Portland Says: Bring Our War $$ Home!


Proposed by community members 1/23/2012

Resolution calling for immediate redirection of funds from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to domestic human services priorities to meet the pressing needs in our community.


The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners Finds:

A. The severity of the nation's ongoing economic crisis has created budget shortfalls at all levels of government and requires us to re-examine our national priorities. Significant financial resources are needed to rebuild our society-- aiding state and local governments to maintain and restore public and social services, including programs for education, health care, the social safety net, public safety, environmental clean-up and stewardship, alternative renewable energy, rebuilding physical infrastructure, and urgently needed measures to support job creation in both the private and public sectors.

B. The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners and the people of Multnomah County support our brave men and women in uniform and their families. We also acknowledge that as of December 18, 2011, President Barack Obama officially ended U.S. troop deployment in Iraq.

C. More than 6,000 members of the U.S. armed forces have lost their lives in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, including at least 128 from Oregon; over 120,000 Iraqi and Afghan civilians have been killed since the beginning of coalition operations. Thousands more U.S. military personnel and Iraqi and Afghan civilians have suffered devastating physical and mental injuries, and those countries have sustained widespread destruction and environmental devastation.

D. Since 2001, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost the United States more than $1.1 trillion. The cost to the taxpayers of Multnomah County Oregon for these wars since 2001 has been over $2.4 billion. The entire costs of these wars, including costs of caring for wounded service members and payment on the debt incurred by the wars has been estimated at between $3 and $6 trillion dollars.

E. If the $2.4 billion taxpayer dollars spent so far by Multnomah County citizens on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were instead allocated to human services, education and environmental programs, Multnomah County could have funded any one of the following for one year[1]:

* 1.3 million Annual Energy Costs for a Household
* 1.2 million Children Receiving Low-Income Healthcare
* 36,544 Elementary School Teachers
* 36,729 Firefighters
* 426,795 Head Start Slots for Children
* 915,558 Households Converted to All Solar Energy
* 1.9 million Households Converted to All Wind Energy
* 302,404 Military Veterans Receiving VA Medical Care
* 510,611 People Receiving Low-Income Healthcare
* 318,599 Scholarships for University Students for One Year

F. The budget of the Department of Defense has increased significantly since 1998 to a staggering $725 billion -- not including indirect military spending by other agencies -- more than all other discretionary spending combined. The cost to taxpayers of Multnomah County of this 2012 Department of Defense Budget is $891 million.

G. Bet