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Changing the Nation's Spending Priorities from War to Peace

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opednews.com Headlined to H3 10/16/10

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Environment, energy and science 150

International Affairs 97

Transportation 97

These priorities do not address the nation's persistent economic woes. Recent figures from the Census Bureau show that the official poverty rate rose to 14.3 % in 2009 from 13.2% in 2008. In New Jersey, this includes 280,000 children.

Home foreclosures in August 2010 hit the highest level since the mortgage crisis began. More than 50 million Americans are without health insurance, including more than 1.2 million people in New Jersey! Unemployment remains high at 9.7%, affecting 15 million people. New Jersey lost more than 120, 600 jobs in 2009.

According to NPP's report, half the nation's metro areas will not return to pre-recession employment levels until the end of 2012 and some metro areas like Atlantic City may not return to those levels until 2025.

These statistics show a crying need for money to create jobs and address unemployment and poverty. But the $3.8 trillion budget for FY 2011 doesn't reflect those priorities.

According to the NPP Report, 59 % of the budget is mandatory spending for the federal government, such as revenues for social security and Medicare and Medicaid. 34% of the budget is discretionary spending.

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Here's how the U.S. Congress apportioned this discretionary spending for FY 2011.

Military spending: 58% a record high!

Environment, Energy and Science 6%

Transportation 3%

Income and Security 2%

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International Affairs 4%

Health 5%

Housing and Community 6%

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Madelyn Hoffman is the Executive Director of NJ Peace Action, based in Bloomfield, New Jersey. She has held that position since August 2000. Madelyn Hoffman traveled to Afghanistan with Global Exchange in June 2005 and has given dozens of (more...)
 

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