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The Senate struggled to approve a $15 billion jobs bill
and has yet to enact additional fiscal relief for the states, but
lawmakers continue to approve trillions of dollars for wars and defense
appropriations. In fact, ignoring the almost $1 trillion spent on the
Iraq and Afghanistan wars, military spending has grown 41 percent since 1998.
If progressive leaders intend to reduce long-term deficits and ensure a
robust economic recovery, cutting inefficient and costly areas of the
defense budget should be a top priority.
The debate over clean energy is ripping open divisions in conservative
business lobbies. Debate on federal climate change legislation has led
an increasing number of businesses to leave the Chamber of Commerce,
the National Association of Manufacturers, and other business
associations because of those organizations' stances against
recognizing the scientific validity of climate change. The revolt has
been growing ever since a senior Chamber official called for a "Scopes monkey trial of the 21st century" to evaluate evidence of global warming.