Gravity's Rainbow

botany, shoes, books, and justice

Pay to kill or pay to live: Republicans vs. Democrats

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The Republicans were voted in on a promise to make $100 billion in spending cuts. They’ve walked back from that number, but are still doing their best to cut any program that might help the average US citizen. (If you have money to burn, however, your fire isn’t going out anytime soon.) The proposed spending cuts are wide ranging, targeting everything from programs keeping the heat on for poor families to health research to Planned Parenthood. All of the cuts do have one thing in common: they aren’t security spending. This wouldn’t be such a big deal if security spending was small, but HALF the discretionary budget is security spending. So all the cuts are coming from the side of the budget that supports regular US citizens and none from the side that supports the military blowing people up on the other side of the world.

Ok, ok. I recognize that getting rid of the military is not a real option (and probably a terrible idea). But poor people might freeze to death while the richest of the rich get even richer and we’re killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people in wars that aren’t making us safer.

The US economy might not be in good shape, but there is a lot of money here. A lot. Even though a lot of our country’s wealth is locked up in the hands of a very, very few people, we could do a lot to help ordinary Americans by spending less money on war and bumping up the tax rate on the richest Americans. For example, for the 2011 fiscal year, Arizona taxpayers will spend about 1.5 billion dollars to support the war on terror. What else is 1.5 billion dollars good for in Arizona?

  • 640,631 Children Receiving Low-Income Healthcare for One Year OR
  • 28,713 Elementary School Teachers for One Year OR
  • 29,450 Firefighters for One Year OR
  • 178,714 Head Start Slots for Children for One Year OR
  • 281,068 Households with Renewable Electricity – Solar Photovoltaic for One Year OR
  • 749,516 Households with Renewable Electricity-Wind Power for One Year OR
  • 192,520 Military Veterans Receiving VA Medical Care for One Year OR
  • 439,148 People Receiving Low-Income Healthcare for One Year OR
  • 22,290 Police or Sheriff’s Patrol Officers for One Year OR
  • 215,506 Scholarships for University Students for One Year OR
  • 266,179 Students receiving Pell Grants of $5550

That’s a lot of good stuff Arizona could pay for if we weren’t spending money in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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