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Creating a new Budget

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Creating a new Budget
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Ellen F. Murtha

Joined: 05 Oct 2006
Posts: 2

Post Creating a new Budget Reply with quote
Campaign finance reform is the first step as far as I can see. Here in CA we have a Proposition (#89), to increase corporate tax and use these public funds to pay for campaigns. It is voluntary, when I would have it be mandatory; but the Courts have so far rules that funds are a form of free speech. Here's a quote from CA Clean Money at the passing of the movement's founder: " A business leader who spent 28 years as CEO of Bell Industries, Ted long ago realized that the nationís bloated military spending budget was draining resources from education, healthcare, and other programs essential to the common good of our country. For many years he devoted himself to reducing military spending, but when the Cold War was over and military spending remained unchanged, Ted understood that he had been treating the symptoms rather than the cause of the problem. He recognized that none of our nationís pressing problems could be fixed until the special interest money was removed from the electoral system. So in 1999, Ted co-founded the California Clean Money Campaign."
I understand that some other states already have reform and there are national campaign finance reforms as well. I would like to hear from others on this way of creating a new budget that is not beholden to the military-industrial complex.
Sat Nov 04, 2006 2:20 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Scotty Michaelsen

Joined: 15 Sep 2006
Posts: 1
Location: North Carolina

Post Reply with quote
Just yesterday (Nov 6, 2006) Northrop Grumman announced that it had received a contract for 1.45 Bn to build an amphibious transport ship and buy material for the construction of another ship. Current plans are to build at least nine of these ships, five of which are in construction. The amphibious side of the Navy has in the past been neglected in appropriations because the "blue water" navy or the aircraft carriers, destroyers and aircraft, tend to receive the majority of the funding for the Navy. There has been an ongoing debate about the feasibility of amphibious warfare for some time now and most military strategists do not believe that it is a viable alternative with the technology available to many nations today. But, The first Gulf War helped to change that because an amphibious assault was successfully conducted as a decoy to where the real attack was planned. These ships are not being built to support the current debacle in Iraq, so what are they needed for? Presumable for future conflicts, But how strong must our defenses be and where does this out of control spending on our military arsenal end. Well, the military has hundreds of officers in Washington conjuring up ways to spend our tax dollars. They know that the best way to get support for their pet projects is to have the weapons system subcontracted throughout the congressional districts and they know which senators and congress persons are sympathetic to their cause so that at the first hint of a ripple they can go running for support. This is a bipartisan phenomenon and can only be changed by structural changes that make lawmakers accountable to the voters by ending the "pay to play" system currently in place. War has become a highly profitable enterprise and war profiteering is no longer regarded with the disdain it was accorded in the past. That is why "clean elections" and a participatory budgeting process are so crucial to reclaiming a socially responsible society. Believing that a peaceful world is possible begins by disarming and spending the saved money where it is best needed to alleviate poverty, sickness and hunger. Perhaps by being a good neighbor in this world, we would not have the need to defend ourselves to the extent we do now.
Tue Nov 07, 2006 4:08 pm View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 1

Post Reply with quote
I agree with Ellen. Unfortunately, Prop 89 went down with a 75% defeat. The public still doesn't equate the pro-military budget with the problem of inadequate funding for human services and health. Perhaps, with the Dem. wins, we can get some help in consciousness-raising on this issue. I belong to Network, a Catholic Social Justice lobby. This is a group of nuns who have been waging battle on behalf of social justice for 40 years, and are inclusive, and trying to move Congress to do the right thing. There are a lot of folks in ministry and who have learned by being in 3rd world missionary work, what America is doing with "the other hand". I am very hopeful that people like Jim Wallis are now going to be able to be heard. The pro-military budget, and how it keeps happening, should be the top priority for social justice efforts, I believe.
Sincerely, martina nicholson, MD, Santa Cruz, CA
Wed Nov 08, 2006 1:06 pm View user's profile Send private message
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