How could Americans have benefitted from their $87 billion?

Shocking numbers from msnbc/newsweek: 1. HOMELAND SECURITY For $87 billion you could … More than double the Department of Homeland Security’s 2004 budget or Spend 22 times what Congress appropriated to cities and states in aide to first responders this year or Spend almost 15 times what President Bush has proposed for bioterrorism preparedness funding nationwide — “911 does not ring at the statehouse; it rings at city hall,” said James Garner, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in a Sept. 17 statement. “Cities are the first to respond in a crisis, but last in line for funds.” -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- EDUCATION For $87 billion you could … Hire more than 2 million new teachers or Spend an additional $1,824 on each child in American public schools or Spend seven times more than the President’s proposal for Title 1 education programs in fiscal year 2004. —“The so-called ‘No Child Left Behind Act’ is underfunded by eight billion dollars,” says Kathleen Lyons of the National Education Association, a teacher’s union. “This administration has misplaced priorities about funding.” -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- HEALTH CARE For $87 billion you could … Triple the 2004 budget for the National Institutes of Health or Spend 58 times the proposed federal funding for community health centers in 2004 or Spend $7,909 on each American child without health insurance. —“In the congressional budget resolution … there is $50 billion in expanded health coverage for the uninsured,” says Ron Pollack of the nonprofit health-care advocacy group Families USA. “It does not appear that that money is going to get spent … This issue is being ignored by the White House and the Congress.” -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- POLICE/FIRE SAFETY For $87 billion you could … Hire more than 2 million new police officers nationwide or Hire more than 2 million new firefighters —“Two thirds of the fire departments in this nation are understaffed,” says George Burke of the International Association of Firefighters. “Because of cuts in federal spending to the states we are facing the worst crisis since the Great Depression.” -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AFGHANISTAN For $87 billion you could … Spend 87 times what has so far been promised in American aid to rebuild Afghanistan or Spend $5.4 million on each of the 16,000 Afghan women who die in childbirth each year or Spend $26.9 million for each square mile of the Kunar region where many believe Osama bin Laden is hiding out. —“We’ve only barely begun the reconstruction of Afghanistan. Less than 1 percent of what is needed has actually been done,” says Peter Bell, CEO of CARE, the international humanitarian group. “In the end it’s a matter of priorities. I suspect Iraq will be given a higher priority.” -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- IMMIGRATION For $87 billion you could … Spend 233 times the current budget for border security or Spend $16.4 million on each mile of shared border with Canada and Mexico or Spend $26,363 on every immigrant who arrived in the United States between 2000 and 2002 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- THE ENVIRONMENT For $87 billion you could … Increase the EPA’s budget more than tenfold. or Spend 58 times more than what the president has proposed for research on hydrogen-powered cars —With $87 billion “we could clean up once and for all America’s worst toxic waste sites and dirtiest power plants and help protect hundreds of communities from wildfires,” says Eric Antebi of the Sierra Club. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AIDS For $87 billion you could … Spend 27 times more on AIDS research than the federal government spent in fiscal year 2000 or Spend $226,029 on each individual AIDS patient in the United States. or Fulfill the president’s promise of $3 billion in funding for AIDS in Africa this year and have enough left over to make a similar commitment for 28 years to come. —“Full funding of the president’s initiative [on AIDS funding for Africa] would’ve been $3 billion this year. We’re a billion dollars short,” says CARE CEO Peter Bell. “The $87 billion [for Iraq] just skates the issue.”

No comments: