Tumblr Icon RSS Icon
The Progress Report Banner

Time To Rebuild This Country

Posted on

"Time To Rebuild This Country"

Share:

google plus icon

Republicans Who Said Yes to War Spending Now Say No to Job-Creating Investments Here at Home

In the coming days, President Obama will keep his promise to bring a responsible end to the nearly nine-year long Iraq War. This is an important moment for the nation, our men and women in uniform, and for the progressive movement, which fought tirelessly to bring this war to an end.

Our country, however, still faces many urgent challenges — perhaps none more urgent than putting 14 million Americans back to work. As the Iraq War comes to an end, it’s time to invest some of the savings to rebuild our own country. Yet, the very same Republican leaders who voted to take us to war and committed more than $800 BILLION to the Iraq War without offsetting any of the costs are now refusing to make investments in this country to put millions of Americans back to work and create an economy that works for everyone — even though these programs are fully paid-for.

Republican Leaders Have Voted for $1 TRILLION in War Spending Since 2002

From the run-up to the Iraq War in the fall of 2002 through 2010, Congress voted to spend more than $1 TRILLION on the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other related costs — including more than $120 BILLION on worthy programs in Iraq and Afghanistan like building roads and schools that are nearly identical to the job-creating investments President Obama and Democrats now want to make in the United States. About four-fifths of this $1 TRILLION in war-related spending — about $800 BILLION — went toward the Iraq War.

Republican leaders in Congress have almost uniformly supported this spending — with the only exceptions coming in 2009 and 2010 after President Obama came into office.  For example:

  • Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) voted for $997 BILLION in war-related spending from 2002-2010.
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) voted for for $1.07 TRILLION in war-related spending from 2002-2010.
  • House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA)voted for $997 BILLION in war-related spending from 2002-2010.
  • Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) voted for $913 BILLION in war-related spending from 2002-2010.
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) voted for $1 TRILLION in war-related spending from 2002-2010.

This spending all went on the national credit card, thanks in no small measure to the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts, whose benefits heavily skewed toward the wealthiest Americans and did nothing to create jobs.

Republican Leaders Refuse to Support Investments Here at Home

In September, President Obama laid out his plan to put millions of Americans back to work: the American Jobs Act. Republican leaders immediately assailed the proposal — citing its cost and its reliance on asking the very wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share.

  • Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor have refused to even bring the president’s jobs plan to vote in the House of Representatives.
  • Sens. McConnell, Kyl, and Graham have repeatedly voted against investing here at home to rebuild America and put Americans back to work:
    • Oct. 11: 100 percent of Senate Republicans voted against millions of American jobs in order to protect the very wealthiest Americans — the top 0.5 percent — from having to pay their fair share.
    • Oct. 20: 100 percent of Senate Republicans voted against nearly 400,000 jobs for teachers, firefighters, and cops in order to protect the very wealthiest Americans — the top 0.5 percent — from having to pay their fair share.
    • Nov. 3: 100 percent of Senate Republicans voted against 450,000 Americans jobs rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, airports, and other critical infrastructure in order to protect the very wealthiest Americans — the top 0.5 percent — from having to pay their fair share.
    • Dec. 198 percent of Senate Republicans voted to raise taxes on 160 MILLION working Americans in order to protect just 345,000 millionaires from having to pay their fair share.
    • Dec. 8: 98 percent of Senate Republicans voted to raise taxes on 160 MILLION working Americans in order to protect just 345,000 millionaires from having to pay their fair share.

Unlike the $1 TRILLION in war-related spending over the past decade, these investments in rebuilding America and putting Americans back to work were entirely paid for by asking the very wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share.

IN TWO SENTENCES: It’s time to rebuild this country and put Americans back to work. It’s shocking that the same Republican leaders who voted for $1 TRILLION in deficit-financed war spending now refuse to support the fully-paid for investments we need to put Americans back to work and create an economy that works for everyone.