Protecting Military Whistleblowers and Victims of Sexual Assault

Members of Congress are rightly outraged at the epidemic of sexual assault in the military. No one should have to suffer the trauma of sexual assault – least of all those Americans who have volunteered to serve our country, and whom our military has a duty to keep safe. Sadly, that promise is not being kept. Approximately 26,000 service members were victimized in the past year, according to a recent Defense Department survey. Even worse, of the women service members who suffered sexual assault, nearly 70 percent did not report the crime to a military authority – a majority of which said that they felt uncomfortable making a report. And no wonder why: of the women who did report, more than 60 percent said they suffered retaliation for doing so.

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Are Defense Department Civilians Behind the DOD’s Spending Problem? Not So Much

On June 3, 25 defense analysts from several think tanks announced that there are three areas of defense reform consensus:

  • Closing down unnecessary military bases and facilities
  • Reforming military compensation
  • Shrinking the number of Department of Defense (DOD) civilian employees

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To Avoid More Bridges Collapsing, We Need More Infrastructure Investment

The Interstate 5 (I-5) highway bridge collapse—which sent cars and people into the Skagit River without any fatalities—near Mount Vernon in Washington State should be a stark reminder that we urgently need to expand investments into repairing and upgrading our nation’s infrastructure.

The need is immense.

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Why Non-Defense Discretionary Spending Keeps Getting Cut

The biggest difference among the three budget plans that official Washington is currently considering is spending for non-defense discretionary programs, which includes education, infrastructure, food safety, environmental protection and other essential public investments the public says it wants government to continue to make. A chart created by the Congressional Budget Office – shows the differences between President Obama and Senate Democrats’ budget plans versus the House Republican spending blueprint.

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The Lack of Jobs Is the Problem, Not Deficits

Budget deficits are shrinking at a breakneck pace now and will continue to do so over the next several years, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which released its latest projections on the budget and the economy on May 14. Meanwhile, we have anemic jobs growth that’s worse than it should be, in large part because of all the extreme deficit reduction measures we’ve seen over the last few years.

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Without Austerity, More Americans Would Have Jobs

As if Americans needed anymore confirmation that austerity is holding the economy back, The New York Times this week reported that the consensus among private financial analysts – as well as by the International Monetary Fund and the U.S. Federal Reserve and others – is that sequestration and earlier spending cuts are translating into fewer jobs and a worse economy for the nation overall.

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