Stark Choices this Memorial Day
May 28, 2012
When it comes to budgets, we're all familiar with having to make hard choices about where we spend money. But this Memorial Day, here's a choice that shouldn't be hard: to put caring for our veterans and the people in our communities who are struggling to meet their basic needs above continuing to pour money into the Pentagon.
Yet our country is still failing to provide for many veterans. To give just one example, the Veterans Administration estimates that, in any given year, some 134,000 veterans are homeless. By comparison, in any given year, U.S. taxpayers paid top military contractor Lockheed Martin about $35 billion -- enough to buy every single homeless veteran a $200,000 home.
Now of course Congress isn't directly choosing to give money to Lockheed instead of to veterans. But earlier this month the House did approve legislation that would allow the Pentagon budget to continue to grow while cutting funding for programs that protect human needs -- programs that veterans and other poor and vulnerable people in our communities rely on for their very survival.
This Memorial Day week, please join with FCNL to take action for a peaceful budget.
- Write your senators in support of cutting the Pentagon budget by at least $1 trillion over the next 10 years.
- Visit your senators' local offices sometime this week to urge them to ensure that the Pentagon pays its fair share in the effort to reduce the federal debt. See tips on setting up an appointment and having a successful lobby visit.
- Sharing an infographic about homeless veterans and the profits of Pentagon contractors on Facebook.
If the Pentagon isn't required to absorb a fair share of budget cuts, then congressional staff tell us that funding for the Department of Veteran's Affairs and other non-military spending will be reduced even further.
Every day this week, look for a new way to raise the need for Pentagon budget cuts with your senators' offices. You can find out about the daily action by:
- Requesting an email reminder every morning this week
- Checking the Week of Action section of our website
- Connecting with us on Facebook
- Following us on Twitter @FCNL
Thank you for your advocacy.
Associate Executive Secretary for Campaigns
P.S. Want to know more about spending on veterans? Check out this fact sheet. And read our own Matt Southworth's perspective on war spending as a veteran of the Iraq war.