Democrats and Republicans in Congress claim to be working hard on negotiations to bring about responsible budget cuts and to avoid a government shutdown, but they’re working with one hand tied behind their backs. The proposals offered by both the Republicans and the Democratic congressional leadership fail to include some of the biggest, most sensible cuts available to the American people in these times of fiscal challenges: Cuts to war.
U.S. Representative Lynn Woolsey identified this astounding missed opportunity in budget opportunities in a speech this week. Woolsey stated, of the budget plans being discussed,
“They demand sacrifice from working families and the middle class, but none, no sacrifice from special interests and the big oil companies. I saw a lot of words in their budget proposal. But one that I don’t believe was mentioned a single time is ‘Afghanistan.’ The war in Afghanistan, in addition to having cost us more than 1,500 American lives, is costing the taxpayers nearly $7 billion a month and is proving to be a crashing failure. This war is in its 10th year, and we still haven’t vanquished the Taliban. We still haven’t brought a stable democracy to Afghanistan. And we still haven’t trained the Afghans to take responsibility for their own security.
The Republicans want to cut wasteful, ineffective government programs. Well, if that is true, I suggest the majority start with Afghanistan before going after American seniors, schoolchildren, and working people. My Republican colleagues believe in limited government as long as the things they’re limiting are taxes paid by special interests and investments in people who need a helping hand. When it comes to foreign invasions and decade-long military occupations, Republicans are the biggest spenders of all. With these priorities, not only have they lost their moral compass, they’ve lost the American people as well.”