Tell Washington: Reject the Tea Party’s “Bombs not Bread” Budget

November 12th, 2012 - by admin

Credo Action – 2012-11-12 23:40:11

WASHINGTON, DC ( May 10, 2012) — How cruel and heartless are the Tea Party Republicans in Congress? The extreme right wing leadership of the House of Representatives passed a budget plan that cuts off 300,000 kids from free school lunches at a time when one in five children lives in poverty. (1) And all to give more money to the Pentagon’s already bloated budget.

In last summer’s deal on the debt ceiling, the House and Senate agreed to mandatory future cuts to both the military and social programs. While painful, because the cuts to military spending were deep this represented a much better deal than anything under consideration by the Super Committee — and effectively spared Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare benefits from cuts.

But now House Republicans have passed a sweeping budget reconciliation bill reneging the debt ceiling deal to cut military spending. Their latest budget bill increases Pentagon spending above the agreed-upon levels in the debt deal that would enact $1.2 trillion in cuts over 10 years, split evenly between Pentagon spending and domestic programs. (2)

Tell your Senators: Reject the House Republican’s cruel budget plan and hold the line on mandated military cuts.

The Republican budget is a Tea Party wish list. It increases an already bloated military budget and pays for it by taking away funding for food stamps, wiping out key parts of the federal health care law including health care for children, and slashes funding designated to rein in the Wall Street.

Specifically the GOP budget package would cut $36 billion from the food stamp program by reducing benefits and tightening eligibility, $23.5 billion from Medicaid and children’s health care, $4.2 billion from hospitals that serve the poor and uninsured, and $2.8 billion from a program that helps homeowners facing foreclosures. (3) We need to organize today and make sure that this cruel and heartless House GOP budget plan aiming to roll back out of control defense spending dies in the Senate.

The deal was already made last summer. It was a compromise, but because it mandated equal cuts to military spending and social programs it was a better deal that Democrats imagined was possible on the deficit.

Now we have to defend it to make sure we get the military cuts and all deficit reduction doesn’t come on the backs of children, the working class and the poor. It is urgent for us to speak up now to let the Senate know we will not stand for a compromise on the compromise.

Tell your Senators: Reject the House Republican’s cruel budget plan and hold the line on mandated military cuts.

America already has the world’s biggest economy and the most advanced and powerful military. No other country — including China — comes close. Reining in the Pentagon budget won’t change that. Keep in mind our military and defense spending played a significant role in increasing the national debt — over the last decade.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan contributed to record deficits. The U.S. defense budget is six times that of China’s and equal to that of more than the next 17 highest spending countries combined. (4)

A consensus appears to be emerging among Americans with overwhelming support for military spending cuts. A nationwide poll showed that “not only does the public want deep cuts, it wants those cuts to encompass spending in virtually every military domain — air power, sea power, ground forces, nuclear weapons, and missile defenses.” (5)

According to that poll in which respondents were told about the size of the budget as well as shown expert arguments for and against spending cuts, two-thirds of Republicans and nine in 10 Democrats supported making immediate cuts. (6) A chorus of security experts have also come out in support of a more streamlined military budget. (7)

Tell your Senators: Reject the House Republican’s cruel budget plan. Say no to a heartless tea party budget that pays for Pentagon increases by taking food and health care away from children.

Senator Patty Murray recently became the latest member of Democratic Leadership to join Senator Harry Reid in holding the line against House Republicans’ efforts to undo mandated cuts to military spending, and to pay for it by cutting food stamps, school lunches and children’s healthcare.

While it is heartening to see Democratic Leadership holding the line, we need to keep up the pressure on senators to speak out against Congressional Republicans’ relentless attempts to undo mandated military cuts.

It is time for rest of Senator Reid’s colleagues in the US Senate to come out and denounce this budget as a non-starter.

1. Jonathan Weisman, “House Approves $310 Billion in Cuts, but Passage in the Senate Is Very Unlikely,” The New York Times, May 10, 2012.
2. Rosalind S. Helderman, “GOP plan would forestall Pentagon cuts,” The Washington Post, May 9, 2012.
3. Weisman, , “House Approves $310 Billion in Cuts, but Passage in the Senate Is Very Unlikely.”
4. Zaid Jilani, Memo To The Media: The U.S. Spends Six Times More On Military Than China,, August 25, 2011, and the Economist online, “Defence costs,”, June 8, 2011.
5. R. Jeffrey Smith, “Public overwhelmingly supports large defense spending cuts,” by The Center for Public Integrity, May 10, 2012.
6. Id.
7. National Security Network, “Background Brief: Military and Bipartisan National Security Experts Agree: It’s Time to Reduce Military Spending,” October 25, 2011.