News Release

Clinton’s New Budget: Behind the Rhetoric

GREG SPEETER
The executive director of the National Priorities Project, Speeter said: “The fact that we’re looking at increasing the Pentagon budget by $110 billion over the next five years, at a time when it ought to be going down, is ridiculous. Our domestic needs are increasing. We have a child poverty rate of 20.8 percent according to the Census Bureau. Drinking water systems that serve more than 50 million Americans violate health regulations and standards. The GAO says that 30 percent of our schools are in need of extensive repairs. Over 40 million Americans have no health insurance. We have a shortfall of 5 million low-income housing units. Forty-six percent of the jobs with the most growth, like cashiers and waitresses, pay less than half a livable wage.” Speeter is author of the report “Are You Winning or Losing? How Federal Choices Affect You and Your Community.”
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MARK ZEPEZAUER
The author of “Take the Rich Off Welfare,” Zepezauer said: “We’re doling out hundreds of billions of dollars every year to huge corporations and wealthy individuals. The Overseas Private Investment Corporation finances multinational corporations’ risky investments abroad, where the taxpayer guarantees their dealings, so they get a bailout if things don’t go well for them in the big bad free market. The Agriculture Department is ponying up money for McDonald’s and Pillsbury to advertise their products overseas. Other major beneficiaries of the budget include the timber, ranching, mining and nuclear power industries.”

MARILYN CLEMENT
The executive director of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Clement said: “The military contractors are desperate for more money to keep their profits soaring far into the next century — that’s why we have these scares about the supposed inferiority of U.S. weapons…. We don’t need new attack submarines costing $13 billion; the same amount would provide health insurance for the 11 million uninsured kids in America. Thirty-nine new F-22 fighter planes costing $7 billion would allow 1.7 million children to benefit from Head Start.”
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WILLIAM HARTUNG
The executive director of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Clement said: “The military contractors are desperate for more money to keep their profits soaring far into the next century — that’s why we have these scares about the supposed inferiority of U.S. weapons…. We don’t need new attack submarines costing $13 billion; the same amount would provide health insurance for the 11 million uninsured kids in America. Thirty-nine new F-22 fighter planes costing $7 billion would allow 1.7 million children to benefit from Head Start.”

WILLIAM HARTUNG
A senior fellow of the World Policy Institute at the New School for Social Research and author of “The Military-Industrial Complex Revisited,” Hartung said: “Spending on military procurement from now to 2005 will increase by 53 percent while the boost in salaries and benefits for personnel is only 22 percent. Readiness and the troops are the bait, but the administration is slipping the bulk of the funds to the military contractors. This increase is not a response to threats in the world, it’s a response to perceived political threats to Clinton and Gore. They have stolen yet another issue from the Republicans.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167