For every $1 billion shifted from military to urban spending, 6,600 more jobs are created than are created by the equivalent defense spending, the U.S Conference of Mayors said Monday.
And, a new study released by the mayors said, a shift to domestic spending of $30 billion a year over a five-year period would increase the gross national product by $3.5 billion and give citizens $2.2 billion more in disposable income than if the money stayed in the military budget.
“Even after such a transfer were made,” the report said, “the nation’s military budget would still be permitted an average annual real spending increase of $41 billion over 1981 levels after inflation.”
The study was commissioned by the mayors because of their concern that over the past eight years the nation’s spending priorities have been out of balance.
During the 1981-1988 period, six key urban grant-in-aid programs suffered cumulative budget cuts of about $60 billion. In the same period, the Reagan Administration’s military buildup reached a cumulative total of $328 billion.
Trenton, N.J., Mayor Art Holland, president of the conference, said the study was undertaken to see if “a reasonable shifting of federal funds from the current unprecedented military buildup to urban needs” would produce greater economic activity and a net increase in jobs for the nation.