December 1984 Home   Newsletters

January 1985

February 1985

January General Meeting
President's Message (Dorothy Lum)
Report on Voter Services (Nan Luter)
Federal Tax Policy - The LWV Fiscal Policy Study
1985 Agenda for Superpower No. 1? (Dottie Gullicksen)
1985-86 Program Planning
What If There Was an Election and Nobody Ran?
Honolulu League Testifies at City Council (Astrid Monson)
Welcome to New Members
Calendar - Meetings/Events: 1985

1985 Agenda for Superpower No. 1?

Barring a "Third-World" War, major areas of concern for the United States in 1985 will be progress in Arms Control and decapitating the most voracious heads of the hydra-headed budget.

Public pressure has served to re-start Arms Control negotiations, a gain which could easily be lost unless we keep the focus where it belongs -- arms control because of potential danger, threat, lack. of control, destructive power! Arms Control is often emphasized for budget reduction! Arms Control deals with nuclear technology and that is not a major portion of the military budget: . . In fact, it is only 10% of the military budget! The remaining 90% represents areas where the League has placed its preference: operations, maintenance, military pay -- as opposed to research, development, procurement of new weapons, construction of military facilities, However, the League calls for increased efficiency and improved accountability!

There have been political promises to keep the largest hydra-head, social security safe; the 2nd largest, the debt interest, is practically invulnerable; the 3rd largest is, by most consensus, the military, and could be next in line for public attack, especially if the budget remains in the political football league where arms control was before public pressure was applied.

Recently Senator Daniel Inouye, in an informal address at a State League reception, said he expected to be named to a Federal commission to study the budget with the goal of reduction, and he invited our suggestions. The next day I had barely finished a draft of my suggestions when I had a chance social-political conversation with one of the Senator** old-time associates and former speechwriters. The core of our discussion was the political interests which preserve decadence in military planning, ordering and control. On my way back to the typewriter With new thoughts, I met former Leaguer, Cathy Lyman, at a party. She recommended what to me is the best current book on waste in the federal budget, BURNING MONEY, by J. Peter Grace, who is both Chairman of a Presidential survey on the subject, and longest-term Chair-man of a major American corporation (W. R. Grace & CO.). This book is copyrighted by the Foundation for the President's Private Sector Survey on Cost Control, Inc.

BURNING MONEY so thoroughly covered the points I wanted to make plus so many others, I found it only necessary to re-emphasize the book's importance to Senator Inouye. An appendix gives "Waste and Abuse from A to Z", 16 pages, 94 items, for skimmers. Chapter 5 has $91 billion dollars in suggestions for military reductions in 3 years and Chapter 6 has $100 billion MORE! Now THAT's a bargain book in any library! The suggestions cover outmoded systems lacking in planning and control, the demise of which would not subtract from defense.

Grace hopes that public pressure can overcome political interest. If the public becomes fully aware of the high comparative cost of operation for the necessary services of our consumer government and our consumer military compared to the cost of operating private corporations, the public might be ready to rob the pork-barrel to feed the poor!

Some provocations to action: average income has increased 7.6 times since 1948 - TAXES have increased 246.4 times! It would require almost doubling present taxation to balance the present budget. If current policies are not drastically altered, Federal, State and Local Governments would spend 1/2 the country's total output in goods and services in 16 years. 73% of the ways to cut spending require direct Congressional action!

ADMINISTER SHOCK TREATMENT ON THE BUDGET TO OUR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES IN 1985! Get people interested... FOLLOW THE ISSUES... Write to the media ... WRITE TO CONGRESSPEOPLE! Criticize and comment! The power is in Congress for the budget. Keep a WATCHDOG EYE on the administration for arms control. (See new publication "Promoting Peace: Agenda for Change" - LWVUS Pub #542/$1.25)

Put these issues on a 24-hour watch! Writing and phoning is the most effective thing you can do -- IT REALLY WORKS!

Dottie Gullicksen

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