Serving Local Needs


petition: Serving Local Needs [Hi, I’ve 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 Women’s  
Action for New Directions (WAND), from their FY 2012 Budget Letter, www.wand.org
The text is pasted far below for you to preview.  if you are willing,  
please go to PetitionOnLine.com and sign using this link:  http://www.PetitionOnline.com/LOCALNds/petition.html

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  
national.

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@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 States’ 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, “a majority of  
Americans prefer cutting defense spending to reduce the federal  
deficit rather than taking money from public retirement and health  
programs.”** 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  
nation’s 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 “substantial defense  
reductions over the next 10 years.” Furthermore, University of  
Massachusetts economists found that “public 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  
military.”***

We believe budget decisions should reflect our nation’s 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 nation’s history, we urge you to use your  
influence now to reduce our military spending responsibly and  
significantly.


*http://www.sipri.org/research/armaments/milex/resultoutput/milex_15  
Stockholm International Research Peace Institute

** http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/09/us-usa-budget-poll-idUSTRE7286DW20110309
  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 Women’s Action for New Directions  
(WAND), from their FY 2012 Budget Letter, www.wand.org

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