[HCCN] petition: Serving Local Needs

Judith Robbins jprobbins at myfairpoint.net
Wed May 11 18:11:10 EDT 2011

[Hi, I¹ve just signed this online petition and encourage anyone to read the
following and share this email with friends.
Judy R.]

1.  I hope you will consider joining with me in signing the national
petition, "Serving Local Needs, Cutting Military Excess," located on
line at PetitionOnLine and created by Metrowest Peace Action Boston,
MA; and People for Peace of First Parish, Unitarian Universalist,
Wayland, MA.  The petition is adapted, with permission of Women¹s
Action for New Directions (WAND), from their FY 2012 Budget Letter,
The text is pasted far below for you to preview.  if you are willing,
please go to PetitionOnLine.com and sign using this link:

2.  If you possibly can, please take a second step and send a brief
email of your own composition or something like this email to as many
folks as you can who you think may be interested in signing. (Put
their addresses in the BCC box, and send the email to yourself to
preserve privacy of emails.)

It is especially important that you consider sending your email to
folks in other towns and parts of the nation so that awareness becomes

3.  If you can take one more step, please send the same email to any
organizations you think may be interested.  You can refer them to
malcolmastley at verizon.net
   for more information if you wish.

Thank you for considering ways to serve essential local needs, cut
excessive military spending, and put our national budget in line with
our values.

Petition Wording

To: All Government Officials in the United States
Dear Government Official:

As you consider our FY 2012 federal budget, we urge you to use all of
your influence to bring about a significant reduction in military
spending now.

The United States¹ military budget is about equal to that of all of
the other military budgets in the world combined.* Meanwhile, a
Reuters poll released March 9, 2011, suggests, ³a majority of
Americans prefer cutting defense spending to reduce the federal
deficit rather than taking money from public retirement and health
programs.²** Our military spending is out of control and your
constituents demand change.

This year, budget debates are taking place in the midst of a
struggling economy and concerns about the growing deficit and debt.
Dramatic spending cuts and freezes are now being considered in every
category except military spending. We believe that this unbalanced
approach is fiscally irresponsible and does not align with our
nation¹s values. Like every other department, the Pentagon must be
held accountable and prove that its programs are a worthwhile use of
our limited tax dollars.

Among the many vital domestic programs on the chopping block are
education, health care, affordable housing, and energy assistance.
Cuts to these programs will compound the strain already placed on our
overburdened state, city, and local budgets. Analysts warn that deep
cuts will damage our fragile economy now and hinder our ability to
compete globally in the future. We know that these cuts will have a
devastating impact on not only the most vulnerable people in our
communities, but also on essential local services, including schools,
safety and library services.

Military spending for the Pentagon, the wars, and nuclear weapons
comprises 56% of the discretionary spending requested in FY 2012.
While all other discretionary spending is subject to cuts or spending
caps, military spending would continue to grow. Simple arithmetic
tells us that without cuts to this largest portion of discretionary
spending, even very deep cuts to domestic and international programs
will not alleviate deficit spending and the rising debt. Thus, it is
not surprising that the recent bi-partisan National Commission on
Fiscal Responsibility and Reform called for ³substantial defense
reductions over the next 10 years.² Furthermore, University of
Massachusetts economists found that ³public dollars invested in clean
energy, health care, and education all create significantly more jobs
within the U.S. economy than investing an equivalent amount in the

We believe budget decisions should reflect our nation¹s values and we
can cut military spending without harming national security,
undermining troops, or cutting support for veterans. Every dollar we
spend on a weapon is a dollar we do not have to educate our children
or rebuild a crumbling bridge. As you face some of the most difficult
budgeting challenges in our nation¹s history, we urge you to use your
influence now to reduce our military spending responsibly and

Stockholm International Research Peace Institute

  Reuters News Agency

*** The U.S. Employment Effects of Military and Domestic Spending
Priorities: An Updated Analysis, Robert Pollin and Heidi Garrett-
Peltier, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Department of Economics
(October 2009)
Petition adapted, with permission of Women¹s Action for New Directions
(WAND), from their FY 2012 Budget Letter, www.wand.org

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