From Congressman Alan Grayson's (Dem, FL 8th District) web page, he gets its exactly right:
During a compelling speech on the floor of the House last night, Congressman Grayson pointed out that the United States spends as much as the rest of the world combined on defense.I don't think that Congressman Grayson's action here is a mere stunt, I want to believe--and I do--that he is a person of conviction and courage, with the unique ability to influence U.S. events by being in Congress.
"Why is that necessary? If we are going to have that much military spending, do we really need another $159 billion for the wars on top of that? I think not, particularly when people in America are suffering," Congressman Grayson said.
The War Is Making You Poor Act (H.R. 5353) does not necessitate an end to the wars or mandate a cut-off date. The bill simply requires the President to fund the wars from the $559 billion budget for defense spending in FY 2011. "There is no longer any need to go beyond the exorbitant base defense budget. It is not necessary. Enough is enough."
I do, however, despair at the possibility for meaningful results. I'm working on a post I think I'll call Habituated to War, that will try to delve into our lack of concern? outrage? over the perpetual state of war we have found oursleves in for the past 9 years. Even if the mood of the country is to continue these military efforts, as embodied by our elected representatives, then we do need to treat such expenditures as part of the budget rather than as a semi-permanent supplement appropriation each year.
The way we do it now is nothing more than a form of book-cooking, and masks the true cost to the American people...and the Mister Tristans of this nation, on whose backs and wallets this burden will ultimately fall.
(photo credit here)
No, I am NOT depicting Congressman Grayson as an a-hole...the key feature is a couple feet south of there. You go, Congressman Grayson!
Note that I hesitated to include this picture of balls to represent the courage of Congressman Grayson, since I consider myself as a feminist and am sensitive to the fact the language of sexism is pervasive and damaging. I don't want to perpetuate the male-dominated patriarchic society, but go with this image anyway for now...I certainly would be grateful if someone could provide me a gender-neutral equivalent of balls = courage.