Friday, July 29, 2011

Returning to Peacetime, Impact on the Federal Budget

As a follow-up to the post from earlier in the week, Time to End the War in Afghanistan, I offer Returning to Peacetime...a white paper* by local Sacramento policy idea guy,  Devin Lavelle.    He argues that reducing U.S. military spending to pre-9/11 levels -- a reduction of about $385 billion a year from what we spend now -- would take care of a significant piece of the U.S. budget deficit, the issue that now roils Washington D.C., global financial markets and cable televisions political talk shows.

Big bankers, heads of major corporations, Wall Street financiers and a significant number of national elected officials now claim the US deficit is the single greatest problem facing the American economy and our collective future. They are behind various plans to severely slash government spending on social services and even Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid to the tune of trillions of dollars over the next 10 years.    Others would like to see revenues (essentially, taxes) increased or earlier tax cuts for wealthier Americans rescinded, although there is little serious discussion of such options by national politicians. 

Unfortunately, the current debate over the U.S. deficit offers little hope for those concerned with the overall state of the U.S. economy, the huge program cutbacks being made by state and local governments that are harming real people all around the country (see Of  Tuition Hikes and Salary Spikes), and the lack of job prospects for millions of Americans. 

In his careful, understated way, Lavelle suggests another way to begin achieving significant deficit reduction without sacrificing the social safety net.    It is a short read. Check it out.


* note: a "white paper" is term used for a report or guide that is researched and written to help citizens, elected officials and policy makers make decisions and solve difficult problems. 

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