Monday, March 21, 2011

Why There's No Money for Schools While We're Fighting Over Crumbs

Before you read on, think about whether you see the UFT/AFT make any connections to lack of money and the kind of information below. Actually, don't waste your time. You won't find much. In fact, the UFT/AFT has generally been war hawks - UFT definitely since the 60's and AFT from the time Shanker took over in 1974 (I was at that convention in Toronto). Now of course there were denuded resos against the recent wars - well after popular opinion began to turn - when they broke out there were resos of support.

Maybe I'm hanging around with lefties too much, but it is hard to refute the analysis that a major role union leaders play in this country is to be severely anti-left (Leo Casey was throwing around the Trotsky/Rosa Luzemberg names to disparage UFT opponents at Saturday's Left Forum) and make sure left ideology never gets an airing within the halls of the union.

Now you will hear Unity Caucus leaders say that it is pointless to raise the issue of defense or the war budget because that is not winnable so why raise it? (Casey also talked about the need for "wins" though I can't imagine what UFT "wins" he can bring up.) How about using the bully pulpit to educate the membership and the public? How about running an ad with the info below? Oh, horrors, no!

From Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish:

The United States fired 110 missiles on Saturday at Libya, at a cost of $81 million or about 33 times the amount of money National Public Radio receives in grants each year from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which the House of Representatives wants to de-fund in the name of austerity. 

Michael Moore tweeted:
We fired over 100 Tomahawk missiles into Libya this weekend @ over $600K-1M a missile. Each missile would pay for 12-20 teachers in US.


Stop Funding Wars
Move the Money to Save Jobs and Services
Check Out and Join the New Priorities Network
Compare the Cost for War for Each State
with its Budget Deficit in 2011
(All amounts are in billions of dollars for 2011)
          Paid for Iraq and Afghanistan*                    Deficit
          California:            $21.8                                   $19.7**
          Florida:                   $9.5                                    $4.7
          Indiana:                  $2.6                                    $1.3
  Iowa:                       $1.3                                    $1.1
          Maine:                   $0.5                                     $0.9
          Michigan               $4.6                                     $2.0
          Mississippi:           $0.7                                      $0.7
          New Jersey:          $7.9                                      $10.7
          New York              $15.5                                    $8.5
          Ohio:                      $6.0                                      $3.0
  Pennsylvania:        $6.6                                      $4.1
          Wisconsin:             $2.7                                      $3.4***
*    amount of federal taxes residents of the state paid in 2011 that went to war
**  other estimates of CA’s deficit run as high as $25.4 billion
         *** Wisconsin deficit is for a two-year budget cycle
Spending on the war: National Priorities Project 
Deficits: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Table prepared by the Center for Study of Working Class Life
State University of New York at Stony Brook
1718 M Street NW #153
Washington, DC 20036

Check out Norms Notes for Former US Rep. Alan Grayson makes some important points on the US position on Libya—

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