The People Have First Claim on the Public Treasury!

February 10, 2004

On Monday, February 2, Bush announced his federal budget for fiscal 2005.

The government's budget plays a decisive role in the economic life of our country. The federal budget alone will amount to $2.4 trillion next year; altogether federal, state and local governments account for more than 20% of the Gross Domestic Product.

With such vast sums at its disposal, the government has way more than enough resources to guarantee the economic rights and well-being of everyone - to insure that everyone has free, comprehensive health care, the best possible education from preschool through the university, modern housing, a secure retirement and a secure standard of living commensurate with our country's high level of economic development.

But today, far from carrying out these responsibilities, the government keeps slashing social programs while the economic situation of tens of millions of Americans becomes literally desperate. Nearly 50 million people have no health insurance whatsoever, while tens of millions more are have insufficient coverage. Our schools are overcrowded and falling down. Public housing has been all but destroyed. Income-support programs for the unemployed, disabled, retired and poor have been slashed to the bone.

And everyone knows why. In the manner of the feudal Kings, the Republican and Democratic parties use the economic power of the government to help the Pentagon arms merchants, the Wall Street bankers, the monopoly corporations and the billionaires rob the public treasury. Next year the federal government will allocate more than $600 billion for the military and military-related projects. This militarization has created a huge deficit, mortgaging the future of the country to the big bankers. Already, the government is paying $200 billion/year in interest to the banks. Already the government is robbing the Social Security Trust Fund to cover the deficit and pay for the militarization. And the Republican and Democratic politicians never stop crying about the deficit when the people demand vitally needed investments in the schools, in education and other social services. And make no mistake about it. As bad as the situation is, things are going to get worse as the rich are literally plundering and destroying the economy.

The Workers Party says that this robbery must be stopped!

The working people must demand an end to militarization of the economy and an end to the government robbing the public treasury on behalf of the rich.

It is the labor of the working people which produces all the wealth of society. Thus, we must insist that the very aim of economic life must be to secure the livelihoods and well-being of the people and that, as a decisive starting point, the government must guarantee the economic rights of the people.

WHAT WE COULD DO WITH THE MONEY --

The government spends about $600 billion on the military ($420+ billion for the DOD; $17 billion for nuclear weapons; $8 billion hidden in NASA; $16 billion in Department of Homeland Security; $50 billion in supplemental funds for the war in Iraq, etc.).

Instead this could pay for:

- health insurance for the 45 million uninsured ($225 billion);

- increasing per pupil funding for every school student K-12 by $4,000/year ($185 billion);

- free tuition at state universities for all 15 million students currently enrolled in two and four year colleges. ($75 billion);

- $3,000 in income-support for every person in a household below the poverty line ($105 billion).