I adore having three-day weekends. Yet, I wish all school children knew what this day is for. Any family who has lost someone recently in our current endless wars, or still have family who served in Vietnam or Korea who suffer with lasting injuries, both mental and physical -- will honor this day with sadness. We all need to think about that.
A battle is raging over how much money Americans will sink into the Pentagon next year. At least, that's what it looks like. The Republican Party's deficit hawks have clashed with its defense hawks over another hike in military spending. Obama, meanwhile, has vowed to veto any spending bill that underfunds his domestic priorities.
My constituents, and all Ohioans, work hard to keep roofs over their heads and feed their families. Their hard-earned, finite tax dollars should be prioritized to meet the needs of our community. It is time for Congress to carefully scrutinize how our tax dollars are spent as they craft next year's budget.
In the House and Senate budget proposals for fiscal year 2016, passed with only Republican votes at the end of March, there are big winners and big losers. The big winners are defense spending and contractors and very wealthy people and powerful special interests. The big losers are children, our poorest group in America, and struggling low- and middle-income families.
But you would never know it if you listened to the cries coming from key members of Congress and hawkish D.C. think tanks. It is important to note that these substantial proposed increases in Pentagon spending are arbitrary numbers cherry-picked from past Pentagon five-year plans, not careful assessments of current defense needs.
We need an active, independent left willing to challenge the push for smaller government. A well-managed government can revitalize the economy even as it makes our world a better place to live. Many Americans seem to understand that instinctively. Where, then, is the movement that will make that argument?
The federal government is one of the world's biggest consumers. These hundreds of billions of dollars in purchases and investments are a driving force of the American economy -- procurement creates jobs, promotes innovation and even has socially beneficial effects. It also is often associated with outsourcing waste and fraud and crony capitalism.