Raleigh City Council considers "Bring the War Dollars Home" Resolution

On Wednesday, January 2 at 7:00pm, the Raleigh City Council will consider the following resolution. Let’s fill the council chambers to demonstrate support for the resolution.

Proclamation calling on Congress to Fund Urgently Needed Services and Infrastructure Repair in Raleigh and Throughout the United States by Bringing Our Troops and War Dollars Home and Reducing Military Spending

WHEREAS the members of the Raleigh City Council and the constituents we represent want to ensure the safety, as well as the physical and mental well-being of U.S. soldiers, veterans, and their families, and

WHEREAS more than 100,000 American soldiers have been officially injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, and 520,000 veterans or our Middle Eastern wars have filed disability claims with costs of their care expected to total between $600 billion and $1 trillion by 2040 (1), and

WHEREAS, the US government has spent well over 1 trillion dollars nationally on the wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, with North Carolina taxpayers’ share of that total at $34 billion, and Raleigh taxpayer’s share of that total is $1.7 billion (2), and

WHEREAS the core defense budget has gone up for an unprecedented 13 straight years and reduction in defense spending will help reduce the federal deficit (1), and

WHEREAS the $50 billion reduction in defense spending required by sequestration under the Budget Control Act (adjusted in real dollars) is equivalent to what was spent in FY2007 and will keep defense spending above the Cold War average (1), and

WHEREAS even with a reduction of $50 billion, the United States will spend more on defense than the next 17 nations combined, most of whom are our allies, and 3 times more than the Chinese (1), and

WHEREAS the severity of the ongoing economic crisis has created budget shortfalls at all levels of government and requires us to reexamine our national spending priorities; and in Wake County budget cuts causing layoffs, cutbacks, and continual damage to our public education system (3), and

WHEREAS 1.6 million residents of NC live in poverty with nearly half with incomes less than half of the federal poverty level, with many living in Raleigh (4, 5), and

WHEREAS, cuts to federal programs such as Community Block Development Grants (CDBGs) and the Home Investment Partnership program (HOME) have forced Raleigh and local agencies and non-profits to lay off staff, reduce or eliminate services, delay infrastructure projects and reduce program benefits to low and moderate income families; and

WHEREAS, funding for a constructive economy that sustains high level educational services for the K through college, job growth, equal access to medical care, low cost housing, infrastructure repair, environmental protections, and family financing throughout North Carolina, especially in cities such as Raleigh, has been diverted to wars and occupations, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED that the Raleigh City Council call upon the U.S. Congress and President Obama to end our military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, bring our troops and war dollars home, and use those savings in military spending to meet vital human needs, promote job creation, rebuild our infrastructure, aid municipal and state governments, and develop a new economy based upon renewable, sustainable energy.

1. Korb, Lawrence J., “6 Reasons to Keep the Defense Budget Sequestration Cuts”, Center for American Progress, April 3, 2012.

2. National Priorities Project, http://costofwar.com, Nov. 1, 2012.

3. Warren, Louisa B. “A Better Future Begins in Pre-K”, Policy & Progress, North Carolina Justice Center, Spring 2012, p. 13.

4. Hawes, Julia, “ Poverty Tour Exposes Lack of Economic Opportunity”, Policy & Progress, North Carolina Justice Center, Spring 2012, p. 1.

5. \Sirota, Alexandra Forter and Burch, Brenna Elford, “Dismantling Pathways to Economic Mobility in NC”, Policy & Progress, North Carolina Justice Center, Spring 2012, p. 1, 10-11.

Comments

Raleigh City Council

...And for Orange County folks, you might want to come to the Raleigh City Council meeting to see what's in store, as the Orange County Peace Coalition is building toward a 2013 Tax Day "Bring the War Dollars Home" event under the banner "Fair Tax and a Budget for All!"

John Heuer
NC Peace Action
Veterans for Peace