Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 4 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Local Budgets and War Spending: A Reflection for Tax Day, April 15

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   1 comment
Author 39143
Message HPatricia Hynes

From every corner of America urban, suburban and rural the news of shrinking budgets and slashed community services sounds forth like a tragic Greek chorus.

According to Pew Trust's Philadelphia Research Initiative, balancing a city's budget has become a year-long necessity due to the uncertainty of revenues and cutbacks in state aid. In 2009, Baltimore, Boston and Phoenix had to revise already completed budgets. Bus services are being canceled in ClaytonCountyGeorgia leaving suburban working poor, many of whom are car-less, stranded from their jobs in sprawled metropolitan Atlanta. A national survey of 151 public transit agencies found that 3 of 5 agencies cut services or raised fares because of flat or decreased local and state funding. On March 13, 2010, my local newspaper laid out in bold front page headlines a litany of economic woes for Franklin County, Massachusetts: "

United Way
falling short on fundraising goals"; "Tight times in FranklinCounty"; "State aid to towns to be cut by up to 4%." Human service programs, education, police officers, firefighters, and child support are threatened with continuing budget cuts and losses in tax income, according to the news articles.

With striking consistency, local politicians, media, and economic analysts lay the blame for budget woes on the unholy trinity of recession, falling tax revenues, and diminished federal aid to states, cities and towns. Their consistent remedial response: cut jobs and services; raise sales and property taxes, institute work furloughs, and negotiate with unions to reduce pension and health benefits.

This week, however, the mayor of Binghamton, New York broke with this mantra and exposed the elephant in the room of local budget crises the obese, yet untouchable, military budget which over-consumes our income taxes and causes cities and towns to starve as their federal aid declines. Urged by residents he will install a large, digital cost-of-war counter, funded by private citizens, on the front of City Hall. Binghamton taxpayers have paid $138.6 million since 2001 to support failed wars, an amount which could fund renewable electricity for every home over the next 11 years and provide 4 year scholarships for most of the 2010 entering class of SUNY Binghamton.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).


Rate It | View Ratings

HPatricia Hynes Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

H. Patricia Hynes, a retired Professor of Environmental Health from Boston University School of Public Health, is on the board of the Traprock Center for Peace and Justice
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The National Interest vs. Child Soldiers

Eisenhower and the Road Not Taken: A Cautionary Tale for Obama

Mercenaries in the Marketplace of Violence

The Morning after Mother's Day

A Primer on the Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Mother's Day for Peace: A Blessing

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: