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Todd Jordan - 4/30/2005

Bush is requesting an additional $82 billion to finance the Iraq war for 2005. This is a war built on lies and manipulations, and its only motives are oil, profits, and military prestige. It's already costing us $5 billion/month.

Bush has couched his demands in 'support our troops' propaganda, stating he needs the money to win the "global war on terror and spread freedom around the world." The actual state of the troops, however, tells a very different story.

The most vulnerable rank-and-file soldiers, usually National Guardsmen or reservists in supply and transport companies, are so poorly equipped that they are forced to rummage through local landfills to provide their vehicles with armor. In addition, the current death gratuity given by the government to survivors of those killed in action, a paltry $12,420, is pushing many young widows and widowers and their children into poverty.

The budget Bush has proposed for 2006, called the "most irresponsible and misleading budget in our nation's history" by Senator Harvey Reid of Nevada (NY Times, 2/5/05), will only make things worse. Bush has effectively gutted many wide-ranging public health programs with one hand while increasing programs promoting sexual abstinence by $38 million with the other.

In addition to slashing 150 nonmilitary programs, a full third of which are in the Department of Education (NY Times, 2/5/05), Bush has allocated even more funds to the Pentagon, bringing its budget to $419.3 billion despite the fact this budget does not include the cost of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This budget was made on the assumption that the tax cuts Bush has enacted for the rich and corporations will remain in place. This budget is stealing money from the working class while robbing us of such vital necessities as healthcare and education.

We need to organize a struggle against the budget cuts affecting our communities. We need a budget based on the needs of working people, not a budget designed to benefit the super-rich and their wars.