A resolution for consideration at our March 27 meeting: “End the Wars and Bring the Tax Dollars Home.” The information about tax burden for WA State is from the National Priorities Project “Cost of War” website, http://costofwar.com/en/tradeoffs/ – you can use this tool for your city, congressional district, etc. And information about expected budget cuts to WA State came from regional online news articles quoting Rep Larsen and Senator Cantwell.

End the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and Bring Our Troops and Tax Dollars Home

WHEREAS the financial resources available for use by governments at the local, county, state and federal levels in the United States are limited; and

WHEREAS the U.S. Congress has appropriated over one trillion dollars for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, most of it borrowed against our national debt; and

WHEREAS according to the National Priorities Project, the taxpayers of Washington State are to date collectively paying or have become indebted for over $28.6 billion in total cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001; and

WHEREAS , taxpayers in State of Washington will pay $2.4 billion for proposed Afghanistan war spending for FY2011; and

WHEREAS the Washington State government is facing a $550 million shortfall in this year’s state budget, and nearly $5 billion shortfall in the 2011-13 budget, while at the same time federal budget cuts are expected to reduce funding in Washington State for college Pell grants, low income housing, senior and youth centers, job training, Puget Sound clean-up and salmon recovery, flood control, transportation, and veteran housing vouchers; and

WHEREAS over 4,400 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq, over 1,140 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan, and over 39,000 U.S. troops have been wounded in both conflicts according to the Department of Defense, and hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed in these conflicts and the ongoing warfare poses great physical danger to the people of the nations of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan;

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the 40th Legislative District Democrats support public discussion and dialogue about the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to our community; and

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that we call on U.S. Senator Patty Murray and U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell and Representative Rick Larsen to oppose further funding of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and urge them to take leadership in the Congress to bring our troops safely home and redirect our federal tax dollars to the pressing educational, employment, health, housing, nutritional, infrastructure, energy, and environmental needs of our state and country; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we call on Congressman Larsen and Senators Murray and Cantwell to support federal funding for the over 2 million new Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans – particularly the thousands who have come home disabled or otherwise physically or mentally wounded – to ensure they receive health care, housing, jobs, education and other support services.

Rena Patty
San Juan County