The current proposed Ryan budget is another verse in a fiscal opera that brutally attacks social safety net programs, earned benefits and needed investments in a range of programs from education, health care, road, bridges, energy and science research and much more. The one category of spending that is untouched by fiscal austerity is Pentagon and war spending.
This out of tune approach is hitting women and children especially hard. Women are losing more jobs, domestic violence shelters and advocacy programs are being closed down, and access to healthcare is being limited. Our nation’s children are denied educational opportunities and we are even cutting food support programs like Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) funding.
All of these cuts will further impact state and local budgets that are already squeezed by a slow economic recovery. Shortages in state and local budget coffers will mean more cuts to education, basic services and jobs. All of this could put our economy in serious jeopardy.
While the Ryan budget is willing to see more children starve, more jobs lost, and our economic stability put at risk, it is unwilling to cut weapons systems that are out-dated, over-budget and irrelevant to 21st Century security needs.
For example, we are slated to spend some $640 billion in the next decade on Cold War-era nuclear weapons and related spending, even though military leaders like Gen. Colin Powell, and Gen. James Cartwright, the retired vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have dismissed this excessive spending as outdated and unnecessary.
Military leaders agree that we need to apply fiscal discipline to reshape the defense budget to support our troops, veterans and military families and also provide the security that we need for the 21st Century.
It’s time to demand a different budget song. We deserve a budget that promotes America’s security and prosperity and reflects our values. The Congressional Progressive Caucus’ “Back to Work Budget,” proves that the Ryan budget is not our only option. It makes sensible cuts to excessive Pentagon spending while also investing in programs that strengthen our nation and economy for generations to come. It also reduces unemployment and the deficit. Now that is a budget that is good for women and good for all of America!