Forwarded me the following, and he’s right. Let’s focuses on building good values and opportunities.
OPPOSING DEFENSE SPENDING
Congress passed a $636 billion defense spending bill in December. The bill included almost $137 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan — which doesn't even include the cost of the 30,000 additional troops announced by the President. I have never voted for a Defense spending bill in my career in Congress, and I did not vote for this one.
The President now wants to freeze non-military spending for three years, ignoring that defense is the biggest source of waste in our budget. Much of the money in the 2010 spending bill is for projects the Pentagon doesn't want -— like $2.5 billion in unrequested funds for C-17 aircraft, and $465 million for a new jet engine for the Joint Strike Fighter. We are still spending $10.3 billion on missile defense systems that don't work.
The United States accounted for 41.5 percent of the world's military spending in 2008. China was second, and they spent seven times less than we did. According to the National Priorities Project, for the amount we spend on defense, we would have more than enough money to:
- Pay for health reform that will ensure quality coverage for 97 percent of Americans;
- Give the maximum Pell Grant to all 14.2 million college students in the country;
- Power all 106 million homes in America with renewable electricity;
- Build 500,000 affordable housing units;
- Hire 1,000,000 new elementary school teachers, 1,000,000 new police officers, and 1,000,000 new firefighters;
- Provide Early Head Start and Head Start places for all 20.9 million children under the age of 5.
The defense spending bill did include two unrelated provisions that I support. The bill extends emergency unemployment insurance benefits until the end of February, and extends a temporary program that provides COBRA subsidies to help unemployed workers maintain their health insurance.
These are important provisions that are helping jobless workers struggling in the recession. They were in the Jobs for Main Street bill (H.R. 2847) that also passed the House in December, which I supported. However, I could not support a bill where the good provisions are dwarfed by hundreds of billions in spending on defense.
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