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Abstract

Our nation has a rare opportunity to shift resources from military to civilian activities for the next few years. A budget pact is supposed to prevent transfers of funds from the military to domestic programs during fiscal years 1992 and 1993, but the pact is cracking in light of the sudden collapse of the Soviet military and the dismemberment of the Soviet Union. While jobs are lost when funds are shifted out of the military, the funds don't disappear - they are used for alternative federal expenditures, paying federal debt, or tax reduction. Many alternative expenditure patterns are available to improve the quality of life for middle-income and low-income citizens and the international competitiveness of our economy. If $25 billion a year were shifted into affordable housing development and retention for a period of years, low- and moderate-income families and individuals would find housing to be much more affordable and available, homelessness would be greatly reduced, and overall employment and economic output in the eastern Massachusetts region would increase.

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