The King County Democrats’ Platform & Resolutions Committee is (favorably) considering the following two resolutions, the first one calling for cuts to Pentagon spending, and the second one opposing cuts to Social Security.
Concerning the Pentagon budget resolution, someone asked, “Have we considered impacts on WA employment re Boeing and re Joint Base Lewis-McChord? Might be significant too?”.
Tim Burns (chair of the 30th District Democrats) responded:
The effect on employment in Washington and other states is an important issue in this debate. Larry Brown of the Machinist’s Union has raised this as well. However, the effect of balancing the budget on the backs of the middle and lower classes is my main concern. The sequestration is a heavy burden, especially on those mentioned, while the pentagon budget is expected to increase. For example, why do we have over 500 military bases in 117 foreign countries? In my opinion we are not defending our country, we are using our military to colonize the world. There are tanks and aircraft in the budget that even the military doesn’t want or need. Eliminating excesses like these would help to relieve the pressure on the budget instead of decimating Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, etc. Redirecting the monies spent on the military to supporting infrastructure would make up for job losses and would be much better for the country than continuing the military-industrial complex proliferation.I am a Vietnam veteran who believes that the last legitimate major military involvement was World War II. The United States would be far safer if we quit making enemies around the world by our bullying tactics.
I added, “The military budget should not be used as a jobs program. If the government wants to create jobs, they should create them in some productive area, such as infrastructure repair and education, not in weapons manufacturing. Also, military jobs typically yield fewer workers per money spent.”
Concerning the second resolution, note the final sentnece: “Be it further resolved that, going forward, we will refuse to endorse or support any federal candidate that either votes for or advocates for cuts to Social Security, and that all candidates seeking our endorsement or support should be made aware of this policy.” Amen.
The Democratic platform, especially at the state level, is good. Would that our lawmakers would follow it.
RESOLUTION SUPPORTING CUTS IN PENTAGON SPENDING
Whereas automatic across-the-board spending cuts went into effect on March 1, reducing discretionary spending by $1 trillion over the next ten years; and
Whereas Congress has not yet agreed upon a strategic budget package to undo the sequester cuts; and
Whereas Congress is beginning the process of setting Fiscal Year 2014 spending levels for the Pentagon; and
Whereas Pentagon spending, excluding nuclear weapons and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, has increased by 35% in the last decade, while domestic discretionary spending has increased by only 12% during that period; and
Whereas the Government Accountability Office (GAO) identified $70 billion wasted on major weapons systems in a period of just two years; and
Whereas reductions of military spending at the levels required by sequestration would constitute a 31% reduction from the 2010 wartime peak spending level, which would be smaller than the reductions following the Korean, Vietnam, and Cold Wars; and
Whereas the Pentagon can protect Americans by reshaping the budget and accompanying strategy to focus on 21st century threats; and
Whereas think tanks and experts from across the political spectrum, including the Simpson-Bowles Commission, the Cato Institute, Taxpayers for Common Sense and the Project on Defense Alternatives, have identified hundreds of billions of dollars of Pentagon spending reductions that would not harm national security; and
Whereas Washington State will suffer this year as a result of domestic sequester cuts, including 160 teaching jobs at risk, 440 fewer low-income students receiving college aid, 2,850 fewer children receiving vaccinations, and $143,000 less to aid victims of domestic violence;
Therefore, be it resolved that we call on our Congressional Representatives and Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell to work to develop a budget for Fiscal Year 2014 that balances the undoing of domestic sequester cuts with significant reductions in wasteful Pentagon spending, while preserving critical services for veterans and active duty military members; and
Adopted _________________ by __________________________________.
Submitted by Tim Burns, 253-874-6292
Chair, 30th District Democrats, firstname.lastname@example.org
Resolution in Opposition to Cuts in Social Security
Whereas the current cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) applied annually to Social Security benefits and other government programs already fail to account for the higher inflation seniors experience due to their disproportionately higher health care costs; and
Whereas the proposal to subject COLAs to a so-called “chained” CPI (consumer price index) would result in an estimated 0.3% yearly reduction in those COLAs, amounting to an average annual reduction of about $130 per Social Security recipient, and a 9.2% reduction (almost $1400/year) by the time current 65-year-olds reach age 95; and
Whereas the concept of a chained CPI is based on the false premise that, as prices rise, consumers will simply shift their purchasing to less expensive goods and services, while many expenses unavoidable for seniors, such as drugs, health care services, food and property taxes, continue to rise inexorably; and
Whereas, in addition to over 56 million Social Security recipients, there are more than 15 million SSI and VA beneficiaries and military and federal civil service retirees who will be affected; and
Whereas the impact of those reductions will be greatest on those who begin to draw benefits at an earlier age (e.g., military and disabled), and on those who live the longest – typically women who have outlived their other sources of income, depleted their assets, and rely on these benefits as their lifeline to financial stability; and
Whereas generations currently coming of age (a) will have reduced lifetime earnings due to the ongoing recession, (b) will face unprecedented levels of student loan debt and are highly unlikely to ever have defined benefits pensions (and research has shown that 401(k) programs fail to sufficiently prepare Americans for retirement), and (c) will therefore be even more dependent than current retirees on adequate funding of Social Security and realistic COLA calculations; and
Whereas Social Security can be made solvent for at least 75 years, and its benefits increased, by the simple expedient of subjecting all earned income to the FICA tax; and
Whereas cutting Social Security and other safety-net programs would seriously jeopardize the American social contract that has been in place since the New Deal; and
Whereas two-thirds of poll respondents over 50 (Democrats, Republicans and Independents) have said they’ll be less likely to support anyone who backs Obama’s proposal to implement a chained CPI, which will result in severe negative repercussions for our Party in 2014 and 2016 if implemented; and
Whereas the Washington State Democratic Central Committee adopted, on April 27, 2013, a Resolution based on substantially the same factual assertions set forth above and concluding by urging our state’s Democratic Congressional Delegation to refuse to pass a budget that includes cuts to Social Security and other benefits by implementing a chained CPI;
Therefore, be it resolved that we are in full accord with our State Democratic counterparts and specifically call on our own Democratic Representatives and Senators to refuse to support any budget proposal that subjects COLAs in Social Security and other programs to a chained CPI; and
Be it further resolved that, going forward, we will refuse to endorse or support any federal candidate that either votes for or advocates for cuts to Social Security, and that all candidates seeking our endorsement or support should be made aware of this policy.
Adopted ______________ by ___________________________
Originated in current form by the 30th District Democrats;
Edited by the KCDCC Resolutions Committee