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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/5/17

Un-Trump the Budget

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Un-Trump the Budget
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Our environmental and human needs are desperate and urgent. We need to transform our economy, our politics, our policies and our priorities to reflect that reality. That means reversing the flow of our tax dollars, away from war and militarism, and towards funding human and environmental needs, and demanding support for that reversal from all our political leaders at the local, state and national levels.

We and the movements we are part of face multiple crises. Military and climate wars are destroying lives and environments, threatening the planet and creating enormous flows of desperate refugees. Violent racism, Islamophobia, misogyny, homophobia and other hatreds are rising, encouraged by the most powerful voices in Washington DC.

President Trump plans to strip $54 billion from human and environmental spending so as to increase already massive spending on the military. The plan raises Pentagon spending to well over 60 cents of every discretionary dollar in the U.S. budget -- even as Trump himself admits that enormous military spending has left the Middle East "far worse than it was 16, 17 years ago." The wars have not made any of us safer.

Washington's militarized foreign policy comes home as domestic law enforcement agencies acquire military equipment and training from the Pentagon and from military allies abroad. Impoverished communities of color see and face the power of this equipment regularly, in the on-going domestic wars on drugs and immigrants. This military-grade equipment is distributed and used by many of the same private companies that profit from mass incarceration and mass deportation.

Using just a fraction of the proposed military budget, the US could provide free, top-quality, culturally competent and equitable education from pre-school through college and ensure affordable comprehensive healthcare for all. We could provide wrap-around services for survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence; replace mass incarceration with mass employment, assure clean energy and water for all residents and link our cities by new fast trains. We could double non-military U.S. foreign aid, wipe out hunger worldwide. The list of possibilities is long.

Instead, the Trump administration plans to take much of their $54 billion gift for the Pentagon from the budgets of the Environmental Protection Agency (even threatening to shut down its already under-funded environmental justice office), the Department of Health and Human Services (slashing family planning and anti-violence-against-women programs), from the State Department (thus privileging war over diplomacy), and foreign aid (so that the wealthiest country in human history turns its back on the world's most desperate).

Among those most desperate are the 24 million refugees who have been forced out of their homes and countries, more than at any time since World War II. Instead of cruel Muslim bans and cuts to the already meager number of refugees allowed into the U.S., we should be welcoming far more. Alleviating the refugee crisis also means working to end, rather than escalate, the wars that create refugees, and supporting human rights defenders in their home communities. That means more diplomacy and foreign aid, not more military spending.

With its hundreds of billions of un-audited dollars, the military remains the greatest consumer of petroleum in the United States, and one of the world's worst polluters. The US needs new green, sustainable jobs across our economy targeted to people facing the highest rates of unemployment and low wages. Military spending results in an economic drain. Clean energy production creates 50% more jobs than the same investment in military spending.

The U.S. military also serves as a security force protecting the extraction and transport of fossil fuels domestically and from the Middle East and other parts of the world. U.S. military force thus enables the continued assault on the planet and some of its most impoverished inhabitants by ensuring the supply of cheap fossil fuels, all while subsidizing some of the largest corporations in the world.

A December 2014 Gallup poll showed people in 65 nations considered the United States far and away the largest threat to peace in the world. If the United States was known for providing clean drinking water, schools, medicine, and solar panels to others, instead of attacking and invading other countries, we would be far more secure and face far less global hostility.

We can do this. Reverse the flow. No walls, No War, No Warming!

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A. Garcia climbing poetree
Adam Shah Senior Policy Analyst, Jobs With Justice
Alice Slater Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
Alice Walker poet and writer
Angela Kelly
Ann Wright Veterans for Peace
Annie Leonard Greenpeace USA
Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson Highlander Research &a Education Center
Ayesha Gill IWW
Basav Sen
Barbara Cicalese Granny Peace Brigade Philadelphia
Beverly Guy-Sheftall Professor, Spelman College
Bonnie Gorman Mass. Peace Action
Bonnie Hughes Berkeley Arts Festival
Rabbi Brant Rosen American Friends Service Committee
Bill goonan
Bonnie Lockhart System Change not Climate Change
Brian Trautman Veterans For Peace
Buzz Davis Vets for Peace
Carrie Schudda
Chris Kaihatsu RevLeft (affiliation only)
Chuck Kaufman National Co-Coordinator, Alliance for Global Justice
Chuck Woolery
Cindy Wiesner Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
Collin Rees SustainUS
Corey E. Olsen CEO Pipe Organs/Golden Ponds Farm
Dara Baldwin President and CEO of DMADRINA, LLC, Social Justice Policy expert
Daniel Carrillo Enlace
Dan Gilman Veterans For Peace
David F. Gassman System Change not Climate Change
David Hart New Economy Maryland, Institute for Policy Studies
David McReynolds former Chair, War Resisters International
David Swanson author, radio host, co-founder of & World Beyond War
David Schwartzman DC Statehood Green Party
Dayne Goodwin Secretary, Wasatch Coalition for Peace and Justice, Salt Lake City
Don Harmon
Ed Bennett
Eddie S. Glaude Jr. Princeton University
Eve Ensler V-Day and One Billion Rising
Erich Pica President, Friends of the Earth
Frank Cordaro Des Moines Catholic Worker
Felice & Jack Cohen-Joppa the Nuclear Resister
Gene Keyes
Henry Lowendorf Greater New Haven Peace Council
George Martin Liberty Tree Fiundation
Gloria Steinem Author, feminist
Gregory Cendana Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO & Executive Committee Member of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans
Gwyn Kirk Women for Genuine Security
James Early Institute for Policy Studies Board Member
j hoegler
Jamie DeMarco Program for Nuclear Disarmament & Pentagon Spending, Friends Committee on National Legislation
Jane Fonda actress & activist
Jaron Brown Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
Jaron Browne Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
Jay Schaffner Moderator, Portside
Jeff Cohen co-founder,
Jeff Furman Ben & Jerry's Board of Directors
Jenny Lynn California for Progress
Jim Barton
Jo Comerford Campaign Director,
Joan Phillips
Joanne Landy Co-Director, Campaign for Peace and Democracy
Jodie Evans CODEPINK
Jonathan Boyne
John Kailin Member, Jewish Voice for Peace
John Cavanagh Director of the Institute for Policy Studies
John Lindsay-Poland American Friends Service Committee
John Sellers Other 98%
Josh Ruebner Policy Director, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights
Joseph gerson American Friends Service Committee
Judith LeBlanc Native Organizers Alliance
Julie Levine Topanga Peace Alliance and MLK Coalition of Greater Los Angeles
Kathleen A Maloy Strategic Consulting for Health Equity
Kathy Bradley
Kathy Kelly Voices for Creative Nonviolence
kathy lipscomb senior & disablity action
Kathy Spillar
Kelley Ready Dorchester People for Peace, Congo Action Now
Keith McHenry Food Not Bombs
Kevin Lindemann
Kevin Martin President, Peace Action and the Peace Action Education Fund
Kourtney Andar Veterans For Peace
Kimberle Williams Crenshaw The African American Policy Forum
Lari Phillips Mussatti CTA
Laura Flanders host of The Laura Flanders Show
Leslie Cagan Peoples Climate Movement NY
Leah Bolger World Beyond War, Veterans For Peace, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
Lindsay Koshgarian Research Director, National Priorities Project
Lindsey Allen Executive Director, Rainforest Action Network
Litsa Binder NJ Peace Action, FCNL, AFSC, Greenpeace
Liz Moore Peace & Justice Action League of Spokane
Lukas Ross Climate and Energy Campaigner, Friends of the Earth
Mab Segrest, Southerners on New Ground
Lydia Davis
Madelyn Hoffman New Jersey Peace Action
Maggie Martin Co-director of Iraq Veterans Against the War
Marjorie Cohn National Lawyers Guild.
Mark Almberg
Mark Foreman Veterans For Peace
Marie Dennis Co-President, Pax Christi International.
Martha Hennessy Catholic Worker
Martin Melkonian
Mary Sue Meads
May Boeve
Medea Benjamin CODEPINK
Megan Amudson Women's Action for New Directions
Mehrene Larudee
Michael Eisenscher US Labor Against the War
Michael Kaufman Communities for a Better Environment
Michael T. McPhearson Veterans For Peace
Michelle Alexander author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness
Michelle Dixon Global Progressive Hub
Michelle Manos California for Progress
Mike Tidwell Director, Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Miriam Pemberton Institute for Policy Studies
Monisha Rios Veterans For Peace, National Board of Directors
Monique Salhab Veterans For Peace
Murshed Zaheed Vice President and Political Director, CREDO Mobile
Nabil Mohammad ADC
Nadine Bloch Beautiful Trouble
Naomi Klein author of This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate
Nicolas J S Davies Journalist, Consortium News
Norman Solomon Co-Founder and Coordinator,
Olivia Alperstein Communications and Policy Associate, Progressive Congress
Opal Tometi Executive Director, Black Alliance for Just Immigration; & Co-Founder, BLM Network
Oscar Chacon Alianza Americas
Patrick McCann Veterans For Peace, National Education Association
Paul Shannon American Friends Service Committee
pedro Escuela de La Paz
Peter Buffett American musician, composer, author and philanthropist
Phyllis Bennis Fellow, Institute for Policy Studies & Director, New Internationalism Project
Rabbi Brant Rosen American Friends Service Committee
Rafael Jesàs Gonza'lez -- poet Xochipilli, Latino Men's Circle
Richard Greve Veterans for Peace, Peace Action
Robert Applebaum
Richard (RJ) Eskow Host, The Zero Hour radio program
Robert Naiman Just Foreign Policy
Robert Shetterly Americans Who Tell the Truth
Robert Weissman Public Citizen
Rosa Clemente 2008 Green Party VP candidate
Rosette M. Bagley Pax Christi Illinois
Rebecca Vilkomerson Executive Director, Jewish Voice for Peace
Reece Chenault National Coordinator, US Labor Against the War
Regina Birchem Women's International League for Peace & Freedom
Samina Sundas Founder, American Muslim Voice Foundation
Saru Jayaraman Co-Director at Restaurant Opportunities Center United (ROC-United)
Staceyann Poet
Steph Guilloud Project South
Stephen Miles Director of Win Without War
Steve Cobble
Steve Ongerth IWW, IBU (ILWU), Climate Workers, Railroad Workers United, System Change not Climate Change, and Sunflower Alliance
Tarak Kauff Veterans For Peace
Terry Kay Rockefeller September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
Terry O'Neill President, National Organization for Women
Thea Paneth Arlington United for Justice with Peace, United for Peace and Justice
Thenmozhi Soundararajan Equality Labs
Thomas L Harrison Campaign for Peace and Democracy
Tom Swan Connecticut Citizen Action Group (CCAG)
Vince Warren Exec Director, Center for Constitutional Rights
Wendy Thompson UAW, L. 22
William D. Hartung Center for International Policy
Winnie Wong co-founder, People for Bernie
Zillah Eisenstein writer, anti-racist feminist, International Women's Strike/US

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David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at and and works for the online (more...)
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