The security of our nation is in grave danger with FY11 cuts proposed last week by the House Budget Committee. Americans who have come before us have planned for our futures through intergenerational investments, such as the creation of highway systems, the Department of Education, libraries, and social safety nets. Each of these investments contributes to the security and wellbeing of all Americans, and our generation must do the same in a manner that recognizes government’s role in providing for the common good.
Responsible spending will support all Americans—especially the most vulnerable—through the continuing economic recovery and guarantee our children and grandchildren a future we can all be proud of.
Proposed cuts to social safety nets seriously undermine the ongoing economic recovery and jeopardize the safety of individuals living with housing and food insecurity. Until the economy demonstrates persistent job growth, these types of draconian cuts will jeopardize jobs and social safety nets that keep individuals and their families from drowning.
Labor, Health and Human Services is threatened with an 11% proposed cut from last year’s funding level and 22% below the President’s FY 2011 request. The proposal guts funding for programs that provide for preventative healthcare. This is not only inequitable and shortsighted but will create higher healthcare costs in the future, only serving to increase future deficits and decrease the quality of America’s healthcare system.
House proposals would cut the State Department and Foreign Operations budget more than 20% from the President’s FY 2011 request, but would only cut the Defense Department by less than 3%. This represents skewed priorities and a flawed understanding of security. Diplomacy and Development are essential tools for securing the global common good. We need to invest in smart security that prioritizes these peace building tools, not just military spending.
Decreasing regulation and funding for enforcements mechanisms will only serve to diminish the effectiveness of environmental programs and increase our long-term costs associated with environmental degradation and higher healthcare costs stemming from pollution.
Until Congress reforms the overall immigration system, the focus should be on encouraging a dynamic national debate. Resources should be put toward creating a comprehensive immigration system that better recognizes the dignity of each and every person.
The budget is a living, breathing moral document that—as it stands and with