Pentagon Well-Fed While States and Cities Live on Subsistence Diet

Cross-posted from OtherWords.

Some Americans want to starve our cities, close our schools, and knock away the ladder that our children are supposed to climb to economic security. Your lawmakers may be among them.

The White House plans to release its proposed 2013 budget on Feb. 13. A free-for-all will ensue, as denizens of Capitol Hill compete for the titles of Biggest-Tax-Cutter and Baddest-Program-Slasher.

To appreciate how truly loony this is, consider how much we’re already hurting.

U.S. cities and towns have fired half-a-million workers since 2008, and another quarter-million municipal employees may lose their jobs by the end of this year. Venice, Florida is losing its fire marshal, deputy fire chief, and fire inspector. San Jose, California may have to shut down all its libraries and community center programs. Gardner, Massachusetts has one clerk running its municipal grounds, parks, playgrounds, cemetery, forestry, flood control, insect control, golf course, and swimming pool. Fond du Lac, Wisconsin cut city inspectors, police, and crossing guards.

… Our cities and towns need a helping hand from Washington. Instead, Congress is cutting funding they depend on. Under last year’s deficit-reduction deal, domestic spending is dropping about one-quarter from 2010 levels. Meanwhile, military spending, which is supposed to be cut equally, is barely being nicked.

Visit OtherWords to read Mike Prokosch’s column in its entirety.