MainLine Peace Action/DelMont PDA

January 3, 2011

War vs. Education

Filed under: New Priorities — Tags: , — Walter Ebmeyer @ 3:16 pm

Co-editor Jane Dugdale wrote this letter to the Editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer.  Military spending is the giant maw gobbling up money that should be going to education, health, infrastructure, etc.  Why don’t you write a letter?

To the Editor:

Neighboring Hatboro-Horsham School District is allegedly experiencing “class warfare” between teachers and residents offended by the “high” pay and benefits of teachers. Let’s hope that Radnor and other districts can grasp what the real “class warfare” is and resist pitting ordinary citizens against each other.

Overlooked by most people is the fact that state support for local districts has been slashed because federal support to states has been slashed. Federal support to states comes from the “discretionary” budget, revenued by IRS taxes, more than half of which now goes to military spending. The National Priorities Project estimates military spending at 59 percent of the discretionary budget and growing.

So the money that should be subsidizing local spending is being siphoned off at an accelerating rate by the military to fund wars and weapons that people increasingly regard as needless and wasteful. Needless and wasteful they may be to working people, but extremely lucrative to those supplying the weapons and warfare.

“Class warfare” is indeed what is happening to our communities, but it is not between working people and teachers, whose unions are trying to maintain middle-class salaries and benefits for their members. The real class warfare is between working people in general, including teachers, and the powerful and wealthy leaders of what many call the “military-industrial-congressional complex,” who are delighted to see working people fighting amongst themselves. To save our communities from bankruptcy and social disintegration, military spending should be “on the cutting table” as Congress and the president begin work on the next budget.


Jane Swift Dugdale, Bryn Mawr