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Ohioans Encouraged To Tug at Federal Budget Purse Strings

June 2, 2009

Akron – Congress may hold the national power of the purse strings, but Ohio residents can have their say about how they think that power should be wielded. Community members are invited to a hearing in Akron tonight where residents will give oral testimony about how federal tax dollars should be spent.

Event organizer John Fuller, who is spokesman for the Akron People's Budget Task Force, says it's important to make sure the money is used to turn the current economy around.

"Residents at the local level need to begin to have some input as to how they want to see their federal tax dollars allocated, because this is the only way that we can talk about making change happen from the bottom; by getting involved in the process."

With record high unemployment and foreclosures, Fuller says budget dollars need to be allocated away from wars overseas and directed instead to communities at home.

"It would take the same effort that we are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan to deal with jobs, housing, education and infrastructure in major cities throughout this country."

The defense department is requesting $130 billion in the fiscal year 2010 budget to support overseas operations.

For the next federal fiscal year that begins October 1, Congress will budget 3.6 trillion dollars, and Fuller says the spending should focus on jobs, housing, health care and education. Critics of the overall budget worry that it will run up big deficits for years to come. Tonight's testimony will be recorded and then sent to Ohio Congressional leaders.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Main Library in downtown Akron.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH