RESOLUTION: Fund Human and Environmental Needs, Not Military Expansion
WHEREAS President Donald J. Trump has proposed to divert $54 billion from human and environmental spending at home and abroad in order to increase the military budget, bringing military spending to well over 60% of federal discretionary spending; and
WHEREAS on June 26, 2017, the US Conference of Mayors unanimously passed resolutions calling for the following:
“NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the United States Congress to move our tax dollars in exactly the opposite direction proposed by the President, from militarism to human and environmental needs.”
“BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that each city government is urged to pass a resolution calling on our federal legislators and the US government to move significant funds away from the military budget to human needs; and
“BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that each city is urged to send a copy of the resolution passed to its federal legislators with a request that they respond with their plans to reduce the military budget in favor of the human needs budget;” and
WHEREAS taxpayers in Wilmington are already paying $92.72 million per year in federal taxes for the Department of Defense (not including the cost of war); this amount could fund locally for one year: 185 infrastructure jobs, 139 clean energy jobs, 122 elementary school teachers, 103 supported employment opportunities in high poverty communities, healthcare for 1780 low-income adults, healthcare for 3065 low‑income children, Pell grants of $5,815 for 442 students, 1418 preschool seats for children in Head Start, AND solar panels to provide electricity to 6903 households1; and
WHEREAS economists at the University of Massachusetts have documented that military spending is an economic drain rather than a jobs program2; and
WHEREAS our community’s human and environmental needs are critical, and our ability to respond to those needs depends on federal funding for education, welfare, public safety, and infrastructure maintenance, transit and environmental protection; and
WHEREAS the President’s proposal would reduce foreign aid and diplomacy, which help to prevent wars and the victimization of people who become refugees in our community, and 121 retired U.S. generals have written a letter opposing these cuts;
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the City Council of Wilmington, Delaware, urges the United States Congress, and our legislators in particular, to reject the proposal to cut funding for human and environmental needs in favor of military budget increases, and in fact to begin moving in the opposite direction, to increase funding for human and environmental needs and reduce the military budget.
- Statistics provided by the National Priorities Project (https://www.nationalpriorities.org/interactive-data/trade-offs/ ).
- “The U.S. Employment Effects of Military and Domestic Spending Priorities: 2011 Update,” Political Economy Research Institute, https://www.peri.umass.edu/publication/item/449-the-u-s-employment-effects-of-military-and-domestic-spending-priorities-2011-update