Fighting for a U.S. federal budget that prioritizes peace, economic security and shared prosperity
Aug. 11, 2020 - Download PDF Version
As part of the annual must-pass military spending and policy bill (the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, or “NDAA”), progressive lawmakers have put forward a proposal to cut the massive $740 billion Pentagon budget by 10 percent.
With military spending at historically high levels, and with additional increases under President Trump, a ten percent cut is an overdue correction to the bloated Pentagon budget.
While the Pentagon will spend close to $74 billion this year on our endless war operations alone ($71.5 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations), here's what a 10% cut to the Pentagon ($74 billion) could achieve if reinvested in any one of these other priorities:
Ending Homelessness: House every one of the more than half a million homeless people in this country with money to spare. That's assuming an annual cost of $30,000 per person, in keeping with high-end estimates from the Urban Institute.
Infrastructure Jobs: Create more than one million good jobs in cities like Flint, Michigan, building desperately needed new infrastructure.
COVID testing: Conduct 2 billion additional coronavirus tests, compared to the 46 million done so far – that’s 44 times as many tests, or enough to offer six free COVID tests to every person in the United States.
Racial Equity in Schools: Close the $23 billion funding gap between majority-white and majority non-white school districts.
COVID unemployment relief: Send a $2,300 check to the more the 32 million unemployed Americans.
A $74 billion cut is a strong step toward better spending priorities, and could make a tremendous difference in other programs ranging from health care and education to job creation at a time when it is desperately needed.