An attack on the quality of our life in (Santa Monica) is presently under way in Washington, but it's getting very little attention here at home. Federal funding for essential local services such as housing for the poor, feeding and shelter programs for the homeless, and drug abuse counseling and prevention for our young people is about to be sacrificed for a larger defense budget and for increases in foreign aid.
General revenue sharing has been used in Santa Monica to help pay for social services since 1972. If it's cut, we're either going to have to reduce services or cut other local programs to make up the difference.
Neither is a solution to the federal budget deficit. Federal funding for services has already been cut by more than 42% since 1981. Yet the budget deficit has continued to grow, in part because military spending has increased 23% over the same period. This year state and local governments are scheduled to be socked for a $16-billion cut, while weapons spending is slated for a $37-billion increase.
The overwhelming majority of Americans want action to reduce the deficit. We also want action that is both effective and fair. Eliminating general revenue sharing for needed local services would be neither.