Proclamation calling on Congress to Fund Urgently Needed Services and Infrastructure Repair in Raleigh and Throughout the United States by Bringing Our 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 (3), 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 (2), 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 (2), 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 (2), 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 (4), and
WHEREAS 1.6 million residents of NC live in poverty with nearly 50% of those having incomes less than half of the federal poverty level; in Wake County 1 in 6 children live in poverty (5, 6, 7), 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 war dollars home, and use those and other 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. Gusterson, Hugh, “The Costs of War”, 2011 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, September 6, 2011
2. Korb, Lawrence J., “6 Reasons to Keep the Defense Budget Sequestration Cuts”, Center for American Progress, April 3, 2012.
3. National Priorities Project, http://costofwar.com, Nov. 1, 2012.
4. Warren, Louisa B. “A Better Future Begins in Pre-K,” Policy & Progress, North Carolina Justice Center, Spring 2012, p. 13.
5. Hawes, Julia, “Poverty Tour Exposes Lack of Economic Opportunity,” Policy & Progress, North Carolina Justice Center, Spring 2012, p. 1.
6. 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.