But it didn’t have to be this way. For months, the Republican leadership in the House and President Obama have butted heads over the sequestration — where the GOP wanted to do away with the cuts to the Pentagon, while the White House called for making millionaires and corporations pay their fair share.
And there you have it. Millions of programs, particularly those helping our most vulnerable like Head Start and unemployment benefits, will be slashed because Republicans didn’t want to ask their fat cat friends on Wall Street to pay more in taxes.1
Because the GOP was unwilling to compromise, roughly 700,000 jobs will be lost2 — which Republicans will try to blame on Obama, instead of taking responsibility for their own actions.
Other programs that are on the chopping block include WIC nutrition aid for children and mothers, rental housing vouchers and homelessness aid, emergency responders, mental health services, food stamps, Medicaid and huge cuts to education — and at a time when our communities need it the most.3
There is one silver lining in this disastrous sequestration — the Pentagon will face cuts to its bloated budget — but not in a way we believe is smart or strategic.
We elected our leaders to balance the budget in a sensible way, not with a meat cleaver, but with a scalpel. While military pay and VA programs are exempt under sequestration — as they should be — programs such as TRICARE, tuition assistance and family programs are not. We should not be cutting these important benefits for the men and women who put their lives on the line, when there is massive waste and abuse in the Pentagon budget.4
For starters, we should cut the F-35, the most expensive weapons system in military history — which has been plagued with cost overruns and delays, and just last week was grounded over safety concerns.5
On Wednesday, USAction, along with our affiliates and allies, hosted a National Day of Action to Pull the Pork from the Pentagon — with events in DC and all across the country. A diverse coalition of 120 national progressive organizations representing millions of Americans have already signed on to a letter to Congress calling for just that. And over 100,000 supporters across the country have signed on in support as well.
Now we’re taking the message directly to Congress. Tell Your Senators and Representative: Stop these cuts to our communities and our families, pull the pork from the Pentagon and make millionaires pay their fair share instead!
1 – “What is The Sequester,” The Huffington Post, March 1, 2013
2, 3 – “State and National Impacts of Sequestration: Sources and Assumptions,” Coalition of Human Needs, February 1, 2013
4 – “Top 10 Fiscal Cliff FAQs,” Military.com, December 10, 2012
5 – “Pentagon orders F-35 Jets grounded,” the New York Times, February 22, 2013