by Andy Brownfield
Posted In: Budget
at 04:31 PM | Permalink
Statement of principles presented to staffer outside of West Chester office
Activists gathered on Thursday outside of the West Chester
office of U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, asking the House’s top
official to look at reducing military spending when coming up with a
The group of nearly two dozen — which included nuns, a
veteran, a retiree advocate, a small businessman and progressive
activists — held signs reading, “It is time for Nation Building in the
United States. Cut Massive Pentagon Budget Now!” and “End Tax Breaks for
“We’re here today in front of Speaker of the House John
Boehner’s West Chester office to drive home the fact that we believe
that over 50 percent of the budget magically, this elephant in the
House, has failed to be discussed as we discuss taking away services
that provide human needs,” said David Little of Progress Ohio.
“Any discussion that fails to address excesses in that budget is failing the American people.”
Little added that it was possible to support the troops and veterans without spending billions on pointless wars.
Butler County attorney and Navy veteran Bruce Carter said the military can be more efficient in what he called the changing
“When you refuse to have a discussion on over half of the
budget, that’s like trying to tell the Bengals to win a game without
going over the 50 yard line,” he said.
The group had a letter to deliver to Boehner, which contained what they called a statement of principles.
“We believe in a holistic approach to the budget crisis,
and in order to protect the middle-class, cuts to the Pentagon need to
be at the forefront,” the letter states. “We understand that Pentagon
cuts are a controversial issue, however, Pentagon cuts in the sequester
do not threaten our national security.”
The letter suggests that some of the money currently being
spent on the Defense Department goes to providing services for veterans.
The military accounted for about 52 percent — or $600 billion — of discretionary spending in fiscal year 2011.
In contrast, education, training and social services collectively made up 9 percent of the budget.
The group of four activists weren’t allowed into Boehner’s
office, but a young staffer met them outside. He said that the speaker
thought everything should be on the table when it came to budget cuts.