While President Obama proposes a three-year spending freeze on domestic spending, he churns out a record military budget. Here are the pertinent highlights from the campaign's latest press release*:
President Obama's soon-to-be announced three-year spending freeze will have a chilling effect on our schools, says Congressional Candidate Marcy Winograd (CA-36/Harman), a veteran public school teacher, who points out that K-12 schools, already choking from lay-offs and overcrowded classes, face the danger of book shortages and additional program cuts.
Programs Most Affected
Though the majority of school funding comes from the states, the Obama proposal could freeze spending on items funded with federal dollars: supplementary books, reading programs, English as a Second Language classes, and modifications for students with disabilities.
"Public schools need more stimulus dollars to preserve music programs, reduce class size, and pursue quality professional development. A three-year spending freeze on education sends the wrong message to our children, who should be considered our nation's greatest resource for innovation."
Military Spending Continues to Soar
"If the President wants to appease the neo-conservatives, the deficit hawks," says Winograd, "I would encourage him to cut our bloated military budget, which is now paying for multiple perpetual wars that create new enemies."
The President's deficit reduction plan would not touch military spending, slated in 2010 to include 30 billion for Iraq & Afghanistan, 700-billion for the defense budget. Spending on air traffic control, education, and national parks would, however, be frozen.
Warning Signs: Must Protect Social Security & Medicare
Though the freeze, which the President hopes will save 250-billion over 10 years, does not affect Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security, Winograd warns those mainstays of our safety net could be next. "Watch out," says Winograd, "for anything billing itself as a bi-partisan independent commission to restore the nation's fiscal balance. In English that translates into cuts for the poor who rely on Medicaid and for seniors who worked their entire lives to receive Medicare and Social Security.
* Editor's abridged summary for CAIVN readers