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NAACP Supports a New Look at Federal Budget in FY 2009

WHEREAS, a nation's budget is, in its aggregate, a statement about the values and priorities of its people; and

WHEREAS, on February 4, 2008, President Bush released his budget proposal for fiscal year 2009, which begins October 1, 2008 and goes through September 30, 2009; and

WHEREAS, The President's proposed budget is most notable in that it features cuts in scores of programs that are essential to millions of middle- and low-income families and calls for additional tax cuts that will primarily benefit the wealthiest Americans; and

WHEREAS, President Bush has proposed spending $3.11 trillion while bringing in $2.7 trillion in revenues in fiscal year 2009.  He would squeeze most domestic programs by essentially freezing them at this year's levels. Furthermore, President Bush has not included much of the anticipated cost of the war in Iraq in his estimate, he has made unrealistic tax assumptions and he has assumed that domestic spending will remain stagnant for the next five years; and

WHEREAS, past and current military spending consumes more than 40 cents of every income tax dollar; anti-poverty programs are given only 8.7 cents on the dollar and education, training and social services programs receive only 4.4 cents on the dollar; and

WHEREAS, current estimates of the United States' spending on the war on Iraq show that we have already spent $522.5 billion; the President has requested another $83.8 billion in fiscal year 2008 and $139.4 billion in fiscal year 2009; and

WHEREAS, according to the National Priorities Project, the war in Iraq costs American taxpayers $341.4 million per day, which comes out to $4,681 so far per American household, or $1,721 per person; and

WHEREAS, between now and the beginning of the new fiscal year on October 1, 2008, the United States Congress will debate and decide not only how the American taxpayers' money is spent, but also how it is collected; and

WHEREAS, it is important that we make our voices heard and that we let our elected officials know that we place a premium on federal programs which help low- and middle- income Americans reach their potential and help fight continued racism and discrimination, which holds everyone back;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP supports a seismic shift in the current federal budget away from defense and military spending and more towards meeting the basic human needs of all of our people, including spending on infrastructure development and job creation, education, housing, and the protection of our civil rights; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP can and should continue to fight for more federal funding for public education, access to safe, secure and affordable housing, health care access and quality, crime prevention, job training and job creation, small business promotion, the protection of our basic civil rights and liberties, energy assistance, the protection of workers' rights and more, including continued assistance for those whose lives were devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

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