now than during the Cold War, the Vietnam War, or the Korean War;
WHEREAS, the U.S. military budget could be cut by 80% and remain the largest in the world;
WHEREAS, President Dwight David Eisenhower warned us 50 years ago that "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist";
WHEREAS, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform proposed in both its Co-Chairs' proposal in November 2010 and its final report in December 2010 major reductions in military spending[***];
WHEREAS, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, with the support of Charlottesville Mayor Dave Norris passed in June 2011 a resolution calling on Congress to redirect spending to domestic priorities;
WHEREAS, the people of the United States favor redirecting spending to domestic priorities[****];
WHEREAS, the people of the United States in numerous opinion polls favor withdrawing the U.S. military from Afghanistan;
WHEREAS, the United States has armed forces stationed at approximately 1,000 foreign bases in approximately 150 foreign countries;
WHEREAS, the United States is the wealthiest nation on earth but trails many other nations in life expectancy, infant mortality, education level, housing, and environmental sustainability, as well as in non-military aid to foreign nations;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City Council of Charlottesville, Virginia, calls on the U.S. Congress to end foreign ground and drone wars and reduce base military spending, in order to meet vital human needs, promote job creation, re-train and re-employ those losing jobs in the process of conversion to non-military industries, rebuild our infrastructure, aid municipal and state governments, and develop a new economy based upon renewable, sustainable energy.
* See "The U.S. Employment Effects Of Military And Domestic Spending Priorities: An Updated Analysis," by Robert Pollin & Heidi Garrett-Peltier, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, October 2009.
** See "People's Guide to the Federal Budget," by the National Priorities Project.
*** See http://www.fiscalcommission.gov
**** See "American Public Shows How It Would Cut the Budget Deficit," by World Public Opinion, February 3, 2011.